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People and Projects


AURA Professor 

Anna Tsing

Niels Bohr Professor, Aarhus University and Professor of Anthropology at University of California, Santa Cruz.

Professor Tsing is a world-leading theorist of globalisation, environment and transnational interconnection. Her works—which include the monographs Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection (Princeton University Press 2005, Co-Winner of the 2005 Senior Book Prize, American Ethnological Association) and In the Realm of the Diamond Queen (Princeton University Press 1994, Winner of the 1994 Harry J. Benda Prize, Association for Asian Studies)—have been characterized not only by their theoretical sophistication, but by the use of innovative writing strategies designed to capture the diverse and conflicting social interactions that make up our contemporary world. 


Core Group Members


Nils Bubandt

Professor and local researcher-in-charge. School of Culture and Society (Anthropology), Aarhus University

Nils Bubandt has conducted intensive anthropological fieldwork in Indonesia for over two decades, focusing on the multiple intersections between the world of spirits and the world of politics (Bubandt 2014). In his AURA research, Bubandt will extend his ethnographic scope to include the natural world by asking how political landscapes and waterscapes are co-constructed by humans and non-humans (whether animal or spiritual).

Read more about Nils Bubandt's work in AURA here

Peter Funch

Associate professor, School of Bioscience (Ecology and Genetics), Aarhus University

Zoologist Peter Funch is core group member of AURA and studies arthropods and microscopic organisms with a fascination for the diversity of life.

Read more about Peter Funch's work in AURA here

Jens Christian Svenning

Professor, School of Bioscience  (Ecoinformatics  &  Biodiversity), Aarhus University.

Jens-Christian Svenning is an ecologist, who works broadly with the field and beyond, into adjoining fields such as evolutionary biology, geography, and anthropology

Read more about Jens Christian Svenning's work in AURA here

Heather Swanson

Associate Professor, School of Culture and Society (Anthropology), Aarhus University.

Heather Swanson received her Ph.D. in anthropology in 2013 from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Swanson’s research has focused on the making of salmon populations in Hokkaido, Japan, a region cast as “Japan’s frontier” and widely compared to the American West.

Read more about Heather Swanson's work in AURA here

Jennifer Deger

Co-director, Feral Atlas AURA. Associate Professor and Research Leader, James Cook University 

Jennifer Deger is a visual anthropologist who uses practice-led methods to theorise digitally-driven social transformation. She joins AURA with a strong interest in the ways that the digital humanities can expand academic ways of thinking, knowing and relating with a more-than-human world. 

Read more about Jennifer Deger's work here



Postdoctoral Fellows


Nathalia Sofie Brichet

Post.Doc., AURA. School of Culture and Society (Anthropology), Aarhus University.

Nathalia received her PhD in Anthropology in 2012 from University of Copenhagen. Brichet is also part of the research project “Natural Goods? Processing Raw Materials in Global Times” at the University of Copenhagen, which funded her postdoc research in 2013-2015. Her research centers on extractive industries in Greenland and Denmark, focusing mainly on gold, rubies and brown coal.

Read more about Nathalia Brichet's work for AURA here.


Astrid Oberborbeck Andersen

Post.Doc., AURA. School of Culture and Society (Anthropology), Aarhus University.

Astrid received her PhD in Anthropology in 2014 from University of Copenhagen with a dissertation on urban ecology and water politics in Arequipa, Peru. Since then she has been researching human-environment relations, the interfaces of ways of knowing and politics in Peru and Northwest Greenland.

Read more about Astrid Oberborbeck Andersen’s work for AURA here.


Alder Keleman Saxena

Post.Doc., AURA. School of Culture and Society (Anthropology), Aarhus University.

Alder is an environmental anthropologist whose research explores the relationships linking agricultural biodiversity to food culture and nutritional health in the Bolivian Andes. 

Read more about Alder Keleman Saxena's work here


Alark Saxena

Post.Doc., AURA. School of Culture and Society (Anthropology), Aarhus University.

Alark is the Program Director of Yale Himalaya Initiative and a Lecturer at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (2014- present). Alark’s primary interests are in poverty alleviation, sustainability of natural resources and developing resilient communities.

Read more about Alark Saxena's work here


Scientific assistants


Pierre du Plessis

PhD Researcher, AURA, School of Culture and Society (Anthropology), Aarhus University.

Pierre's research explores the intersection of plant, fungi, and human relationships to elaborate on the liveliness of Kalahari Desert landscapes in Botswana

Read more about Pierre du Plessis' research here




Rachel Cypher

PhD candidate at University of California, Santa Cruz.

She is currently completing her dissertation on how we are living in agro-industrial landscapes, specifically focusing on the spread of soybean plantations in Argentina. Partly because of her childhood experiences with Biosphere 2, she is interested in biomes, utopias, and how people live in group




PhD Researchers


Katy Overstreet

PhD Researcher, AURA, School of Culture and Society (Anthropology), Aarhus University.

Katy's dissertation research is on the human-cow interactions and landscape-making practices that undergird milk-production in Wisconsin, USA.

Read more about Katy Overstreet's work in AURA here



Natalie Forssman

PhD Researcher, AURA, School of Culture and Society (Anthropology), Aarhus University.

Natalie's research closely examines scientific practice in a human-altered coastal landscape.

Read more about Natalie Forssman's research here.

Stine Vestbo

PhD Researcher, AURA, School of Bioscience, Aarhus University.

Stine Vestbo’s research focuses on the effects of global connecting species on ecological network stability in relation to anthropogenic activities.

Read more about Stine Vestbo's work in AURA here



Affiliated Researchers

Elaine Gan

Art Director and former Post.Doc., AURA. School of Culture and Society (Anthropology), Aarhus University.

Elaine plays at the intersection of digital media, environmental anthropology, and feminist science studies to explore new ways of sensing and mapping time. 

Read more about Elaine Gan's work in AURA here




Line Marie Thorsen

PhD Researcher, Art History, School of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University

Line Marie Thorsen is affiliated with AURA through her work on the interplay between artists and environmental issues. Read more about her work here.



Marie Kølbæk Iversen

PhD Research Fellow at Oslo Academy of Fine Arts, KHiO, and at School of Culture and Society (Anthropology), AU

Located at the intersection of visual art and anthropology, Marie’s practice-based artistic research project explores fright as transformative, future-led and other-directed potential. Read more about her work here



Pil Pedersen

PhD Researcher, School of Bioscience  (Ecoinformatics  &  Biodiversity), Aarhus University.

Pil is doing her PhD at the School of Bioscience and is affiliated with AURA through her research project rewilding.

Read more about Pil Pedersen's work in AURA here

Mathilde Højrup

Mathilde's research focuses on instability, through the shifting, material-discursive practices around landslides, social belonging, hunting, conservation and nature management at former brown coal mining sites in Jutland. Mathilde did her MA in Anthropology with the AURA project and worked for a period as scientific assistant for AURA.

Read more about Mathilde's work here.


Maria Dahm

MA in Bioscience from Aarhus University.

Maria did research for her master thesis about the impact of red deer (Cervus elaphus) on forest at the brown coal site at Søby. She collaborated closely with AURA while she was a MA student. Read more about Maria's work for AURA here


Colin Brewster Hoag

Former PhD Researcher, AURA, School of Bioscience, (Ecoinformatics & Biodiversity), Aarhus University & Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz.

Currently Assistant Professor of Environmental Anthropology at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, USA.

Colin's research works toward developing a landscape history of water in Lesotho. 

Read more about Colin Brewster Hoag's work in AURA here


Filippo Bertoni

Post.Doc., AURA (2014-2016)

Filippo works at the interface between anthropology and feminist science studies. He received his PhD from Amsterdam University studying how earthworms and their scientists can help us rearticulate politics, nature and science. With AURA, he continues to pursue this interest by focusing on the circulation of knowledges and practices between earth, planetary and life sciences, attending in particular to histories of extraction and knowing in Rio Tinto, in Spain.

Read more about Filippo Bertoni's work in AURA here


Meredith Root-Bernstein

Post.Doc., AURA (2014-2016)

Meredith Root-Bernstein received a PhD in Ecology in 2012 from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, Chile. She has been a member of the AURA team since 2014. Her work focuses on interdisciplinary conservation sciences in Italy and Chile.

Read more about Meredith Root-Bernstein's work in AURA here


Administrative Staff

Mia Korsbæk

Mia has a MA in Anthropology and is employed as Project Secretary in AURA.