Jessica Caporusso is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at York University, Canada. Her research interests meet at the intersection of anthropology, political ecology, and science & technology studies. Broadly, she explores the cultural politics of the environment and political economies of energy (energopolitics) in a carbon-constrained world. In light of global concerns over climate change, her dissertation is concerned with the growing demand for sustainable energy sources in vulnerable island ecosystems. By concentrating on the design and implementation of bioenergy schemes in Mauritius, she examines possibilities and constraints of using sugarcane, a plant rooted in colonialism, as feedstock to actualize energy futures. As such, her work focuses on past and contemporary relationships with sugarcane to highlight its credibility as a source of thermal, political and economic power.
Stephanie Creighton is a Ph.D. student in Social Anthropology at York University. Her research takes place at the intersection of sociocultural anthropology and science and technology studies. Stephanie is interested in energetic economies, speculation and the materiality of data and virtual technologies. Her current research project examines how a large datacentre located outside of Paris, France recycles waste heat from computer servers and uses this heat to power an arboretum. Inside the arboretum researchers experiment on plants that are meant to survive climate change thus speculating on future environmental conditions. Prior to beginning her PhD Stephanie completed her M.A. in Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of Toronto.
Duygu Kasdogan is a Research Fellow at Koç University, Istanbul under the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) Co-Funded Brain Circulation Scheme fellowship programme. Her research interests include energy sciences and technologies, engineering studies, and feminist technoscience. Her dissertation, “Potentiating Algae, Modernizing Bioeconomies: Algal Biofuels, Bioenergy Economies, and Built Ecologies in the United States and Turkey” (2017) explores how algae is being potentiated as an energy source and examines different imaginaries and modalities of “low-carbon energy transitions”. Duygu received her BA from the Political Science & International Relations Department at Bogazici University (Istanbul, Turkey), MA from the Comparative Studies in History and Society Program at Koc University (Istanbul, Turkey), and PhD in Science and Technology Studies from York University, Toronto. She was a visiting student in Anthropology Department at MIT (Cambridge, USA) in 2013-2014.
Kelly Ladd is a Ph.D. candidate in Science and Technology Studies at York University in Toronto. Her work focuses on the category of ‘sensitivity’ as an emergent environmental illness. Sensitivities are both uncertain in their causal relationships and imperceptible to most bodies. Broadly, her work examines how causality is shaped in biomedical economies of uncertainty and imperceptibility. Specifically, her fieldwork has been with a group of ‘electrosensitives’ –people who claim to be made sick by low-frequency radiation from wifi and cell phones- who have moved to Green Bank, West Virginia, home of the one of the world’s largest radio-frequency telescope and part of North America’s only radio-free research zone. Her work follows electrosensitives as they navigate an extremely controversial sensitivity by attempting to make an imperceptible, energetic toxin, intelligible to the biomedical community.
Natasha Myers is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at York University, the convenor of the Politics of Evidence Working Group, director of the Plant Studies Collaboratory, and a member of the editorial board of the journal Catalyst. She works alongside Michelle Murphy as co-organizer of Toronto’s Technoscience Salon, and is co-founder of the Write2Know Project with Max Liboiron. Her ethnographic research examines forms of life in the contemporary arts, sciences, and ecologies. Her book, Rendering Life Molecular: Models, Modelers, and Excitable Matter (Duke, 2015) is an ethnography of an interdisciplinary group of scientists who make living substance come to matter at the molecular scale. In new work, she is experimenting with ways to document the affective and energetic ecologies that take shape between plants and people, and among plants and their remarkably multi-species affines.
Andrew Schuldt is a PhD student in the Geography Department at UBC, Vancouver. Motivated to examine the materiality of power and the power of materials, his research explores how the harvest of roundwood trees for bioenergy projects is shaping the bioeconomy in North America. Working at the intersection of political ecology, science and technology studies, and postcolonial theory, Andrew is mapping linkages between the discursive practices that undergird the shifting use of biophysical forest resources and their socio-economic impacts. This undertaking is informed by three years’ experience managing consulting projects for feedstock-based bioeconomic development interests including private, public, and non-governmental organizations.
Emily Simmonds is a PhD candidate in the department of Science and Technology Studies (STS) at York University, Toronto. Her research interests lie at the intersection of environmental history, technoscience studies and postcolonial studies. Challenging the idea that nuclear energy is an environmentally friendly and socially responsible alternative to fossil fuels, her research examines the contemporary biopolitics of uranium mining. Holding onto the disfigurations and disparities fueled by the promise of nuclear power, she asks: how do conditions of “acceptable” exposure and “livable” levels of industrial contamination produce and amplify different modes of citizenship; and, what techniques and strategies do communities use to negotiate and challenge these conditions? Her multi-sited fieldwork addresses these concerns by following a network of activists, artists, physicians and scientists as they struggle to define, regulate, and contain industrial pollutants produced by uranium mining in rural northern Canada.