Current Projects

Below you will find a list of current major projects and collaborations.

Wild Lives
Grounded in ethnographic and philosophical literatures and approaches, this project is exploring the social and ethical dimensions of a growing field of biological research that seeks to achieve conservation outcomes by altering animal behaviours in domains that range from predation and migration to reproduction. I am asking how scientists, diverse animals, and local human communities are adaptively learning to relate to one another, to make sense of one another, and hopefully to survive with one another.

PIs: Thom van Dooren
Seed Funding: The University of Sydney (SOAR Prize 2022-23)

Narrative Ecologies of Warragamba Dam
This interdisciplinary environmental humanities project focuses on the proposed raising of the Warragamba Dam wall to explore the role of narrative in analysing and responding to socio-environmental controversies. It aims to develop new resources for enhancing community understanding and involvement in these complex issues, utilising narrative to enable responses that are creative, inclusive, and just.

PIs: Thom van Dooren, Emily O’Gorman, Stephen Muecke, Grace Karskens, Matthew Kearnes, Natalie Osborne, Peter Minter
Funding: Australian Research Council (Discovery Project 2022-2025)

The Urban Field Naturalist Project
A collaboration bringing design research, digital & environmental humanities, and life sciences together, with a focus on community nature storytelling. We’re co-authoring a popular book and producing a range of other interesting things. The project website is available here.

Team: Thom van Dooren, Dieter Hochuli, John Martin, Zoë Sadokierski, Andrew Burrell
Funding: various

A World in a Shell: Snail Stories from Hawai’i
Exploring the disappearing land snails of Hawai’i with a focus on the entangled cultural, ecological, political, and ethical significance of their decline. This project includes a book, a series of other publications, and an audio documentary with Jane Ulman, available here.

Funding: Australian Research Council (Future Fellowship 2017-2022) and The University of Sydney

The Social Animals Collaboratory
A collaboration focused on the histories and futures of the social as an inherently multispecies achievement. At present we are working towards an international conference, an exhibition at the Chau Chak Wing Museum, and a series of publications.

PIs: Julia Kindt and Thom van Dooren
Funding: Australian Research Council (Future Fellowship 2017-2022) and The University of Sydney

Worlds of Meaning in Conservation
This environmental humanities collaboratory aims to start cross-disciplinary conversations to understand, attend to and imagine how the overlapping worlds of meaning crafted by diverse humans and nonhumans may create new possibilities not just for survival, but for genuine multispecies coexistence and flourishing in the Sixth Extinction. The project website is available here.

PIs: Sara Asu Schroer and Thom van Dooren
Funding: Oslo School of Environmental Humanities Collaboratory Scheme (2021-2022)

The Living Archive: Extinction Stories From Oceania
A multimedia space that provides a platform for people to tell their own stories, in their own ways, about what extinction means and how it matters in their lives and places. The Living Archive is grounded in the understanding that personal narratives have the potential to explore local complexity in ways that are relatable and meaningful, and that generate engagement, connection and attentiveness in this time of great loss. The project website is available here.

Funding: Australian Research Council (Future Fellowship 2017-2022) and The University of Sydney