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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 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 Katerina Paramana - Dr. Katerina Paramana is an artist and scholar, and Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Theatre and Performance at Brunel University London. 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. Katerina's interdisciplinary research is concerned with the socio-political and ethical dimensions of contemporary performance. It brings into conversation performance, critical theory, political economy, continental philosophy, and cultural and social theory. Katerina was on Research Leave during the 2019-20 academic year, having been awarded the research ‘BRIEF Award’ (‘BRUNEL RESEARCH INITIATIVE AND ENTERPRISE FUND’). 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 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. She is Fellow of the Higher Education Adacemy (FHEA). Katerina is also co-founder and Series co-Editor of the new Interdisciplinary Book Series Dance in Dialogue, published with Bloomsbury Academic. She is on the techne Peer Review College (AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership) and on the Editorial Board of Body, Space, & Technology journal, and has served on the Board of Directors of Performance Studies International (PSi) and on the Executive Committee of the Society for Dance Research. 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, supervised by Professor Joe Kelleher and Dr Anna Pakes and examined by Professor Nicholas Ridout and Dr Stacey Prickett, were funded by the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation.

Related Research Group(s)

Global Lives

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 17/02/2022