Living with Animals: Human-Animal Encounters

About the project or challenge area

The Anthropocene, the current epoch of extraordinary human influence over global places and processes, is frequently characterised by specific varieties of human relationship with non-human animal life. The destruction of animal habitats all over the world is one of the associated factors that has made species extinction a key consequence of human-animal engagements in modernity. This research challenge invites prospective research students to propose projects that think historically about the relations between human and nonhuman animals. Projects may relate to specific stories of extinction and/or depletion, to domesticity and/or wildness, to animals as representations, in stories and on screen, to specific places, to histories of resilience and resurgence where animal populations have survived and/or recovered in the context of conservation efforts, or to the development of mutually sustainable relationships between people and the rest of the animal inhabitants of the wild world. 

Why choose this opportunity?

You will gain an understanding of the key challenges underpinning human-animal relations in the modern world. You will also benefit from membership of the Centre for Environmental Humanities, a vibrant research centre that can support you in your scholarly growth and in the context of a diverse cohort of environmental scholars. In addition, you will benefit from working with an expert in animal history/environmental history and who is presently working on histories of species vulnerability and adaptation in the context of dark environments. 

About you

You will need to have the capacity to identify and engage with archives, and to use archival materials to form cohesive analyses. You will also need the ability to communicate research findings in a compelling fashion, not least in the form of a research dissertation. A passion for wildlife and a concern for the lives of animals would also position the student well.

How to apply

All students can apply using the button below, following the Master's by Research Admissions Statement. Please note that this is an advertised challenge area, which means you should complete Section A + B of the Masters by Research Statement Template (Office document, 68kB).

Before applying, we recommend getting in touch with the project's supervisors. If you are interested in this project and would like to learn more about the research you will be undertaking, please use the contact details on this page.

Andy Flack Supervisor

Your supervisor for this project will be Andy Flack, Lecturer in Modern and Environmental history in the School of Humanities, Department of History. You can contact him at +44 7843 479855 or email 

Find out more about your prospective research community

The Environmental Change theme is a vibrant community of researchers who integrate expertise across multiple disciplines to provide the evidence base and solutions to tackle the world's most pressing environmental challenges. Find out more about the Environmental Change research theme.

Edit this page