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Social, ecological, political, and cultural implications of extinction

Extinction Implications (ExIMP) aims to reframe extinction in the 21st century through the fundamental research question of how do we qualify the social (security, livelihoods, community cohesion), ecological (climate, biodiversity, microbes), political (racial ideology, decolonization), and cultural (language, culture, artforms) implications of extinction?

The Anthropocene has become synonymous with extinction at multiple scales from the microbial to planetary level. As our planetary boundaries are exceeded and social tipping points crossed, further widespread consequences and irreversible global environmental change impacts are expected at local-to-global scales. These impacts will be inequitably experienced, exacerbating inequalities and deepening already-ingrained vulnerabilities. Extinction is an inherently transdisciplinary term and its interpretation is subjective to the perspective of different fields of study.

Life scientists often define extinction as the loss of species and biodiversity leading to consequences for ecosystem function and services. Arts and humanities theorists and practitioners argue it is the loss of culture(s), social nets, literature, language, and community. The loss of an ethics of care and justice creates linkages to the political economy of capitalism and its effects at micro and macro levels. As each avenue of extinction is explored, the interdependent and cascading impacts and implications of what this term means at this point in time becomes clearer.

ExIMP examines root causes, drivers, and cascading effects of extinction by bringing together scholars, theorists, artists, stakeholders and social actors from arrange of disciplines. Outputs and tools developed throughout the project must therefore be holistic in nature with the evidential foundation deliberately built to interrogate the concept of extinction and reframe it with the context of the 21st century.

We will be holding a one-day online conference event on the 21st of March for researchers and stakeholders to explore and discuss extinction from a multi-disciplinary perspective. The ExIMP conference will bring dialogue perspectives from law, life sciences, political and social theory, arts, architecture, literature, and social and environmental sciences, as well stakeholders and social actors.

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Shona Koren Paterson
Dr Shona Koren Paterson - Building on an academic transdisciplinary background in Natural Sciences (Marine Biology, Resource Management) and Social Sciences (Climate Adaptation, Social Justice, Environmental Policy), Shona’s guiding focus remains the generation and translation of defensible research informed by the needs of society and co-created with the intended beneficiaries. Her research is motivated by international frameworks such as the UN 2030 Agenda, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the COP21 Paris Agreement. She has spent her working career building partnerships and knowledge exchange networks with local communities and stakeholders to achieve mutually beneficial social and ecological goals. With a special interest in marginalised communities and social justice and equity, Shona’s recent research has focused on global flood risk and resilience, climate risk assessments, adaptation and adaptive capacity in urbanising coastal areas.  Embracing a transdisciplinary approach, Shona works at the interface of science-policy as well as effective and fit-for-audience communication of data and knowledge to ensure increased impactful discourse around risk. She has research experience in the Caribbean, USA, UK and Ireland, as well as a global perspective through involvement with Future Earth and its associated global research project Future Earth Coasts.  
Dr Ronan McCarthy
Dr Ronan McCarthy - Ronan gained his Bachelor of Science in Genetics with first class honours from University College Cork, Ireland in 2010 and was awarded the title of College Scholar. In autumn 2010, Ronan was awarded an Irish Research Council PhD Scholarship to study novel biofilm inhibition strategies against the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the lab of Professor Fergal O’Gara. In 2014, Ronan joined the research group of Professor Alain Filloux at the MRC Centre for Bacteriology and Infection at Imperial College London. As a Postdoctoral Research Associate, Ronan interrogated the second messenger signalling cascades that govern the biofilm mode of growth in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Following on from his time at Imperial College Ronan joined the Microbiology Department at the Animal and Plant Health Agency where he used host transcriptomics and pathway analysis to profile the host response to infection. He joined the Biosciences Division in Brunel University to continue his analysis of the regulatory networks that govern pathogenicity, antimicrobial resistance and biofilm formation in the Gram negative opportunistic pathogens Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii. In 2021, Ronan was awarded a BBSRC New Investigator Award to study the regulation of desiccation tolerance and biofilm formation in Acinetobacter baumannii and to identify compounds that could disrupt these survival mechanisms. 
Dr Thomas Miller
Dr Thomas Miller - As an interdisciplinary scientist with a background in biology and analytical chemistry, my research interests are focussed on the impact of chemicals in the environment and the interaction this chemical stress has with other environmental stressors. My expertise lies in small molecule mass spectrometry to determine chemicals found in the environment (especially in wildlife) and to determine biomarkers and pathways associated with adverse effects in exposed organisms. I am also interested in the integration of artificial intelligence within environmental toxicology to support and solve different environmental challenges.  From the start of my PhD at King's College London my research was originally focussed on the uptake, biotransofrmation and elimination of pharmaceuticals in a freshwater invertebrate (Gammarus pulex) commonly found in UK rivers. I developed and validated machine learning models to predict these proccesses to support and potentially replace bioaccumulation testing during environmental risk assessments. I then moved into a postdoctoral position where I focussed on understanding the impact of pharmaceuticals by assessing behavioural disruption in these organisms. I developed and applied metabolomic workflows to gain a mechanistic understanding of animal behaviour and to link cause-effect relationships for different drug exposures. Here at Brunel, I will be working in three main areas concerned with chemical pollution. First is concerned with the determination of chemicals (and mixtures) using exposomics to characterise the chemical space in the environment, with a focus on internalised residues in animals. Second, improving mechanistic understanding of cause-effect relationships using metabolomics and lipidomics to determine biochemical changes that are phenotypically anchored. Finally, development and application of AI to support envrionmental risk assessment, replace animal testing and improve interpretation of complex datasets to better understand animal health. 
Dr Kate Mintram
Dr Kate Mintram - Dr Kate Mintram is an Associate Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at Brunel University London. Prior to this, she was a Research Fellow working in the STAMINA project, a Horizon2020 funded project which aims to develop a toolset for pandemic crisis prediction and management within and across European borders.  Kate's background is in Environmental Biology . She completed her BSc at the University of Plymouth in 2014 with an industrial placement year at AstraZeneca, and completed her PhD in agent-based simulation at the University of Exeter in 2019 within the College of Life and Environmental Sciences. Her PhD and subsequent postdoctoral research centred around the development and application of agent-based models for realistic predictions of chemical exposure effects on fish populations. Prior to joining Brunel, Kate also spent a year as an animal welfare consultant in the NGO sector, and is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 
Dr Katerina Paramana
Dr Katerina Paramana - Dr. Katerina Paramana (Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor) is an artist-scholar, Research Lead for Theatre, PGR Director for the CBASS Global Lives Research Centre, Lead of the CBASS Performance, Cultures and Politics Research Group, and Lead of the Arts and Humanities Department Research Peer-Mentoring Scheme. Her performance work draws on theatre, the visuals arts, and dance and takes the form of performance, installation-, and lecture-performance. Through its consideration of the relationship between image, body, time, context, and the encounter with the spectator, her work explores the political, philosophical, social, and ethical dimensions and potentials of performance. It has been presented in theatres, studios, and galleries in the UK, US, and Europe, in venues such as Gasworks Gallery, The White Building, ]performance s p a c e [, Laban Theatre, The Place, and Toynbee Studios in London; the Institute of Design at Stanford University; the Kultuhuset in Stockholm; Galeria Boavista in Lisbon; and the Michael Cacoyannis Theatre in Athens. Katerina has also collaborated as a performer with various companies and artists in the UK and the US (e.g. Tino Sehgal, Ivana Müller, The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein, Bojana Cvejic and Christine De Smedt, Janez Janša, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Nejla Yatkin, Deviated Theatre, Lea Anderson, Simon Vincenzi, and Risa Jaroslow). She has performed at venues including the Barbican Theatre, National Theatre Studio, Tate Modern, Southbank Centre, Laban Theatre, and Siobhan Davies Studios in London; the Michael Cacoyannis Theatre and Duncan Dance Research Centre in Athens; the Kennedy Centre, Kogod Theatre, Greenberg Theatre, Kay Theatre, GALA Theatre at Tivoli Square, Dance Place, and the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.; the Chicago Cultural Centre and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Centre in Chicago; and the Lincoln Centre in NYC. In broad terms, Katerina's interdisciplinary research is concerned with the socio-political and ethical dimensions of contemporary performance. It brings into conversation performance, political economy, critical theory, continental philosophy, and cultural and social theory. Her current research focuses on the relationship between performance and political economy. In 2022 - 2023 she curated and organised the research seminar series 'Performance and Political Economy: Bodies, Politics, and Well-Being in the 21st Century', for which she received a Research Seminar Series Award from Brunel University (2022). In 2023, Katerina was nominated and shortlisted for a Research Impact Award. In 2021, she received the 'BRIL' Research Award ('Brunel Research Interdisciplinary Lab') for an interdisciplinary collaborative project with Brunel colleagues, while in 2019 she was awarded the research ‘BRIEF Award’ (‘BRUNEL RESEARCH INITIATIVE AND ENTERPRISE FUND’) for her research. Her monograph is forthcoming with Routledge (2024). Her book Performance, Dance and Political Economy: Bodies at the End of the World (2021, Paramana and Gonzalez eds.) was published with Bloomsbury Academic, while the volume Art and Dance in Dialogue: Body, Space, Object (2020, Whatley, Sarah, Racz, Imogen, Paramana, Katerina, and Crawley, Marie-Louise eds.) was published with Palgrave Macmillan.  Her research has also been published with refereed academic journals including Performance Research, Contemporary Theatre Review, GPS: Global Performance Studies, and Dance Research. She was an Associate Researcher with Performance Matters, an AHRC-funded creative research project and collaboration between University of Roehampton, London, Goldsmiths, University of London, and the Live Art Development Agency, investigating the cultural value of performance (directed by Adrian Heathfield, Gavin Butt, and Lois Keidan). Katerina also worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE) at Coventry University, and from 2015-2018 she was a Participating Artist of Sadler’s Wells Summer University, which was led by Jonathan Burrows and Eva Martinez. Katerina is editor of the journal section 'Political Economy and the Arts', the new section she has developed for Lateral, the refereed journal of the Cultural Studies Association (2022 - present). She is co-founder of the interdisciplinary Book Series Dance in Dialogue (Bloomsbury Academic), which she co-edited for its first three years (2018 - 2021), publishing its first four books. She is an assessor on the techne Peer Review College (AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership) and is on the Editorial Board of Body, Space, & Technology journal. She has also served on the Board of Directors of Performance Studies International (PSi) and on the Executive Committee of the Society for Dance Research, and currently serves on Performance Studies International (PSi's) Advisory Committee on Antiracism and Anticolonialism. Katerina has supervised and examined BA, MA, and PhD dissertations (practice-based, practice-as-research, and fully-written) and has taught theory and practice across live art, theatre, performance, and dance at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Prior to Brunel she taught, among others, at Birkbeck, University of London, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), and University of Roehampton, London. She is Fellow of the Higher Education Adacemy (FHEA). She holds a PhD in Theatre and Performance from University of Roehampton, London, an MA in Choreography from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, a BA in Theatre, and a BA in Dance from University of Maryland, College Park (US). Her PhD studies were funded by the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation.
Delia Faris
Delia Faris - Electrotaxis as a potential cancer treatment is a rapidly expanding research area combining cancer biology and biomechanics, comprising of research in cancer cell reorientation and migration under the influence of direct current Electrical Fields (dcEFs). Previous studies presented evidence for the modification of cancer cell proliferation and migration in solid tumours and motile cells to potentially create new forms of therapy and diagnosis. Whilst the underlying concept has much potential, insufficient research has been obtained thus far. As an ambitious individual with past experience in cancer research throughout the concatenation of my academic and professional background, the 3 year PhD I undertake at Brunel university will be an advanced investigation to that of my MSc project regarding breast cancer, and that of my research volunteering work regarding lung cancer. Academic Qualifications: MSc Biomedical Genetics and Tissue Engineering - Brunel University, 2018-19 BSc Pharmaceutical Sciences - Kingston university, 2014-17 Professional Background: Research Volunteer - Brunel University, 2019-20 Research Associate - Autolus Ltd., a biopharma company generating T cell cancer therapies, 2017-18
Refika Arabaci
Refika Arabaci - Refika Arabaci is a Research student in Education. Refika holds a BA in Social Studies Teaching for Secondary Schools from Selcuk University, Konya and an MA in Education from Oxford Brookes University. Supervisors: Kate Hoskins and David Aldridge Her current research is funded by the Ministry of National Education of the Republic of Turkey.

Related Research Group(s)

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Global Lives - Research conducted in the Centre addresses the challenges facing society, helping to change the lives of people around the world by bringing economic, social and cultural benefits.

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Project last modified 22/11/2023