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Virginia Thomas

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

I’m a research fellow with the Centre for Rural Policy research with a background in literature, science communication and sociology, and was a veterinary nurse before returning to academia. As a result I have a deep interest in human-animal interactions, particularly human-wildlife-conflicts, and scientific and knowledge controversies more broadly. I employ an interdisciplinary approach in my research and am particularly interested in a ‘one health’ approach to the global challenges we face.  

Research group links

Research interests

I’m a research fellow on a four-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust entitled ‘From Feed the Birds to Do Not Feed the Animals’. This is an interdisciplinary project involving cross-disciplinary and trans-institutional collaborations.  

Together we are investigating the human proclivity to feed animals and the consequences of this for the animals, the environment and the humans themselves.   


The team includes anthropologists, geochemists, sociologists and zooarchaeologists from the National Museum of Scotland and the universities of Exeter, Roehampton and Reading. 


2018-2021 PhD in Sociology with the University of Exeter entitled ‘Navigating the landscapes of rewilding: A comparative case study of ‘rewilding’ in the Avalon Marshes and Wild Ennerdale’.  


2016-2017 MSc in Science Communication with Dublin City University 



2003-2013 BA (hons) Literature with the Open University 



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