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Catherine Oliver

Research Associate in Human Geography, University of Cambridge

I am a socio-cultural and political geographer interested in more-than-human geography, urban studies, and animal studies. I am employed as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge on an ERC-funded project, Urban Ecologies.

I am currently researching urban chickens in London. This research responds to changing demands on food systems, ecologies, and urban space, seeking to understand how non-human life is governed and regulated in cities. My first peer-reviewed publication from this project is forthcoming in Animal Studies Journal, with multiple academic guest posts published between 2020-2021.

I am also a Royal Geographical Society/Wiley Digital Archives Fellow (2021), receiving one of their inaugural fellowships to research and write about animals in geographical exploration, drawing from their recently digitised collections.

My first monograph, ‘Veganism, Archives, and Animals’ is forthcoming with Routledge Books in August 2021. The book provides a unique and timely contribution to debates within animal studies and more-than-human geographies, providing novel insights into the complexities of caring beyond the human.

This book draws from my doctoral research and thesis, titled ‘Towards a beyond-human geography,’ on the past, present, and future of veganism in Britain (University of Birmingham, 2020). I have also published my doctoral work in Emotion, Space and Society (2020), Area (2021), and forthcoming in Social and Cultural Geography, Social Movement Studies and Geohumanities, with further manuscripts in preparation.
From 2016 to 2017, I worked in the archives of animal activist Richard D. Ryder on a prestigious PhD placement with Dr Polly Russell (The British Library & BBC) and Gill Ridgeley. This project informed my work as curator of the Animal Guide of the British Library’s ‘Archiving Activism’ website.

Other recent projects include a feminist geography research project theorising academic conferences as microcosms of the university (Gender, Place and Culture, 2020), and an ongoing project on more-than-human metabolisms (CRASSH, 2021).

I currently supervise on final-year undergraduate and MSc papers, as well as undergraduate dissertations, in the School of Geography, Cambridge. I was previously employed as a GTA at the University of Birmingham (2016-2019). I promote innovative teaching, and have published on field-teaching in the Journal of Geography in Higher Education (Oliver et al., 2018).


  • –present
    Research Associate in Human Geography, University of Cambridge


  • 2020 
    University of Birmingham, PhD Geography and Environmental Sciences