Environment and Multispecies Life

Environment and Multispecies Life

How do people perceive their environments? What are their relations with other creatures that inhabit  their world? And using anthropological research, can we create better environmental futures and more convivial relations with other species? Anthropology at Aberdeen is internationally renowned for its distinctive approach to these questions. Our research is founded on the idea that environments and landscapes are never complete but continually coming into being, along with their inhabitants, in creative processes of life, growth and movement.

Topics include:
- contested issues of land use, environmental conservation and heritage
- the politics and realities of climate change
- human relations with other species, both domestic and wild.

Recent publications (staff member highlighted)

Losey, R. J., Nomokonova, T., Arzyutov, D. V., Gusev, A. V., Plekhanov, A. V., Fedorova, N. V., Anderson, D. G. 2021 ‘Domestication as enskilment: harnessing reindeer in Arctic Siberia’ Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 197–231.

Bolton, M. 2020 ‘We need to talk about the dog! Explorations of human–canine relations and community hybridity in Bolivia’ Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 28-47.

Ingold, T., Clarke, N. R. A., Engelmann, S., Gruppuso, P., Krause, F., Lucas, G., Meulemans, G., Simonetti, C., Szerszynski, B., Watts, L. 2022 ‘A solid fluids lexicon’ Theory, Culture and Society, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 197-210

Mills, M. 2021 Climate Change on the Third Pole: Causes, Processes and Consequences: A Working Paper by The Scottish Centre for Himalayan Research for the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on Tibet.

Koronka, J., Ovando, P., Vergunst, J. 2022 Understanding values beyond carbon in the Woodland Carbon Code in Scotland. Trees, Forests and People, vol. 9, 100320.

Whitehouse, A. 2023. ‘Migration at the Limit: More-than-human creativity and catastrophe’, in Petri, O. & Guida, M. (eds) Winged Worlds: Common Spaces of Avian-Human Lives. London: Routledge.

Wishart, R. P. 2019 ‘Where is the real trap? Domination and mutualism in Teetl’it Gwich’in sensibilities about trapping’ Journal of Material Culture, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 437-452

Some of our recent research projects

- David Anderson led the ESRC research network The Political Ecology of Coastal Societies

- Jo Vergunst leads the AHRC research network Creative Landscape Futures (website under construction).

- Jo is also a Co-investigator in the UKRI project Voices of the future: Collaborating with children and young people to re-imagine treescapes

- Andrew Whitehouse is developing new research with birders that builds on his AHRC project Listening to Birds.

- Current PhD students with interests in environmental anthropology include Christina Bosbach, Cristina Douglas, Aisha Williams and Theophile Robert.


Teaching in environmental anthropology is integrated into our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. At undergraduate level 1, students are introduced to the subject through case studies and the level 2 course Key Debates in Anthropology covers questions of how we relate to other species. Honours level option courses (also available to postgraduates) include Society and Nature, and More Than Human.