Research interests / activities
Broadly, I am interested in the representation of animals in any medium – scientific literature, film, wildlife documentaries, contemporary and historical writing, fiction and advertising. Much of my work has focused on the cultural histories of extinct species such as the dodo, thylacine and quagga and how the way they were represented affected attitudes toward them. I am particularly interested in the significance of these findings for endangered species and the potential of images in wildlife conservation.
Publications include articles in animal studies, zoology, museum journals and catalogue essays for art exhibitions. A co-edited book Considering Animals: Contemporary Studies in Human-Animal Relations and essays in the collections Lives Beyond Us (2015) Animal Death (2013), Rethinking Chaucerian Beasts (2012), Leonardo’s Choice (2009) and Encyclopaedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare (2009). My major work is Paper Tiger: A Visual History of the Thylacine (Leiden, 2009), also published as Paper Tiger: How Pictures Shaped the Thylacine (Hobart, 2014). I compiled and edited the quarterly Australian Animal Studies Group News Bulletin from 2008 to 2014 and have presented at all animal studies conferences in Australia and also at conferences in Chichester UK, Indiana USA, and Utrecht in The Netherlands.