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Jess Phoenix

Research student

Jess Phoenix

Lancaster University

Bowland North



Research overview

I completed my degree in Environmental Science at the University of East Anglia before coming to Lancaster to undertake an ESRC funded Masters and PhD. I finished my MA in Sociological Research in September 2015, with a dissertation focusing on involved publics' evalaution of scientific studies in regards to badger culling and bovine tuberculosis (bTB).

My doctoral research explores local understandings of bTB and combine these with government officials' and scientific advisors' understandings of the policy process. I am using Science, Technology Studies literature to explore the messiness of bTB understandings so as to shape future management of the disease.

Thesis Title

Learning to manage Bovine Tuberculosis: Bringing together the understandings of vets, farmers, local communities and the policy process

Supervised By

Thesis Outline

In recent years, the scientific controversy surrounding the link made between bTB and badger activity has gained substantial public momentum due to the implementation of pilot culls in South West England. This research explores the gap in our understanding of the knowledges, practices, experiences, values and ‘truths’ associated with bTB and currently circulating among local stakeholders. It aims to complement those knowledges already understood within DEFRA, therefore enhancing the legitimacy of future bTB policies. Stakeholders’ narratives will be examined in three ethnographies (Gloucestershire cull zone, badger found dead survey in edge area and Cumbria low risk zone) to understand the ways in which people are able to consider suitable ways of living with, and suitably managing, the complexity and messiness of bTB.

Research Grants

I am currently the recipient of an Economic and Social Research Council 1 + 3 (MA + PhD) studentship.


BSc (Hons) Enviornmental Science with a Year in Industry (First-class, University of East Anglia)

MA Sociological Research (Distinction, Lancaster University)

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