Team BIOSEC: where are they now?

22 July 2021

It is now 12 months from the end of our funding from the European Research Council

We all continue to chat, collaborate and write together, but one of the greatest successes of the BIOSEC Project was that we all went on to bigger and better things afterwards. In the midst of the pandemic, between us we have cared for relatives and friends, grappled with lockdowns, had babies, engaged in homeschooling and much, much more. COVID 19 has shaped everyday life, but here we talk about what we did in our work lives. Read on to find out what we are all doing now.

Rosaleen Duffy

I am still in the Department of Politics and International Relations, Sheffield University. Following the BIOSEC Project I (finally!) finished my book on security and conservation, which will be out with Yale University Press in April 2022. I am now really pleased to be working again with colleagues from BIOSEC as Principal Investigator on the ESRC funded Beastly Business Project; this project brings together political ecology and green criminology to examine illegal wildlife trade in European bears, eels and songbirds. You can read more about my research on my Sheffield University staff page.

George Iordachescu

After a great year working as a postdoctoral research fellow within the BIOSEC project, I spent a few months working independently for the ICCA Consortium and the International Green Film Festival Pelicam. In April 2021, I rejoined the Department of Politics and International Relations at Sheffield University as a postdoctoral research associate. I applied successfully for a new research grant together with some of my former BIOSEC colleagues. My current research within the ESRC funded Beastly Business project looks at the hidden dynamics of brown bear trafficking within Europe with the aim to transform policy and enforcement approaches to tackling IWT in the region. You can read more about my research on my ResearchGate.

Hannah Dickinson

I’m now working as a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Geography at Durham University, where I joined the Leverhulme trust funded ‘Circulatory Entanglements’ project. This 3 year research project examines the intersections of marine governance, human health, ocean conservation and Blue Economy strategies, by following marine organisms and their biomaterials as they travel through different scientific, ecological, economic and epistemological pathways. I am conducting research for the shrimp-chitosan case study.

I am also delighted to be part of the Advisory board for the Beastly Business project.

You can read more about my current research and the Circulatory Entanglements project.

Teresa Lappe-Osthege

After my time on the BIOSEC Project, I worked as Programme Manager at The New Institute in Hamburg, Germany. Here I was responsible for the conceptualisation of a new thematic area on the role of behavioural change in socio-economic transformations. In June 2021, after having been awarded funding by the ESRC alongside some of my former BIOSEC team members, I rejoined the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield to work as Postdoctoral Research Associate on the Beastly Business project.

I now research the political economy of green-collar crime in the illegal bird trade in Europe with the aim of strengthening current policy responses and enforcement approaches to the illegal wildlife trade. You can read more about my research on my University of Sheffield staff page and follow my work on Twitter.

Sarah Bezan

Following my time on the BIOSEC project, I joined The University of York’s Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity in the role of Postdoctoral Research Associate in Perceptions of Biodiversity Change (2020-2024).

I am housed within the Department of English and Related Literature, where I am conducting research on the entangled social and ecological dimensions of species loss and revival in contemporary British, North American, and Australian literature and culture. I also continue to serve as an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield Animal Studies Research Centre (ShARC).

With ShARC co-director Professor Robert McKay, I am co-editor of an edited volume with Routledge entitled Animal Remains. This groundbreaking volume explores the material imaginaries of animal remains in the Anthropocene, an era characterised by unprecedented shifts in species biodiversity. My full research profile is available on my University of York staff page or on my website.

Laure Joanny

I am now working as a Wildlife Trade Technical Specialist at the non-governmental conservation organisation Fauna & Flora International (FFI). As such, I contribute to conservation action focused on animal and plant species threatened by illegal or unsustainable trade.

I support teams based in South East Asia with the design, implementation and evaluation of projects aiming to prevent the illegal harvest of wildlife, disrupt its trade and reduce demand. I also facilitate the dissemination of the latest wildlife trade related knowledge and lessons learnt from past projects within the organisation. I continue to share my insights from my PhD research and current work on Twitter and ResearchGate.

Anh Vu

After a wonderful year working at the BIOSEC Project as a Post-doctoral Research Fellow (August 2019-August 2020), I joined the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology at Newcastle University. At Newcastle I have been researching delta sustainability in South and South-East Asia with the focus on climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainable delta livelihoods, coastal resilience and biodiversity and SDGs. My work is an integral part of the £15 million Living Deltas Research Hub funded by the UKRI which aims to address a development challenge: how to avoid the collapse of South and SE Asian deltas as functioning, highly productive social-ecological systems in the face of human development and projected adverse consequences of climate change.

In parallel with my work at Newcastle University, I continue to work as a senior advisor and consultant for a number of commissioned research projects by international NGOs (Oxfam, Transparency International), universities (University of Antwerp in Belgium, Indiana University in the US) and national NGOs in Vietnam. I also work alongside national civil society organisations to promote civility and expand civic space in Vietnam. You can read more about my work on my Newcastle University staff page.

Jared Margulies

After two years with the BIOSEC project as a postdoctoral research fellow I joined the Department of Geography at the University of Alabama. I am continuing to draft my book on illicit cactus and succulent trade, which I aim to complete in the summer of 2022.

I am currently teaching courses in political ecology, conservation politics, and world regional geography. I was recently awarded a pilot research grant from the BAND Foundation to extend my research on illegal trade in plants to carnivorous plant trade in the US Southeast focusing on demand for endangered pitcher plants and the venus flytrap. You can read more about my research on my University of Alabama staff page.

Ruth Wilson

After four years managing the BIOSEC project, I joined the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health as their lead implementation officer for the University’s Student Lifecycle Programme (SLP).

This major project aims to enhance the student experience at the University of Sheffield through a programme of organisational change and the roll-out of a new student records management system. Whilst this has been very different from working in the Social Sciences and managing an external research grant, I’ve gained valuable insight into the other ‘side’ of University operations; namely, how Academic Services and learning and teaching are supported. I’ve also enjoyed tackling the complexities of delivering and communicating a major institutional project.

Francis Massé

After two years as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the BIOSEC Project I joined the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences at Northumbria University in January 2020 as a Lecturer.

I was recently promoted to Senior Lecturer and teach across a range of critical human geography topics and lead a Master’s Module on Climate Change, Environment and Development. I continue research, writing and collaborations focused on understanding commercial poaching economies and the law enforcement and policing efforts to address them and illegal wildlife trade more broadly.

I recently began research that takes a political ecology approach to examine the impacts of COVID-19 and related public health policy on the wildlife trade as part of a collaborative, multi-partner UKRI-GCRF grant. This is part of a shift in my research to look at the intersections between wildlife trade, conservation and zoonoses. More about my research can be found on my Northumbria University staff page.

Lucy Dunning

After a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding secondment into the BIOSEC team as the interim Project Manager, I went on maternity leave for a year. Returning to work in February 2021, I took on a new role as an Operations Manager, leading a small team to support a number of Research Institutes and Centres within the Faculty of Social Sciences. This fast paced role leads on financial and operational support, working collaboratively with Principal Investigators on over 50 research projects to enable high quality research. I am now preparing to go on maternity leave (again!) later this year.

A group photo of the BIOSEC team

(L-R) Jared Margulies, Teresa Lappe-Osthege, Laure Joanny, Francis Masse, Rosaleen Duffy, Lucy Dunning, Hannah Dickinson