My research expertise surrounds the influences of informal cultural and social networks on the health of communities inhabiting the margins of state control.
Societies who live at the limits governmental influence are common targets for prejudice. Stories of ‘unruly barbarians’ scraping an existence from harsh landscapes are commonly found in mythology and policy; stories told by industrialised communities designed to further marginalise ‘ungovernable’ groups. If we move our view from urban centres and fertile fields, and instead look outwards from within nomad tents or migrant villages we can uncover startlingly different narratives. Despite living in some of the harshest climates on the globe, marginalised communities can be creative, adaptable, and resilient – able to manage dynamic uncertainties in ways that could shatter more settled societies.
My work explores how these communities’ emergent networks are capable of shaping new directions, and tracing the impact of these pathways on individuals and societies. I draw together qualitative techniques and quantitative evaluations of health and livestock to explore possible futures, working with development groups interested in co-creating solutions.
I have extensive experience working in veterinary practice, international development, academia, and the public sector. I teach conceptual topics using applied real-world material, drawing on my research experience to help students develop their mixed-methods investigative skills.
Amongst other projects I am currently building a research plan to explore the complex interplay of socio-cultural networks on livestock and community health in Kakuma refugee camp to identify potential areas of zoonotic disease risk.