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Dr Catherine Oliver

Research Associate

Urban Ecologies: The Chicken City



  • 2020-present: Research Associate, ERC: Urban Ecologies, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
  • 2017-2019: Graduate Teaching Associate, School of Geography, University of Birmingham


  • 2015-2020: PhD Geography, ‘Towards a Beyond-Human Geography: veganism and multispecies worlds of the past, present and future’, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK
  • 2011-2015: BA+MSci Geography, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK

Fellowships & Awards


I am a social, cultural, and political geographer interested in more-than-human geography and urban studies. I am employed as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge on an ERC-funded project, Urban Ecologies, researching urban chickens in London. This research responds to changing demands on food systems, ecologies, and urban space, seeking to understand how non-human life is governed and regulated in cities. I have published this work in Animal Studies Journal in 2021, with multiple academic guest posts published between 2020-2021, and a second paper in revision for Urban Studies.

In 2021, I was appointed as a Royal Geographical Society/Wiley Digital Archives Fellow (2021), receiving a fellowship to research animals in geographical exploration. My project is a Wiley Case Study, with an online curated exhibit. In 2021-22, I am a fellow on the Global Urban History Project’s Dream Conversations series on Cities and the Anthropocene. I was also a finalist for the AHRC/BBC’s New Generation Thinkers 2022.

My first monograph, ‘Veganism, Archives, and Animals,‘ was published with Routledge in 2021. The book provides a unique and timely contribution to debates within animal and more-than-human geographies and is the first of its kind in “vegan geographies.” The book draws from my doctoral research on veganism in Britain (University of Birmingham, 2020). I have also published this work in Emotion, Space and Society; Area; Social and Cultural Geography; Social Movement Studies; and Geohumanities.

From 2016 to 2017, I worked in the archives of animal activist Richard D. Ryder at the British Library on a PhD placement with Dr Polly Russell and Gill Ridgeley, producing the British Library’s online curated exhibition, ‘Archiving Activism.

Other recent projects include a feminist geography research project theorising academic conferences as microcosms of the university (Gender, Place and Culture, 2020 and BJSE, forthcoming), and an ongoing project on more-than-human metabolisms (CRASSH, 2021).

I currently teach on final-year undergraduate and MSc modules, as well as undergraduate dissertations, in the School of Geography, Cambridge. I was previously employed as a GTA at the University of Birmingham (2016-2019). I promote innovative teaching and have published on field-teaching in the Journal of Geography in Higher Education (2018).


[Publications will load automatically from the University’s publications database.]


  • Graduate Teaching Associate, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham 2017-2019. Responsible for teaching across all levels of undergraduate and Masters’ level Human Geography teaching, focussed on social, cultural, and political geography. Particular highlights include developing core seminars for Level 2 students, designing and leading field teaching on field courses to Berlin, and research-led lecturing on feminist geographies, and ethnographic research methods.