The Lives of Animals Research Group

The Lives of Animals Research Group

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About Us

The Lives of Animals Research Group at Queen's University (and University of Guelph until 2014) focuses on human-animal relations.

We are interested in how humans think about, place and interact with animals, and how animals actively shape human lives, landscapes and development trajectories.           We are also interested in animal governance and the networks of actors, knowledges, structures, practices, and outcomes that shape human management of animals.

Our work is interdisciplinary, bridging social sciences (e.g. geography, environmental studies, social theory) with natural sciences (e.g. animal welfare science, behavioural ecology, biology) to ensure holistic research results meaningful for both human and non-human animals. We collaborate with communities, scientists, practitioners, NGOs and governments. We hope to inform appropriate program and policy interventions that acknowledge, respect, and enhance the lives of animals.

Our species-based projects include a range of domestic animals (chickens, donkeys, cattle, dogs, cats) to wild animals (elephants, wild dogs, lions) across diverse locales, such as homesteads, urban centres, rural villages, agricultural fields, industrial factories, national parks and sanctuaries, primarily in Botswana and Canada. Projects highlight the circumstances and experiences of animals, as well as the broader structures and dynamics that shape their daily lives.

Highly motivated, interdisciplinary, and adventurous students interested in working with our team are welcome to contact Dr. Alice J. Hovorka (Principal Investigator).