I am a social anthropologist, but my research falls under the umbrella category of anthrozoology or multi-species ethnography (in other words, how humans think about and engage with nonhuman or other-than-human animals in a range of cultural contexts). I have conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Southern Africa (Swaziland and South Africa - looking at primate conservation and human-wildlife conflict) and Europe (especially rural Andalusia, Spain and Wales, UK - focussing on domesticated animals, animals in agricultural production systems, the enrolment of animals in ritual contexts and human kinship with dogs and other companion species).
While anthrozoology is my real passion my research interests and expertise cover a wide range of thematic and theoretical areas of much broader and traditional anthropological focus and interest. These include environmental anthropology; ritual and sacrifice; development; globalisation; migration and diaspora; ethnicity and nationalism; kinship and gender; biopolitics and power; tourism; neo-colonialism; exchange and reciprocity; material culture; visual anthropology; crime, deviance and risk taking; medical anthropology; the occult; religious syncretism; spiritual landscapes, pilgrimage and monasticism; agrarian change and diversification; food production and consumption.
I am the Programme Director for the MA in Anthrozoology, and Director of the newly formed Exeter Anthrozoology and Symbiotic Ethics (EASE) working group.
I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.