Jasper joined the School in May 2019 supported by a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship. He holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Cambridge (King's College); an MSc in Science, Technology, Medicine and Society awarded jointly by Imperial College, London, and University College London; as well as a BSc in Zoology and a Diploma in Creative Arts (Media) from the University of Melbourne. Jasper has previously been a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield and a Visiting Research Fellow in the Program on Science, Technology and Society at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
In addition to academic work, Jasper has five years' experience working in natural history documentary production for the BBC and National Geographic, as director, cameraman and researcher across locations on land and underwater. He has also spent time as an intern at the United Nations Environment Programme in Germany, as a tour guide on the Great Barrier Reef, and as an animal keeper of birds, reptiles and insects.
Jasper's research interests encompass science and policy relations, the geographies of science and expertise, and environmental governance, with a particular focus on exploring these issues for biodiversity. Jasper's research draws from and contributes to a broad range of scholarly traditions, including political ecology, science and technology studies, sustainability science, organisational studies, and the interdisciplinary environmental sciences.
Jasper has been selected for the 2021 Oxford Policy Engagement Network (OPEN) Leaders scheme. As part of this, Jasper chairs a Working Group on Policy Engagement for Biodiversity that will support researchers involved in biodiversity-related research at Oxford to share experience, identify opportunities and build networks around policy engagement for biodiversity.
Jasper's current research focus is on the structure and function of governance systems for sustainability and conservation. In a project entitled 'Grappling with Governance Systems: Biodiversity in the UK Overseas Territories' funded by the Leverhulme Trust, Jasper is exploring how the objectives, knowledges, and collaborations that are being enacted for biodiversity in the UK Overseas Territories might inform approaches to sustainability and conservation more broadly. There are 14 UK Overseas Territories stretching from the Antarctic to the tropics and the governance arrangements that operate across these territories are as diverse as they are distributed. As well as being home to diverse communities, these territories host a rich array of plant and animal species that are found nowhere else in the world. Working with social research methods, this project aims to develop theoretical and practical insights about who participates in governance and why; and how different contexts influence the purpose and design of governance activities.
Beyond this specific project, Jasper's research develops across three interrelated areas:
Analysing and informing effective science and policy relations
The strengthening of evidence-informed decision making is gaining increased prominence in academic and policy communities. New institutions for scientific advice, such as the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), reveal a growing interest in more effectively harnessing knowledge to guide responses to social-environmental issues. At the same time, new traditions in knowledge production, such as the engagement of diverse stakeholders in the co-production of knowledge, arise from a groundswell of efforts to create more socially-robust knowledge for action in different contexts. This strand of research contributes reflexive approaches to considering what different communities seek to achieve in the organisation of science and policy relations in different contexts, and develops novel analytical lenses that can inform their continuing evaluation and renewal.
Geographies of science and expertise in framing the Anthropocene
This strand of research explores fundamental questions about the ways that societies 'know' about and inform their actions to address social-environmental issues with a particular interest in the intersections between space, knowledge and agency. Stemming from an interest in the localities of scientific knowledge production in the history of science, the geographies of knowledge and expertise boast a wealth of potential to interrogate and inform the development of interdisciplinary and international science that frames the Anthropocene. This strand of research develops theoretical insights within more-than-human geographies to understand the sociomaterial assemblages of landscapes, technologies and other more-than-human beings that give rise to multi-scalar approaches to knowing and acting on environmental change.
Human values in environmental governance
This strand of research creatively explores the way that human values shape, and are shaped by, the organisational dynamics of environmental governance. Informed by theory from science and technology studies on norms, normativity and normalisation, it explores questions about the way that communities organise themselves and how this leads to particular understanding of environmental issues and associated perceived solutions. Recognising the politics of nature, this strand of research seeks to add to an understanding of environmental values that go beyond 'values of/about nature', to consider the values that shape, and are shaped by, social relations writ large in environmental governance.