The Team

Katharine Dow is an anthropologist, based in the Reproductive Sociology Research Group (ReproSoc) at the University of Cambridge. Her research focuses on understanding the conditions of possibility for biological, social and cultural reproduction in a time of environmental crisis. She is the author of Making a Good Life (Princeton University Press, 2016) and several articles and essays in publications including Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Environmental Humanities, BioSocieties and Medical Anthropology Quarterly. Katharine is a co-lead of the In/Fertile Environments project.

Heather McMullen is a lecturer in Global Public Health at Queen Mary University of London. She has a background in medical social science and specifically in the area of sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice. She conducts research in this area but also works with civil society and multilateral organisations. Recently she has begun exploring how climate change and other environmental crises relate to sexual and reproductive rights and politics. She is interested in how these intersections are framed in global policy and advocacy but also how they are experienced by people in regards to their own reproduction. Heather is a co-lead of the In/Fertile Environments project.

Ayo Wahlberg

Ayo Wahlberg is Professor MSO at the Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen. Working within the field of social studies of (bio)medicine, his research has focused on traditional herbal medicine (in Vietnam and the United Kingdom), reproductive and genetic technologies (in China and Denmark) as well as health metrics (in clinical trials and global health). In his current project “The Vitality of Disease – Quality of Life in the Making”, funded by the European Research Council (2015-2021), a team of ethnographers have explored how chronic living has emerged as a therapeutic object, forming the everyday lives of millions of people who live with (chronic) conditions throughout the world. He is the author of Good Quality – the Routinization of Sperm Banking in China (University of California Press), co-editor of Selective Reproduction in the 21st Century (Palgrave MacMillan) and editor at the interdisciplinary journal BioSocieties.

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Rishita Nandagiri

Rishita Nandagiri (she/her): My interdisciplinary research broadly focuses on abortion and reproduction in the Global South, where I interrogate how power and politics manifest & are wielded at individual, interpersonal, community, and macro levels. My current research agendas include (i) interrogating how safety and risk, particularly in self-management, are constructed, (ii) examining the ‘constellations of actors’ shaping and influencing self-managed abortion experiences,  (iii) mapping trajectories to abortion care, and (iv) troubling constructions of women, gender and fertility in population and development policies.I am currently an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow (2020-2021) at the London School of Economics and Political Science. I serve on the IUSSP scientific panel for abortion research, am an editorial advisory board member of the BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Health journal, and co-convene the Development Studies Association’s Women and Development Study Group (with Dr Mirna Guha and Dr Rebecca Gordon). I co-organise (with Joe Strong) a monthly Abortion Book Club, where we interrogate depictions of abortion in fiction. I obsess over tennis, regularly misuse the semi-colon, and like gifs.@rishie_ ,

Rika Hirose

Dr Rika Hirose is an early-career researcher with her PhD degree in Sustainable Development, in the field of human geography. Her doctoral thesis looked at the relationship between nuclear decommissioning and public engagement from an intergenerational justice perspective. She is interested in scrutinising challenges to manage different kinds of environmental problems, including climate change, pollution and resource depletion. She is currently working as a Research Fellow on the research project ‘Eco Worrier, Eco Warrior: Exploring eco-anxiety and activism’ at the University of St Andrews.

Julieta Chaparro-Buitrago

I am a lecturer in the Sociology department at the University of Cambridge and a Reproductive Sociology Research Group member. My research probes long-standing colonial structures, whether through population control or exposure to contaminants, that shape indigenous and peasant women’s reproductive lives. For in/fertile environments, I will explore the connections between extractivism and reproduction to understand why indigenous peasants in Northern Peru resort to a reproductive grammar to address the impacts of extractivism and environmental degradation and how they conceptualize the relationships between human, land, and animal fertility in the context of industrial mining.

Dr Riikka Homanen is currently working as an Academy Research Fellow in Gender Studies at Tampere University. Her research has been concerned with reproduction, reproductive technology and social relations, such as kin, class, gender and race/ethnicity. More recently,  she has, on the one hand, focused on the (global) markets and industry of reproduction. She is particularly interested in the ethical and political work involved in maintaining, altering, advancing and participating in the fertility markets. This is the topic of Homanen’s Academy Fellow project The Everyday Ethics of Reproductive Outsourcing: Making Good Life in the Era of Biocapitalism (Academy of Finland, 2019-2024). She is the Principal Investigator for the Kone Foundation funded project Technology, Ethics and Reproduction: Controversy in the Era of Normalisation (2019-2023). This interdisciplinary and international project takes as its focus the ethics of reproductive technologies. It brings together methods, perspectives, and scholars from social science and the academic field of bioethics in order to examine ethics. On the other hand, her recent work is focused on what future imaginaries of relationality and population are thinkable and possible in practices of reproduction, in the historical contexts of climate change and Nordic countries. Homanen is the co-founder and leader of the Finnish Reproductive Studies Network (FiResNet) together with Dr Mianna Meskus. In the network they were awarded a Finnish Cultural Foundation Argumenta funding for Reproductive futures project (2019-2021) that aims to increase research on and diversify discussion about reproduction and the paradoxes of reproductive futures, such as issues on how climate change and ecological sustainability configure in our understandings of reproductive justice.

Alexandra Lakind is completing a joint PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Curriculum & Instruction and Environment & Resources. Her dissertation focuses on contemporary climate activism. To highlight complex arrangements between present and future generations, she examines how children are positioned in the political project of addressing climate change and how social actions around climate change affect ideas about children. You can read some of her related work in the Journal of Childhood Studies andEdge Effects