Interdisciplinary Research Group for Human animal Studies

IRGHAS is a research group (established in 2011) committed to an interdisciplinary engagement with the rapidly growing international and multi-disciplinary field of Animal Studies, which has as its focus the place of animals in human cultures and societies.

At Roehampton, there is research interest in human-animal relations across the areas of art, anthropology, literature, performance, sociology. The purpose of the proposed group is to hold meetings in which we present our own work, to invite other speakers to give seminars, to explore the possibilities for research funding for members of the group.

Research Centre Staff

Ann MacLarnon

Ann's research interests encompass a broad range of topics within both primate biology and palaeoanthropology.

Caroline Ross

Caroline is Director of baboon research at Gashaka Gumti National Park Nigeria. Her current research is primarily in the areas of primate socio-ecology and human-wildlife conflict.

Garry Marvin

The main focus of Garry's research is around human /animal relationships and he has written about bullfighting, cockfighting and zoos.

Jennifer Parker-Starbuck

Jennifer's research interests include multimedia performance, animal studies and animality in performance, contemporary performance, and the body in performance.

Istvan Praet

Istvan's principal areas of expertise are Latin America (Ecuador), Amerindian forms of animism, and anthropology's relationship with the life sciences.

Lucile Desblache

Lucile's research is two-fold, spanning translation and music on the one hand and animals in contemporary culture on the other. She is the director of the AHRC-funded network 'Translating Music'.

Professor Stuart Semple

Stuart Semple is a Reader in Evolutionary Anthropology. His interests are in human-primate interactions, particularly primate tourism.

Giovanni Aloi

Giovanni Aloi is a Lecturer in History of Art and Visual Cultures working for Queen Mary University of London, Goldsmiths University of London, Sotheby's Institute of Art, Christie's Education and Tate Galleries.

Research Centre Students

Mariel Jana Supka

Granted with the Vice Chancellor's studentship, Mariel is a PhD student in the department of Drama Theatre and Performance. Her practice-based research project engages with scientific and public perceptions of non-native animals.

Alessandra Abbattista

Alessandra is interested in the ancient Greek language, literature and drama. She is currently working on the representation and characterisation of female avengers in Attic tragedy, through animal metaphors. Her investigation is particularly focused on the meaning and implication of specific animal imagery in Ancient Greece.

Austin Thomas Mcquinn 

Austin McQuinn is a current PhD researcher and is an artist working with performance, video, photography and installation. His thesis examines the function of animal acoustics in arts and performance practices where the animal voice is a porous medium of both similarity and difference.

Laetitia Marecha

Laetitia is a PhD student in Anthropology, Department of Life Sciences. She is working on primate tourism as a tool for the conservation for Barbary macaques in Morocco using an interdisciplinary approach. She has a broad interest in Primatology/Anthropology, socio-ecology, endocrinology and conservation biology. She is particularly interested in the application of interdisciplinary methods for understanding human/wildlife interactions which ultimately would help conservation and welfare of animals involved.

Recent Publications

Professor Ann MacLarnon

Dubuc, C, Brent, L, Accamando, AK, Gerald, MS, MacLarnon, A, Semple, S, Heistermann, M and Engelhardt, A (2009). Sexual skin color contains information about the timing of the fertile phase in free-ranging rhesus macaques. International Journal of Primatology. DOI: 10.1007/s10764-009-9369-7.

Higham, JP, MacLarnon, AM, Heistermann, M, Ross, C and Semple, S (2009) Rates of self-directed behaviour and faecal glucocorticoid leves are not correlated in wild female olive baboons (Papio hamadryas anubis). Stress 12, 526-532.

Higham, JP, Semple, S, MacLarnon, AM, Heistermann, M and Ross, C (2009) Female reproductive signaling, and male mating behavior, in the olive baboon. Hormones and Behaviour 55, 60-67.

Caroline Ross

Barnett, AA, Schiel V, Deveny A, Valsko J, Spironello WR & Ross, C (2011) Predation on Cacajao ouakary and Cebus albifrons (Primates: Platyrrhini) by harpy eagles. Mammalia 75: 169–172.

Sommer, V and Ross, C (eds) (2011) The Monkeys and Apes Of Gashaka: Primate Socio-Ecology and Conservation in Nigeria's Biodiversity Hotspot In: Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects. Springer.

Ross, C, MacLarnon, AM, Warren, Y, Adanu, J & Higham, JP (2011)Are forest baboons different? A comparison of forest-Living and open-country populations. In: Sommer, V & Ross C (eds.) The Monkeys and Apes Of Gashaka: Primate Socio-Ecology and Conservation in Nigeria's Biodiversity Hotspot. Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects. Springer.

Garry Marvin

Marvin, G. (2011) Enlivened Through Memory: Hunters and Hunting Trophies, in Sam Alberti (ed.) 'The Afterlives of Animals', University of Virginia Press.

Marvin, G. (2011) Working Within: An Ethnographer in Human-Animal Worlds, in Margo DeMello (ed.) 'Animals and Society: An Introductionn to Human-Animal Studies', Columbia University Press.

Marvin, G. (2010) Challenging Animals: Project and Process in Hunting, in Sarah Pilgrim and Jules Pretty (eds) 'Nature and Culture: Rebuilding Lost Connections',London: EarthScan.

Jennifer Parker-Starbuck

Chapter: with Roberta Mock, (2011) "Researching the Body in Performance," in Research Methods in Theatre Studies, eds. Baz Kershaw and Helen Nicholson, Edinburgh University Press.

"The Play-Within-the-Film-Within-the-Play's the Thing: Re-transmitting Analogue Bodies in the Wooster Group's Hamlet,"International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, Volume 5, Issue 1, June 2009.

"Pig Bodies and Vegetative States: Diagnosing the Symptoms of a Culture of Excess,"Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory Journal, Volume 18, Issue 2, July 2008.

Istvan Praet

Praet, I. (2013). 'The Positional Quality of Life and Death. A Theory of Human-Animal Relations in Animism'. Anthrozoös 26(3): 341-355.

Praet, I. (2013). 'Humanity and Life as the Perpetual Maintenance of Specific Efforts: a Reappraisal of Animism'. In Biosocial Becomings. Integrating Social and Biological Anthropology. Eds. T. Ingold and G. Pálsson, 191-210. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Praet, I. (2013 - in press). Animism and the Question of Life. New York and London: Routledge.

Lucile Desblache

(2013) "Women and apes in 21st-century French writing: new narratives of experience'" in Gill Rye et al (eds) Experience and Experiment: Women's Writing in French 2000-2010. Peter Lang, London/Vienna.

(2012) (ed). Hybrides et monstres: transgressions et promesses des cultures contemporaines. Editions Universitaires de Dijon, Dijon, pp. 285, including introduction "Tropes hybrides et inventions monstrueuses. Imaginaires vivants des cultures d'aujourd'hui", pp.4-13.

(2012) "Tales of the unexpected: opera as a new art of glocalization" in Helen Julia Minors (ed). Music, Text and Translation. Continuum, London, pp. 4-14.

Stuart Semple

Semple, S, Harrison, C and Lehmann, J (2013) Grooming and anxiety in Barbary macaques. Ethology 119, 1-7.

Ferrer-i-Cancho R, Hernández-Fernández A, Lusseau D, Agoramoorthy G, Hsu MJ and Semple S (2013). Compression as a universal principle of animal behaviour. Cognitive Science DOI: 10.1111/cogs.12061.

Alberts N, Semple S and Lehmann J (2013) The effect of filtering on animal networks. In Social Networking: Recent Trends, Emerging Issues and Future Outlook. New York: Nova.