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Dr Catherine Oliver

Dr Catherine Oliver

Research Associate

Urban Ecologies: The Galline City



  • 2020-present: Research Associate, ERC: Urban Ecologies (PI Maan Barua), Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
  • 2021: Royal Geographical Society Wiley Digital Archives Fellow, Animals of the Royal Geographical Society
  • 2017-2019: Graduate Teaching Associate, School of Geography, University of Birmingham
  • 2016-2017: British Library PhD Placement Researcher, 'Exploring food activism through the archives: the relationship between animal rights campaigns and food activism in the UK 1950-2015' (supervised by Dr. Polly Russell and Gill Ridgeley), Department for Politics and Public Life, The British Library


  • 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


  • 2020: College of Life and Environmental Science Travel Award, The University of Birmingham
  • 2019: Attendance at the European Summer School for Interspecies Relationality, University of Kassel, 28th July – 4th August 2019, The Volkswagen Institute
  • 2017: Presentation Award for 'Befriending the Archives', School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham
  • 2016: Funding for postgraduate/undergraduate mentoring and reading group, Centre for Learning and Academic Development and Learning Spaces, 'Educational Enhancement Project Fund', University of Birmingham


I am a social and cultural geographer interested in more-than-human geography, urban studies, and animal studies. I am employed as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge on an ERC-funded project, Urban Ecologies with Maan Barua. I am currently 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 am also a Royal Geographical Society/Wiley Digital Archives Fellow (2021), receiving one of their inaugural fellowships to research and write about animals in geographical exploration, drawing from their recently digitised collections.

My first monograph, 'Veganism, Archives, and Animals' is published with Routledge Books (2021). The book provides a unique and timely contribution to debates within animal studies and more-than-human geographies, providing novel insights into the complexities of caring beyond the human. This book draws from my doctoral research and thesis, titled 'Towards a beyond-human geography,' on the past, present, and future of veganism in Britain (University of Birmingham, 2020).

From 2016 to 2017, I worked in the archives of animal activist Richard D. Ryder on a prestigious PhD placement with Dr Polly Russell (The British Library & BBC) and Gill Ridgeley. This project informed my work as curator of the Animal Guide of the British Library's 'Archiving Activism' website.

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


[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.