Dr Margaret Bolton

Dr Margaret Bolton
Dr Margaret Bolton
Dr Margaret Bolton


Accepting PhDs

Email Address
Telephone Number
+44 (0)1224 272731
Office Address
Room G19 Edward Wright Building
School of Social Science


I came to anthropology after studying physics and working as an engineer in industry.  A growing interest in Latin America and specifically the Andean region led me to return to higher education to study for an M.Litt. in Amerindian Studies and a PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews, one of the few universities in the UK offering tuition in Quechua language at that time.  My doctoral thesis was on Indigenous identity in southern Bolivia among llama herders and artisanal miners.  After completing my PhD I held a three-year ESRC fellowship at the University of Manchester during which my research interest turned specifically to human-animal relations.  During this period I conducted fieldwork in the south of Bolivia on rural development projects aimed at llama herders. I subsequently held short-term posts at the Universities of Bradford and Hull before joining the Anthropology Department at Aberdeen. I have published various articles and book chapters on human-animal relations in the Andes and have edited two collections  - Animals and Science: From Colonial Encounters to the biotech Industry (jointly edited with Cathrine Degnen) and Sentient Entanglements and Ruptures in the Americas: Human-Animal relations in the Amazon, Andes and Arctic (jointly edited with Jan Peter Laurens Loovers).  Recently, my research interest has returned to mining in the Andes and connections between Andean mining and the north-east of Scotland.  I co-curated the exhibition Aberdonians in the Americas: Migrants and Adventurers from Mexico to Paraguay with Professor Patience Schell, and Jenny Downes and Melia Knecht from the University Museums team, focusing the photographic collection of James Duncan, a native of Aberdeenshire who owned mines in Bolivia in the early years of the 20th century.  My research on this topic continues, along with plans for a heritage project at the site of one of Duncan's last mines.  

External Memberships

Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute

Member of the Association of Social Anthropologists of the Commonwealth.


Research Overview

Andes region (Bolivia); human-animal relations, mining, science, technology and expertise; colonialism; the state; ethnohistory; historical anthropology.

Research Areas

Accepting PhDs

I am currently accepting PhDs in Anthropology.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.

Email Me


Accepting PhDs

Research Specialisms

  • Social Anthropology
  • Latin American History
  • Latin American Studies
  • Sociology of Science and Technology

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Knowledge Exchange

Co-curator (with Prof. Patience Schell, Jenny Downes and Melia Knecht) of the Exhibition Aberdonians in the Americas: Migrants and Adventurers from Mexico to Paraguay, Kings Museum, 2017.

Funding and Grants

2010-11 British Academy Small Grant: Education, Citizenship and Democracy in Rural Bolivia funding for pilot study into adult/alternative education under the Morales administration.

2010 CASS research funding: Education, Citizenship and Democracy in Rural Bolivia

2003-6  ESRC Research Fellowship: The Reception and Interpretation of Science and Technology in non-Western contexts. 

2002  British Academy Small Grant

2000  Radcliffe-Brown Memorial Fund Award


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Books and Reports

Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

Contributions to Journals