Who we are

We are a group of postgraduate students interested in the complex and often fraught relationships between humans and non-human animals. This conference is a great networking opportunity for those interested in similar areas of research. If you would like to help organise the conference or volunteer to help things run smoothly on the day, please get in touch.

Nikki Shaw

Nikki Shaw is a registered veterinary nurse at a large charity veterinary hospital in West Yorkshire and is reading for an MA in Anthrozoology at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Her current academic interests lie in cultural and religious representations of animals and animal advocacy in anthrozoology. She is due to have her first paper ‘When is a Pet not a Pet? Rethinking the Ethics of Our Animal Terminology’ published in the peer-reviewed journal The Veterinary Nurse in early 2012. In her spare time, Nikki enjoys foraging for wild food and has recently taken up rock climbing. After finishing her MA, Nikki hopes to complete a PhD in some area of anthrozoology.  

Jessica Groling

Jess is a part-time PhD candidate and Graduate Teaching Assistant in Sociology at the University of Exeter. She has an MA in Activism and Social Change from the University of Leeds and a BA in Human Geography from the University of Durham. Her current research is a study of broadcast and print media representations of rural and urban foxes since 2000, and especially around the time of the Hunting Ban in 2004-2005. Previous research projects include a social psychological study of animal experimentation at universities in Britain, with a particular focus on moral disengagement and research ethics committees. Jess is also interested in critical animal studies, anarchist social theory, social movement theory and human interactions with wildlife and ‘pest’ animals. She has also given presentations and led workshops on non-traditional and participatory research methods, use of the Freedom of Information Act for academics and campaigners, and consensus decision-making. Jess lives in Exeter with a hoard of rescued rats and spends her spare time working on her allotment and helping animals. She also works as a freelance German-English translator.

Daniel van Strien

Dan is currently studying towards a Masters in Human Geography at Glasgow University. He is interested in a variety of critical animal studies topics, in particular  applying Marxist theories to animal industries and trying to conceptualise the position of animals within capitalism. He spends as much free time as possible on vegan education and is also involved in other grassroots political activism.

Nathan Stephens-Griffin

Nathan Stephens Griffin is a second year PhD student based at Durham university. His research interests include animal rights activism, veganism, queer theory, autoethnography, critical animal studies, critical pedagogy, intersectionality, comics and a whole load of other stuff. He finds the world of academia generally to be bizarre and alienating; but he enjoys meeting with other students/academics who share his interest in animal liberation. Outside of studying for his PhD Nathan plays in an acoustic punk band called onsind, and helps organize DIY shows in Durham as part of the Equestrian Collective. He blogs about his research here.