Dr Jamie Lorimer
In January 2018 Dr Jamie Lorimer began a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship.
This award will support new fieldwork on ecological approaches to health and environmental management. Jamie will be conducting research on beaver reintroduction in Europe and on forms of human microbiome restoration. He will be drawing these enquiries together with past research on European rewilding and on helminthic therapy to write a new book, provisionally entitled The probiotic turn: securing the circulation of life in the Anthropocene.
A probiotic turn is underway in the management of human and environmental health in late modern societies. Across a seemingly disparate range of domains, scientists, policymakers and practitioners speak of rewilding socio-ecological systems. Rewilding involves the careful reintroduction of formally taboo species and practices to secure desired properties. Predators, like wolves, have been returned to manage dysfunctional nature reserves and deliver biodiversity, while parasitic worms are deployed to tackle human autoimmune diseases. This project draws together and extends existing research to offer the first systematic description of this probiotic turn. Critical analysis will focus on the geographies, temporalities and political economy of rewilding in Europe and North America. Fieldwork will involve reviews of scientific literature, interviews with key thinkers, advocates and opponents, and ethnographic research at public conferences. Findings will be disseminated through a research monograph, conference presentations and a series of public lectures and articles.