March 17, 2017


A.P.P.L.E is home to many fellows who engage in the group’s activities. This includes research activities and interacting in reading group discussions

Current Fellows

Fellows currently in Kingston.

Alisha Piercy

Alisha Piercy is an artist-researcher and doctoral candidate in Cultural Studies (Research-Creation) at Queen’s University. Her interdisciplinary work includes drawing installation, film, and she is the author of poetry and novels. Her dissertation, a speculative theory-fiction, engages with research in hauntology, living Indigenous sci-fi, speculative design and multispecies worlding. The work explores the specters of colonial inheritance and haunting as a creative force that unsettles human relationships to ownership of land, water, and other-than-human worlds. In her story, propertied land-space is not banished but reconfigured as an imaginary of corridors that self-build and steward. Alisha first explored this topic as a Banff Centre for the Arts Writing Resident in 2021. Her fiction is published with Book*hug (Toronto). (, website:

Andrew Lopez

Andrew Lopez is a PhD candidate in Philosophy at Queen’s University. Andrew specializes in animal studies, feminist philosophy, political philosophy, and philosophy of biology. He brings these fields together to understand the cognitive and epistemic lives of nonhuman animals and how this understanding should inform political philosophy concerned with interspecies relations.

Christine Overall

Christine Overall is a Professor Emerita of Philosophy and holds a University Research Chair at Queen’s University. Her primary focus in animal studies is on problems of creating life and causing death. The former include issues in reproductive ethics: questions about the propagation and sterilization of animals, the genetic manipulation of individual animals and species, the potential for the creation of chimeras, and the survival and destruction of species. The latter include issues in the philosophy of death: questions about whether death is bad for animals, whether premature death is bad for them, and whether animal lives should be prolonged. She is the editor of Pets and People: The Ethics of Our Relationships with Companion Animals (Oxford University Press, 2017). (

Josh Jones

Josh Jones is a PhD candidate in the School of Environmental Studies at Queen’s University, supervised by Mick Smith. His dissertation is focused on exploring what the extinction of species means and how we (as ecological constituents) experience and understand this loss. His work engages with existentialism, the philosophy of biology, ecological feminism, and decolonial theory and ethics. (

Laure Gisie

Laure Gisie is a PhD candidate in Animal Law at Autonomous University of Barcelona. Her research focuses on hunting law and studies the legal regulation and protection of hunting dogs and wild animals. Her work is also informed by her experiences in animal protection associations. Her strong desire for justice also led her onto the path of politics and was co-president of the French Animalist Party (Parti animaliste) and was a candidate in the legislative and European elections in France. She is a member of the editorial board of DALPS Journal (Derecho Animal-Animal Legal and Policy Studies) and she is an organizing member of the Animal Law Researchers Clinic in collaboration with Derecho animal (dA). (

Mick Smith

Mick Smith is jointly appointed between the School of Environmental Studies and the Department of Philosophy at Queen’s. His current work (funded by a SSHRC Insight grant on ‘Ethics, Politics, and Ecological Community’) is focused on developing a radically different understanding of ecological community. This involves re-conceptualizing the gap between scientific understandings of community ecology, which focus on providing external, ‘objective’, descriptions of ‘natural’ processes and relations in particular places, and humanist accounts of what it means to belong to ethical and political communities regarded as culturally constituted only within and between human beings. Ecological and ethical/political theory currently fail to speak to each other in very fundamental ways (epistemologically, methodologically, ontologically) when it comes to trying to understand the diverse relations between beings that might actually create and sustain communities that are both ecologically and ethico-politically constituted even as they are marked by ineradicable differences between individuals, populations, and species. This work further develops and extends ethical and political themes in his recent Against Ecological Sovereignty (University of Minnesota Press, 2011) and links to his involvement in the Extinction Studies Working Group, the new journal Environmental Humanities and his role as a founding editor of Emotion, Space and Society (including editing a special issue on Emotion and Ecology). He teaches two courses in the Philosophy Department which intersect with some aspects of critical animal studies: PHIL 293 Humans and the Natural World and PHIL493/893 Environmental Philosophy, and supervises graduate students in allied areas. (

Omar Bachour

Omar Bachour completed his Ph.D. (Philosophy) at Queen’s in 2020. His dissertation, funded by a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Scholarship, focused on questions of alienation and community. In his doctoral project, he argues that any credible theory of alienation applies equally to nonhuman animals. Hence the community designed to overcome that alienation must necessarily include the latter. His other interests include the history of the Left vis-à-vis ‘the animal question’; the relation between systems of animal exploitation and global capitalism; and literary, as well as poetic, representations of animals that prefigure a human-animal community of equals. (

Pablo P. Castelló

Pablo P. Castelló is the 2022-2024 Postdoctoral Fellow in Animal Studies at the Department of Philosophy, Queen’s University. He completed his PhD on “The Language of Zoodemocracy” at Royal Holloway University in London in 2022, and has worked as a Research Assistant at the Cambridge Centre for Animal Rights Law. Pablo’s project at Queen’s develops his theory of “zoodemocracy” – focusing on (i) how animals tell us about the infrastructure they want, the fundamental legal rights they demand, and the common good they co-author; and (ii) the institutional mechanisms for translating animals’ political agency into concrete policies, and lawHe has published in several philosophy, conservation, and law journals, including Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, Animal Studies Journal, and the Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy. His research also engages with ecofeminism, postcolonialism, disability studies, and critical race theory (; twitter: @PabloPCastello)

Paulina Siemieniec

Paulina Siemieniec is a PhD candidate in the Philosophy Department at Queen’s, under the supervision of Will Kymlicka. Her research applies the insights of disability and feminist care theorists to the current debate about zoopolitical agency. Her work is also informed by her experiences as a volunteer caregiver at Sandy Pines Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. She explores what it would mean to empower the animals with whom we are in a care relation as political agents using an accessibility framework. She is the coordinator of the APPLE animal studies reading group, the work-in-progress animal studies research reading group, the disability and accessibility graduate student network, and she is the editor of the APPLE newsletter. (

Samantha King

Samantha King is Professor of Kinesiology and Health Studies and Head of Gender Studies at Queen’s University. Broadly speaking, her research focuses on the embodied dimensions of consumer culture; her specific interests range from the racial politics of basketball to the philanthropic breast cancer movement. Her curiosity about animal studies was prompted by a growing number of graduate supervisees with an interest in extending theories of “the body” beyond the human. Noticing that conversations with these students frequently returned to the subject of food, together they began crafting a collaborative project on eating animals. Alongside Dr. Elaine Power, a Food Studies scholar, and graduate students Scott Carey, Isabel Macquarrie, and Victoria Millious, she is interviewing animal studies scholars about the relationship between their theoretical work and their personal food practices. The goal of this research is to develop new insights about how complex ideas are lived and to explore how the daily, intimate, and visceral practice of eating may enable or constrain thinking and writing about human-animal relationships. A related project seeks to construct a political ecology of protein powder by tracing the “contentious synthesis” (Sarmiento, 2013) of animal and human bodies in the production of a food commodity that was developed, primarily, as a vehicle for managing agricultural waste. (

Sue Donaldson

Sue Donaldson is an independent author and researcher. She is co-author (with Will Kymlicka) of Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights. Her current writing is focused on expanding and deepening the book’s model of human-animal relations based in conceptions of citizenship, denizenship, and sovereignty. She is also interested in practical applications of this model, especially in relation to the rapidly expanding farmed animal sanctuary movement. Can sanctuaries be forms of ‘intentional community’ creating a space for exploring inter-species justice? Donaldson is also interested in animal rights as a political movement, and on strategies for effective advocacy based in social, political and psychological research that examines barriers to (and opportunities for) social change. (

Will Kymlicka

Will Kymlicka is Canada Research Chair in Political Philosophy at Queen’s. His current research focuses on “The Frontiers of Citizenship”, and in particular on struggles to extend norms and practices of citizenship to historically excluded groups, ranging from children and people with intellectual disabilities to indigenous peoples and animals. All of these cases challenge inherited ideas of what defines the attributes of a (good) citizen, and in much of the popular debate and academic literature, attempts to extend citizenship to these groups is often seen as somehow diluting the fundamental values of citizenship. His work disputes this view, and seeks to show how these struggles for inclusion deepen citizenship in Canada and elsewhere. His paper on “Animals and The Frontiers of Citizenship” (co-authored with Sue Donaldson) was presented as the 2013 HLA Hart Memorial Lecture at Oxford University, and has been published in the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies. (

Corresponding Fellows

Fellows who engage in A.P.P.L.E virtually.

Angie Pepper

Angie Pepper was the 2015-16 Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Animal Studies at Queen’s University and was appointed Lecturer in the School of Humanities at Roehampton University in 2020. Angie completed her PhD in June 2013 at the University of Sheffield on feminist approaches to global justice and the need for a gender-sensitive cosmopolitanism. Her work on global justice prompted Angie to think about the problematic anthropocentrism that frames the mainstream discourse on what we owe one another globally, and what we are entitled to do with the Earth’s resources. Since humans are not the only animals capable of suffering as a result of human action or inaction, and since other animals also have a basic interest in securing the resources necessary for survival, questions of justice cannot be limited to interhuman relations. Consequently, Angie’s current research is shaped by her commitment to the thought that the lives and interests of all sentient animals must be taken as central to our thinking about global justice. She is especially interested in exploring how the inclusion of non-human animals within mainstream accounts of global justice reveals tensions and inadequacies within those positions, and in thinking about what global justice demands for all animals living on Earth. Moreover, Angie is looking at how the interests of non-human animals might be incorporated within models of cosmopolitan democracy and how they can be best represented at the global level in the absence of transnational democratic institutions and practices. (

Birte Wrage

Birte Wrage is the 2022-23 Postdoctoral Fellow in Animal Studies at Queen’s University. They completed their PhD in philosophy on morality in nonhuman animals at the Messerli Research Institute (Vetmeduni Vienna, Uni Vienna, MedUni Vienna) in 2022. Their research is situated at the intersection of philosophy of animal minds and animal ethics, aiming to recognize nonhuman animals as more-than-sentient beings. Birte is also interested in the contribution of the tactile sense to moral perception, and the role of social touch as a precursor to language in the moral practices of nonverbal animals. Their work has been published in Philosophical Psychology and Biology & Philosophy. Email:

Christiane Bailey

Christiane Bailey is the Coordinator of the Social Justice Centre at Concordia University in Montréal. She is the author of La philosophie à l’abattoir (Atelier 10, 2018) as well as articles and book chapters related to animal ethics, animal rights, ecofeminism, and phenomenology. She regularly gives talks on animal liberation, feminist approaches to animal ethics and ecocitizenship. Christiane is a consultant to APPLE on various projects, including the Animal Liberation/Rights Movement Archive Project (

Claudia Hirtenfelder

Claudia Hirtenfelder’s dissertation looked at history and geography of how cows were problematized in Kingston, Ontario. She developed novel theoretical and methodological tools to undertake this research and passed with no revisions. Claudia is interested in the interconnections between policy, space, and urban animal relations. Claudia is also the host of the A.P.P.L.E sponsored podcast ‘The Animal Turn’ in which she talks to scholars about important concepts in animal studies. (

Darren Chang

Darren Chang is PhD candidate in Sociology and Criminology at the University of Sydney. His research interests broadly include interspecies relations under colonialism and global capitalism, practices of solidarity, kinship, and mutual aid across species in challenging oppressive powers, social movement theories, and multispecies justice. Through political (and politicised) ethnography at animal sanctuaries, Darren’s PhD research project explores potential alignments and tensions between animal and other social and environmental justice movements. The multispecies dimension of this project also considers the place, positions, and subjectivities of nonhuman animals in relation to anthropogenic social movements. (

Hannah Hunter

Hannah Hunter is a PhD Candidate and Vanier Scholar in the Department of Geography and Planning at Queen’s University. Her doctoral research explores the collection and afterlives of animal sound recordings, particularly in the context of extinction. She works at the intersections of sonic geography, environmental humanities, and social studies of science, and is broadly interested in the interactions between humans, animals, and technologies.(

Hilal Sezgin

Hilal Sezgin is an independant researcher, publicist and writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Her main topics are animal rights and animal ethics, which are inspired by her Frankfurt School background as well as by feminist ethics. Based in rural Northern Germany, she runs a small private sanctuary for mostly elderly sheeps. This led her to thinking and writing about moral conflicts which arise out of actual situations of care (euthanasia, parentalism, autonomy of the cared-for, internalized speciecism) and about difficult moral decisions in dealing with „wild“ animals. Her most recent book tells of sanctuary life with a main focus on ageing and disabilities. Currently, she tries to figure out how one can support environmentalism and theorize rights of nature without losing sight of the individual rights of more-than-human animals. Her podcast “Lektüren mit Tieren” (“Readings with Animals”) discusses non-fiction books which either speak about, or neglect in a significant way, more-than-human animals. (

Jeremy Fischer

Jeremy Fischer is a writer interested in the psychological underpinnings of inegalitarian and undemocratic social relations. His works include “Racism as Civic Vice” (published in Ethics) and “Feeling Racial Pride in the Mode of Frederick Douglass” (published in Critical Philosophy of Race). His current research on human relations with animals considers the ethics of training children to consume animal products. His paper, “Creating Carnists” (co-authored with Rachel Fredericks and forthcoming/published in Philosophers’ Imprint) sketches some concerns about such caregiving. He also has research interests in ethical and political topics relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in the work of Peter Kropotkin. He lives in Chicago. (;

Josh Milburn

Josh Milburn was the 2016-2017 Postdoctoral Fellow in Animal Studies in the Queen’s University Department of Philosophy. In 2019 he joined the Politics Department at Sheffield University as a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow. He is researching the ethics and politics of human relationships with nonhuman animals through a consideration of the philosophy of food and eating, with a particular focus on nonhuman animals’ own diets. He is interested in the normative questions which are raised, for instance, by the feeding of companions and garden birds, especially in contrast to the completely different questions which are raised by the consumption practices of those nonhuman animals whom humans feed entirely by accident. Before beginning his research at Queen’s, he completed a PhD at Queen’s University Belfast with a thesis entitled The Political Turn in Animal Ethics. His research on animal ethics has been published or is forthcoming in Res Publica, the European Journal of Political Theory, Journal of Social Philosophy, Environmental Values and a number of edited collections. Email:; website:

Julia Gibson

Julia Gibson was the 2019-20 Postdoctoral Fellow in Animal Studies at Queen’s. She was appointed to the Environmental Studies Department of Antioch University New England in 2021. She envisions her research taking shape where the boundaries between feminist, political, and environmental philosophy grow pleasantly and productively murky. During her postdoctoral fellowship, she dig deeper into her research on transformative interspecies justice. Julia did her doctoral work in Philosophy at Michigan State University, writing her dissertation on palliative and remembrance ethics for the dead and the dying of climate change. Before obtaining her MA in Philosophy from the University of Colorado in 2013, she spent two years working at an international salmon conservation organization in Portland. She received her BA in Philosophy and Russian Studies from William Smith College in 2009. Julia has authored publications in bioethics, technology studies, mobilities studies, and animal ethics (

Kyle Johannsen

Kyle Johannsen wa ans Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy (Fall 2020). He has a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Queen’s (2010 – 2015), and his research is in political philosophy, and in animal and environmental ethics. His animal-related work focuses specifically on wild animal suffering. Though many political philosophers and ethicists have the intuition that we should leave nature alone, Johannsen argues that we have a duty to research safe ways of providing large-scale assistance to wild animals. In his book Wild Animal Ethics: The Moral and Political Problem of Wild Animal Suffering (Routledge, 2020), he explores how a collective, institutional obligation to assist wild animals should be understood. Among other things, Johannsen’s currently guest-editing a topical collection for the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics entitled ‘Positive Duties to Wild Animals.’ (

Marcia Condoy Truyenque

Marcia Condoy Truyenque is a Peruvian Animal Law LLM graduate with honors at Lewis & Clark Law School, with work experience in Labor Law, Constitutional Law, and Animal Law, and investigative experience in International Law, International Human Rights Law, and Animal Law. She has also followed master’s courses in Public International Law and International Human Rights Law at Université Catholique de Louvain. Currently, she directs Derecho Animal en Perú [Animal Law in Peru], an organization that promotes animal law in Peru and Latin America ( Also, she directs the Animal Law area of Preston+ Law Firm, the first law firm in Peru with a specialized area in Animal Law with different achievements in strategic litigation for animals such as the first recognition of multispecies families in Peruvian caselaw. Her research focuses on animal legal agency, the relationship between human rights law and animal law, among others. (

Rachel Fredericks

Rachel Fredericks is an independent scholar and activist living in Chicago, where she is involved in both mutual aid efforts to cultivate food sovereignty and collaborative attempts to mitigate the climate crisis. Previously, she was an assistant professor of philosophy, after earning degrees from Reed College and the University of Washington. Most of her research has been about moral responsibility for and evaluation of things other than actions (including attitudes, desires, character traits, and concepts). Concerns about social justice, fascination with living beings, and engagement with empirical literature are themes connecting her disparate works. More recently, her attention has been directed to animal ethics where it intersects with climate ethics, food ethics, and the ethics of caregiving for human children. (,

Former Fellows

Fellows who were previously part of A.P.P.L.E.

Alice Hovorka

Alice Hovorka was Professor in Geography and Environmental Studies at Queen’s University. Her research broadly explores human-environment relationships and is theoretically informed by feminist, poststructuralist and posthumanist philosophical perspectives. Her work on the Lives of Animals in Botswana, funded by a SSHRC Insight Grant (2012-2016), explores how animals, as central actors, are embedded discursively and materially in the fabric of human lives, landscapes and development trajectories in Botswana in order to further understanding of human-animal relations in Africa. The work is grounded in the sub-discipline of Animal Geography, which focuses on the complex encounters between humans and animals within broader politico-economic, socio-cultural, spatial and environmental contexts. At the same time, the work reaches across disciplinary boundaries, bridging social with natural sciences to ensure comprehensive and insightful research results that are meaningful for both human and non-human animals. Her team works with government and non-governmental entities, as well as local communities in Botswana so that research results contribute to the development and operationalization of appropriate program and policy interventions. Case studies include chickens, cattle, donkeys, wild dogs, elephants, and community dogs in Botswana, and feral cats in Canada. See The Lives of Animals Research Group. (

Charlotte Blattner

Charlotte Blattner was the 2017-18 Postdoctoral Fellow in Animal Studies at Queen’s University Department of Philosophy. In 2020 she was appointed Senior Lecturer and Researcher in the Faculty of Law, University of Berne. During her postdoctoral fellowship, she examined the concept of animals as workers, and whether labour rights can provide a route towards greater legal protection, not just for companion animals, but also for animals used as commodities in agriculture, research and entertainment industries. Charlotte is currently a senior research fellow at the “Tier im Recht” Foundation in Zurich, Switzerland, and teaches at the Institute for European Studies in Basel, Switzerland. She completed a PhD summa cum laude at the intersection of international law and animal law, focusing on the extraterritorial protection of animals, as part of the doctoral program “Law and Animals: Ethics at Crossroads” at the University of Basel, Switzerland. Dr. Blattner is a former Visiting International Scholar at Lewis & Clark Law School, and has authored numerous publications in animal law, trade law, environmental law, and articles on agricultural and research policies, effective altruism, and cognitive biases in the law. (

Daphne Brouwer

Daphne Brouwer has a PhD in Cultural Studies from Queen’s University. Daily inspired by encounters with the (sub)urban wildlife around her, Daphne analyzes how liminal animals are perceived in different societies and cultures. She is interested in particular in why certain animals are excluded through stigmatizing perceptions such as “pests”, how these stigmatizing perceptions can be challenged, and how we can learn from the diverse traditions of co-existence in other cultures. Daphne is also part of the research group on animal cruelty investigations — led by Kendra Coulter and Amy Fitzgerald — as the main researcher on animal cruelty investigations in the Netherlands. (

Frédéric Côté-Boudreau

Frédéric Côté-Boudreau was a Ph.D. student in Philosophy at Queen’s University (2013-2019). His thesis “Inclusive Autonomy: A Theory of Freedom for Everyone” argued for a right to autonomy for nonhuman animals and persons with cognitive disabilities and touched upon adaptive preferences, domination and paternalism, relational theories of autonomy and the social model of disability. Frédéric has published, among other things, the entry “Capacitisme” in the encyclopedia La pensée végane. 50 regards sur la condition animale edited by Renan Larue (PUF, 2020) and regularly writes about animal issues for a nonacademic audience. Formerly active in the Festival végane de Montréal and Queen’s Animal Defence and co-founder of the Estivales de la question animale edition Québec, he now teaches philosophy at Collège de Maisonneuve. Frédéric is a consultant to APPLE on various projects, including the Animal Liberation/Rights Movement Archive Project (

Gillian Crozier

Gillian Crozier is a Professor of Philosophy at Laurentian University, and a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Environment, Culture and Values. In 2012, she co-founded Laurentian’s Centre for Evolutionary Ecology and Ethical Conservation, which brings together scientists and humanities scholars to address thorny questions regarding environmental conservation and species extinction. Her research lies in the philosophy of the life sciences, including bioethics and the philosophy of biology; ongoing projects include a multidisciplinary investigation of the ethics of ecological research, as well as a study of cultural evolution using computer simulations of bird song transmission. During her 2017-18 sabbatical (which brings her to Queens University), her research is focused on a SSHRC-funded project “Chimpopolis” (lead by PI Letitia Meynell and co-applicant Andrew Fenton, both at Dalhousie University), which explores the implications of Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka’s Zoopolis for chimpanzees and other nonhuman primates living in research laboratories, zoos, and sanctuaries.

Jishnu Guha-Majumdar

Jishnu Guha-Majumdar was the 2020-2021 Postdoctoral Fellow in Animal Studies at Queen’s University and was appointed Assistant Professor in Political Science at Butler University in 2021. His research examines the intertwined development of the concepts of race and species and the intersections between critical race and animal studies. Jishnu received his Ph.D. in Political Theory from Johns Hopkins University’s Political Science Department, and his dissertation examined the political and ethical implications of connecting the captivity of humans with that of nonhuman animals in the United States. He obtained a B.A. in History from the University of Texas-Austin in 2013. Jishnu’s publications have addressed topics like critical race theory and literature, animals in political theory, the relationship between black studies and animal studies, and the politics of veganism. (

Katherine Wayne

Katherine Wayne completed her PhD in September 2013; her dissertation is titled “Toward a Virtue-Centred Ethics of Reproduction” and she was supervised by Christine Overall, Department of Philosophy, Queen’s University. She then completed a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship with Will Kymlicka in the area of animal ethics. Specifically, Katherine’s work examines the morality of bringing domesticated animals into existence, either with human intervention or through animals’ own volition. Animal rights scholars often assume that domestic animals have inviolable rights and that humans have a duty of care towards them as dependents. Yet it remains a legitimate question as to whether domestic animals can be incorporated into the community in a way that ensures their living good lives. Equally pressing is the question of whether domestic animals introduced into the community will impede the well-being of others. Thus the morality of domestic animal reproduction in a mixed and interdependent community is open to scrutiny. The following questions inform Katherine’s research: What are the conditions of permissibility and desirability of bringing domestic animals into existence? And how does the dependence of animals on humans shape our obligations to them and the nature of their rights, in regard to reproductive behaviours? She also considers policy-guiding implications that these theoretical conclusions may have in terms of the way Canada manages (some subset of) its domestic animal population. (

Lauren Van Patter

Lauren Van Patter is a PhD student in Geography at Queen’s, working with Dr. Alice Hovorka and The Lives of Animals Research Group. Her SSHRC CGS funded research examines human-coyote relations in urban areas of southern Ontario. It draws on the more-than-human/animal geographies and multispecies studies scholarship and is grounded in a feminist-posthumanist approach. Her research engages interdisciplinary methods to explore the experiences of coyotes and humans dwelling in multispecies communities, and opportunities for enhanced coexistence. Lauren is also working with members of the Kingston Interspecies Community (KISC) research group on a project investigating the lives of animals at farmed animal sanctuaries.

Nga-Yin Tam

Agnes Tam earned her Ph.D. from Queen’s (Philosophy) in 2020. She is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow with the Research Group on Constitutional Studies at McGill University in 2021-22, and has been appointed Assistant Professor in Philosophy at the University of Calgary (beginning 2022). She is also a recipient of Hong Kong’s Sir Edward Youde Memorial Overseas Honorary Fellowship. Her doctoral research works at the intersection between political philosophy and social epistemology. It explores how humans collectively achieve moral learning in a non-ideal world where rationality is constrained by cognitive bias and relations of domination. While it applauds the “epistemic egalitarian model” of moral learning in correcting moral bias arising out of relations of domination, it argues that it is insufficient in correcting social bias arising out of our peer relations governed by social norms. Unlike moral bias, it argues that social bias can be morally benign, socially rational and practically valuable. Hence it need not and ought not be purged indiscriminately. The challenge is to overcome only those problematic social biases embedding moral bias. To that end, Agnes develops an “epistemic inegalitarian model” of social learning and reconciles its tensions with moral egalitarianism. The goal of the research is in part to enable moral learning of human-animal relations beyond the uses of hypothetical reason and democratic reason, and understand and defend the rationality and morality in non-deliberative and non-democratic means of activism. Prior coming to Queen’s, Agnes completed her LL.B. at University of Hong Kong and M.Sc. in political theory at London School of Economics and engaged in international animal advocacy. (

Ryan Wilcox

Ryan Wilcox is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Philosophy under the supervision of Will Kymlicka. His research is motivated by a desire to develop a truly interspecies approach to political philosophy. The dominant trend in political philosophy is to treat animals as problems of extension, or as entities to be considered after-the-fact. Indeed, this is almost always the case where animals are afforded consideration. In opposition to this, Ryan joins a growing number of philosophers demanding that we re-orient ourselves to understand problems in political philosophy as always already interspecies in nature. In his doctoral project, Ryan is expanding upon the growing literature related to the social-membership model of animal rights, which argues that domesticated animals should be recognized as members of society. His research explores a number of conceptual and substantive challenges that arise when we rethink our ideas of membership and society in interspecies terms. Additionally, Ryan works with other members of the Kingston Interspecies Community (KISC) research group exploring the lives of animals at farmed animal sanctuaries. (

Nhi Ha Nguyen

Nhi Ha Nguyen is a Ph.D. student in the Cultural Studies Interdisciplinary Program, working on questions of urban animality and petness, situated in a postmodern risk discourse. In her doctoral project, she argues that although the validity of a modern dichotomy of nature vs. culture, human vs. animal etc. has long been questioned in academia, modern sensibilities still very much dominate public consciousness when it comes to strays, ferals, and urbanized “wild” animals such as the Eastern coyote (Canis latrans). The risk discourse that simmers under the surface of such management and animal control policy discussions makes for a fascinating case study, bringing together leftover modern ideals of categorization and ever-changing ideas of risks in application to urban animality. Her other interests revolve around the conventions of petness and their shortcomings in cases of “uncommon” companion animals such as avian and reptilian species, urban nature and development policies, multimedia and discourse analyses (

Siobhan Speiran

Siobhan Speiran is a PhD candidate in Environmental Studies at Queen’s, working with Dr. Alice Hovorka and The Lives of Animals Research Group. Her research is funded by a SSHRC Bombardier Scholarship and focuses on the lives of nonhuman primates in Costa Rican sanctuaries. Her central research question is interdisciplinary, considering how sanctuaries– as sites of ecotourism–contribute to the conservation and welfare of four monkey species. Siobhan draws on scholarship from welfare science, conservation biology, animal geography, ethnoprimatology, and tourism studies to address this gap in the literature. Her research approach is bottom-up, working closely with sanctuary owners and then networking outwards and upwards to understand structural hierarchies of primate management in the country. Siobhan also collaborates with Eticoscienza, an animal research and advocacy group, to investigate the influence of social media on perceptions of wildlife. Follow Siobhan’s research on @theanimalwelfarist via Instagram. (

Zipporah Weisberg

Zipporah Weisberg was the Abby Benjamin Postdoctoral Fellow in Animal Ethics in the philosophy department at Queen’s University from 2013 to 2015, after completing her Ph.D. in Social and Political Thought at York University. Her dissertation drew on the early Frankfurt School’s critique of the instrumentalization of reason and nature and the technologization of consciousness to critically examine the ideological infrastructure undergirding the apparatus of violence against nonhuman animals in late modernity. She is also interested in the contribution that existential phenomenology can make to animal ethics and politics. For example, in “The Simple Magic of Life: Phenomenology, Ontology, and Animal Ethics,” published in the fall 2015 issue of Humanimalia, Zipporah focuses on how Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s explorations into animal subjects as embodied, perceptually-attuned, world-making beings provides a welcome alternative to Peter Singer’s reductive ontology (and ethics) of animals as suffering bodies. Current projects include a chapter on Animal Assisted Intervention and citizenship in a volume on animal companionship (forthcoming from Oxford University Press), and a chapter on the importance of reinventing Left Humanism beyond the human, for a volume on political theory and animal rights (eds. Andrew Woodall and Gabriel Garmendia da Trindade). Other publications include, “The Broken Promises of Monsters: Haraway, Animals, and the Humanist Legacy” (Journal for Critical Animal Studies, 2009), and “Biotechology as End Game: Ontological and Ethical Collapse in the ‘Biotech Century'” (NanoEthics, 2015). (