Animals & Biodiversity
Think Tank Programme
Humans’ relationship with nature and fellow animals is critical: we are living the sixth mass extinction, climate change threatens all forms of life on a global scale, and an abysmal number of animals suffer terrible lives in factory farms, aquaculture facilities, laboratories and other captive environments. Continued industrialisation and the overexploitation of both domesticated animals and natural resources are not only unsustainable, they have stripped humans from their animality and animals from their selves and habitats. Abusive and harmful practices put the health of humans and other animals alike at great risk, and threaten the survival of wild animals’ communities, their cultures and their habitats. Fellow animals have personalities, forge relationships and have their own modes of social organisations and communication, that are disrupted by human activities in many ways. Our relationship with other animals and the rest of nature has to change.
As a result of this alarming situation and born out of our desire to provide viable solutions, the focus of the Animals & Biodiversity programme is to provide meaningful insights on animal studies from a global perspective, and influence policy-making to achieve interspecies justice and build a multi-species society by relying on our core values: equality, solidarity, compassion, and care. Our aim is to highlight the connections between various issues concerning Animals & Biodiversity, bringing together diverse academic fields such as Animal Law, Anthrozoology, Philosophy, Environmental Law, Animal Ethics, and Animal Welfare Science. We strive to adopt an anti-anthropocentric and intersectional approach that welcomes insights from critical race theory, disability studies, ecofeminism, post-colonial theory, and critical animal studies.
We provide updates on recent developments on Animals & Biodiversity through the publication of many resources, including recommended readings on topical issues, blog posts, working papers, information on upcoming events and current initiatives; and by organizing events such as roundtables, panel discussions, conversations, book talks, seminars and workshops. We disseminate information concerning these activities through Facebook and Twitter (@Animals_GRN). You can join the conversation by using the hashtag: #GRNAnimals_Biodiversity. Each of our monthly themes has a unique hashtag for more specific engagement. Follow us and stay tuned for Animals & Biodiversity!
Dr Yoriko Otomo
Global Research Network
I am a Fellow at the Royal Society of Arts, a Research Associate at SOAS, Governor for the Network for International Law Students, member of the Global Animal Law Expert Group, and I am on the Board of Minding Animals International. I am a Series Editor for Anthem Press, on the editorial board of the Australian Feminist Law Journal, and an External Examiner for universities in the UK. I live in England with my beloved partner, three sons, three hens and two cats.
Professor emeritus Dr Lisa Kemmerer is an Honorary Fellow internationally known for her work on behalf of animals, the environment and disempowered human beings. She has authored more than 100 articles and 9 books, including “Animals and World Religions”, “Animals and Environment” and “Eating Earth: Environmental Ethics and Dietary Choice”. For more information, please visit lisakemmerer.com.
Eva Bernet Kempers
Lead for GRN Think Tank Programme in Animals & Biodiversity
Eva Bernet Kempers (1993) studied anthropology, green criminology and international environmental law at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. She conducted anthropological fieldwork in Guatemala and Peru, studying the impacts of mining in local communities. In 2019, she started her PhD-research at Antwerp University, focusing on the changing position of the animal in law from an interdisciplinary perspective. Her aim is to develop a legal principle of animal dignity.
Lead for GRN Think Tank Programme in Animals & Biodiversity
Marine is a French lawyer specialized in International and European Law. After an international experience in Human Rights Law, Warfare Law and Transitional Justice, she earned a master’s degree in Animal Law & Society with honors at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She wished to complete her training with the ambition of advocating, researching and implementing animal rights in addition to human rights after becoming aware of the interconnectedness of these issues, and the relationship between human and animal health and welfare. She therefore strives to adopt an intersectional and anti-speciesist approach to legal research. She is a PhD candidate (Global Law and Human Security) and pre-doctoral researcher at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, where she taught Animal Welfare Law and Roman Law. Her research focuses on Global Animal Law, Animal Labour and Racehorse Welfare with the aim of improving the welfare of racehorses and their protection at the end of their career. She actively researches and advocates for the decommodification of animals and the recognition of their legal status as non-human persons with rights to empower them in the human-animal society.
Pablo Pérez Castelló
PhD candidate at the School of Humanities, Royal Holloway (University of London)
Pablo Pérez Castelló is a PhD candidate at the School of Humanities, Royal Holloway (University of London). His thesis in Philosophy focuses on understanding the importance of human language in producing human dominion over animals, and the role animal languages can play in relation to the participation of animals in political decision-making processes and the construction of zoodemocratic systems. Pablo has also conducted research at the Cambridge Centre for Animal Rights Law, where he has explored how the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia should change in light of the argument advanced by Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka that wild animals should have a right to self-determination.
His interests include ecofeminism, postcolonialism, critical race theory, critical disability studies and critical animal studies.
PhD Candidate in Anthrozoology (University of Exeter)
Tiamat Warda is a PhD candidate in anthrozoology at the University of Exeter and part of the Exeter Anthrozoology as Symbiotic Ethics (EASE) working group. Her research defines the emotional labour in relationships between guide dog instructors and guide dogs during their shared work-lives. Professionally, she acts as a research consultant and partner in a KA2-Erasmus+ EU-programme concerning a standardised education and certification for assistance dog trainers, as well as an anthrozoologist at Pfotenpiloten. Her research interests are predominantly concerned with animal labour studies, in particular interspecies emotional labour, collaboration, and humane jobs.