Oscar Hartman Davies

Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) in Geography and the Environment - Degree completed in 2024

Supervisors: Professor Jamie Lorimer and Professor Beth Greenhough

Ocean Sentinels: Seabirds and the lively governance of marine ecologies

Academic Profile

I am an environmental and cultural geographer interested in digital environmental governance. My doctoral research is co-funded by the UKRI Economic and Social Research Council and Hertford College, and focuses on two interrelated themes. I investigate the political, ethical and ecological implications of enrolling animals in marine monitoring, as biosensors or sentinels for sensing environmental change. Secondly, I am developing a novel framework for understanding the digitisation of marine knowledge production and governance. I am particularly interested in how these processes change the relations between regulatory bodies, marine resource users, and species of conservation concern. These two themes merge in my current research on the governance of bycatch in commercial tuna fisheries in the areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Across my work I draw on the fields of more-than-human geography, science and technology studies, and political ecology. I am also interested in developing new interdisciplinary approaches to conservation science, which I have explored as a Visiting Researcher at the Helsinki Lab of Interdisciplinary Conservation Science and through my involvement with the Digital Ecologies research cluster. I am currently working with researchers from the University of Cambridge and the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford to develop conservation modelling approaches that better account for animal agency and the spatiotemporal dynamism of landscapes.

Prior to starting a DPhil in 2019, I completed an MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance at SoGE. I have later taught on this course, as well as the MSc in Biodiversity Conservation and Management and the BA in Geography. In addition to academic work, I have worked with the Canadian Government to develop a systematic framework for integrating Indigenous and Scientific knowledges in conservation decision-making, and I am a co-founder of Youngwilders, a not-for-profit that works with landowners in the UK to restore habitats and provide environmental leadership opportunities for young people.


  • Economic and Social Research Council Studentship (2019-2023)
  • Hertford College Mortimer May Studentship (2019-2022)
  • Europaeum Oxford-Helsinki Research Bursary (2021)
  • MSc Dissertation Prize, School of Geography and the Environment (2018)
  • MSc Dissertation Prize, Runner Up, RGS Planning and Environment Research Group (2018)
  • C.D.D. Gibbs Prize, BA Geography, University of Oxford (2017)
Oscar Hartman Davies