Australasian Animal Studies Association

Szydlowski, Dr Michelle

EASE working group

University of Exeter
Research interests / activities

Michelle holds a PhD in Anthrozoology, and teaches university in the US. Her ongoing research focuses on Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Nepal, and how human-human and human-elephant relationships impact their health and welfare, and that of their human caregivers. Her work occurs at the intersections of conservation and tourism, indigenous and non-indigenous knowledge, and the captive-wild interface. Michelle also enjoys exploring how humans use language to influence the lives of otherthanhuman individuals.

She co-hosts The Anthrozoology Podcast, a platform for discussions about complex relationships with otherthanhuman beings. The podcast is available on Spotify, Apple, and numerous other platforms. The Anthrozoology Podcast is part of the iRoar network.

Michelle’s first book will be available in the winter of 2023.


Peer Reviewed publications:

Hooper, J., Aiello, T., Hill, Kr., Szydlowski, M., and Oxley Heaney, S. 2023 Nothing More than ‘Anti-Cull Activists’: Accusations of Bias and the Politics of Research that Advocates for Non-Human Animals. Animal Studies Journal. 12(1): 70-95.

Szydlowski, M. 2023 Liminal Beings: On Anthrozoologist and Elephants. University of Exeter/EASE working paper series. University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom. Anthrozoology as International Practice Issue. 1: 269-289. Available at:

Szydlowski, M. 2023 One Stable’s Novel Approach to Mitigating Human-Elephant Conflict Near Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Gajah. 56: 23-29

Szydlowski, M. 2022 Renegotiating citizenship: stories of young rhinos in Nepal. Journal of Ecotourism. 21 (aop)

Szydlowski, M. 2022 Asking Consent from Pachyderm Persons: Facing Ethical Complexities in Multispecies Research. In Animal Life and Human Culture: Anthrozoology Studies. I. Frasin, G. Bodi, S. Bulei, C.D. Vasiliu (eds.). Cluj-Napoca: Presa Unviersitara Clujeana (Cluj University Press).

Szydlowski, M., Hill, K., Oxley Heaney, S., Hooper, J. 2022 Domestication and domination: human terminology as a tool for controlling otherthanhuman animal bodies. TRACE: Journal for Human-Animal Studies. 8(1).

Oxley-Heaney, S., Szydlowski, M., Hill, K. 2022 Members only? A posthuman view of otherthanhuman-animal immigrants across human-defined borders. TRACE: Journal for Human-Animal Studies. 8(1).
Hill, K., Szydlowski, M., Oxley-Heaney, S., & Busby, D. 2022. Uncivilized behaviors: how humans wield “feral” to assert power (and control) over other species. Society & Animals. 30 (online aop), 1-19.
Szydlowski, M. 2022. Elephants in Nepal: correlating disease, tourism, and welfare. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science. 25 (2): 1-13.
Adhikari, B., Baral, K., Bhandari, S., Szydlowski, M., Kunwar, R.M., Xanthi, S., Neupane, B., Koirala, R.K. 2022. Potential risk zone for anthropogenic mortality of carnivores in Gandaki Province, Nepal. Ecology and Evolution. 12(1).

Szydlowski, M. 2021. Framing Conservation, Colonialism and Care: Captive Endangered Elephants (Elephas maximus) in Nepal. PhD Thesis. United Kingdom: University of Exeter. Available via: Open Research Exeter at

Szydlowski, M. 2018. Literary Anthrozoology. Animalia. 4 (1)

Other Publications:

Szydlowski, M. 2023 Joint Elephant Health Camp in Sauraha, Nepal. Gajah. 56: 44-45

Szydlowski, M. 2023. Happy (m)Other’s Day: Raising Hybrid Kids in a Modern World. Society & Animals. Film Review. 1 (aop 2023): 1-4.

Szydlowski, M. 2020. Set the elephants free. The Nepali Times. November 21, 2020 (not the original title, title changed by editor without consent).

Szydlowski, M. 2020. My Experience Conducting Elephant Research in Nepal. International Society for Anthrozoology. Student Blog.

Szydlowski, M. 2020. Human-pachyderm relations. Featured as one of the ‘20 in 2020’ Postgraduate Researchers to Watch. University of Exeter Research and Innovation Blog.