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Henry Anderson-Elliott

Henry Anderson-Elliott

PhD Student

Conservation of large carnivores in the Anthropocene epoch



  • PhD in Geography/Polar Studies, University of Cambridge, 2016-2019
  • MPhil in Geographical Research (distinction in thesis), University of Cambridge, 2016
  • BA hons (first class) in Geography, University of Cambridge, 2014


  • ESRC DTC Studentship, match-funded by Trinity College Cambridge 2016-2019
  • Newton College Masters Studentship, jointly from the Isaac Newton Trust and Peterhouse College Cambridge, 2015-2016
  • Post-Graduate Research Scholarship, Trinity College Cambridge, 2016-present
  • Hyam Scholarship, Trinity College Cambridge, 2015
  • Senior Scholarship, Trinity College Cambridge, 2014-present


Henry's research concerns the conservation of large carnivores in the Anthropocene epoch. In particular, he approaches this subject from a humanities and social sciences viewpoint, looking to explore the contemporary social, cultural and political engagements with wildlife. As a result, the very notion of conservation is itself brought under examination - what are we conserving, and why?

Henry's PhD research examines the conservation of polar bears in Svalbard and the Barents Sea region. He is interested in exploring questions of valuation in conservation - what is a polar bear, to whom, and what is it that we are really conserving? The project looks to frame the multi-natural character of the polar bear (an awkward Anthropocene taxonomy), examining the varied human-bear entanglements that influence how the species comes to be understood. The stories told about polar bears are pivotal to how their conservation futures are imagined, as well as how humans choose to live with them in changing Arctic landscapes.

Henry's interest in large carnivore conservation began during 2012 in Quintana Roo, Mexico, assisting with the use of camera traps in the El Eden reserve to survey the population of jaguars, pumas and ocelots. His undergraduate dissertation (2013/14) was conducted in Nuevo Durango, Quintana Roo, examining the conservation ethos of the indigenous Maya community and the way that their cultural histories and beliefs embodied pre-existing values of preservation and sustainability.

In 2016, Henry's MPhil thesis examined the conservation of Scandinavian brown bears in Norway and Sweden. The project was undertaken with the help of the Scandinavian Brown Bear Research Project (SBBRP) at their field station in Tackåsen, central Sweden. It proposed that the scientists themselves - through their methods of data-collection and analysis - were actively involved in co-shaping the very notion of the 'brown bear' that was then the object of subsequent management/conservation policy.

Henry's research interests include: environmental humanities; conservation social science; political ecology; science and technology studies (STS); multi-species studies; multi-naturalism; the Anthropocene; hybrids and cyborgs; geohumanities; anthropology; environmental history; film studies.

External activities

  • Co-Convener of the Polar Social Sciences Workshop (PSSW)
  • Natures, Cultures, Knowledges Group (NCK)
  • Cambridge Carnivore Group
  • Interest in Documentary Film - Amateur Filmmaker
  • Wildlife Illustrator
  • Cambridge University Cricket Club
  • Member of Chelsea Football Club