My ethnographic research examines forms of life in the contemporary arts and sciences. My book, Rendering Life Molecular (Duke University Press, 2015) is an ethnography of an interdisciplinary group of scientists who make living substance come to matter at the molecular scale. This book maps the making of the protein in the context of the ongoing molecularization of life in the contemporary biosciences. It explores how protein modelers’ multidimensional data forms are shifting the cusp of visibility, the contours of the biological imagination, and the nature of living substance. What, it asks, does life become in their hands?
With support from an Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Government and a SSHRC RDI Grant, I convened the Plant Studies Collaboratory in 2010 to serve as a node for collaborative interdisciplinary research on plant-based ecologies and economies. In new work, I’m investigating how the phenomena of plant communication, perception and movement are galvanizing research interest in both the arts and the sciences. For more on my past, current, and ongoing research projects click here.
In my teaching I explore the history of anthropological theory, sensory anthropology, multispecies ethnography, the intersections of race, gender and science, the craft of scientific practice, and the power of facts in social worlds.