Prior to my studies at Exeter, I studied Sociology and English at University College Cork and was awarded College Scholar based on my academic achievement. Eager to explore my interest in nonhuman animals, I successfully completed a veterinary nursing course. From veterinary clinics to wildlife parks, I have worked with human and nonhuman individuals in a variety of settings. Eager to entwine my love of nonhuman animals with my desire to teach, I worked as a teacher in a leading veterinary nursing college in Ireland on their accredited course while completing the MA Anthrozoology. As a distance learner, I wrote articles on a wide variety of anthrozoological topics; exploring nonhuman personhood and agency, transbiopolitics of Ebola and queer animals. Achieving a Distinction in the MA Anthrozoology Programme, I successfully secured funding from the ESRC SWDTC in support of my research into the visibility of animal consumptive practices in Denmark. My (1+3) PhD research will involve a 13-month multi-sited fieldwork in Denmark where I will explore cultural attitudes towards animals and the meat they consume. My drive to conduct my own research and contribute to wider discourse on animal welfare and personhood has been a driving force in my recent progression to PhD study. I am currently completing the MRes in Science and Technology Studies as part of my ESRC funding and work as a Postgraduate Teaching Assistant with the Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology Department. I will begin my PhD in September 2017 with Dr. Julien Dugnoille and Dr. Samantha Hurn.
The visibility of animal slaughter in Denmark contrasts starkly with the modes of concealment typical of slaughterhouses in industrialised societies. Denmark boasts one of the highest meat consumption rates in the world. This transparency of animal slaughter transcends the slaughterhouse to other arenas of animal consumption. My ESRC-funded PhD will involve a 13-month ethnographic fieldwork wherein I will interrogate Danish cultural attitudes towards animals and explore how these are influenced by visibility of animal consumptive practices.
Other research projects:
In collaboration with Dr Julien Dugnoille, we are exploring how non-normative nonhuman sexuality has been perceived in socio-biological and evolutionary texts. Through a combination of literature-based and qualitative research, we will explore homosexuality in nonhuman animals through the lens of nonhuman non-normative desire.
Knowing Cows: Transformative Mobilisations of Human and Nonhuman Bodies in an Emotionography of the Slaughterhouse
In an 'emotionography' of the slaughterhouse, I explored how emotions are negotiated and neutralised within the confines of the slaughterhouse walls. Benefiting from the literature on dirty work and the sociology of emotion, I studied how bovine bodies are constructed both within and beyond the slaughterhouse gates through participant observation, semi-structured interviews and visual methodologies.
#SaveBenjy: Sexuality, Queer Animals and Ireland
In my published paper, I explore the historic plight of Benjy the gay bull that emerged in the months prior to the historic gay marriage referendum in Ireland. Following a crowdfunding campaign, Benjy was saved which consolidated that nonhuman animal non-normative sexuality was a quality to be respected, protected and celebrated.
Copy Editor – Journal of Applied AnthroZoology
Teaching Council of Ireland
Awards and Funding
2016 ESRC SWDTC (1+3) PhD Candidate Anthropology
2016 Dean’s Commendation for Academic Achievement, MA Anthrozoology
2011 Academic Achievement Award, St. John’s Central College, Sawmill St., Cork
2006 College Scholar Award, University College Cork, Western Road, Cork