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S5E10: Grad Review with Oliver French and Amanda Bunten-Walberg

In this final episode of the season Claudia talks to Amanda Bunten-Walberg and Oliver French, two fellow graduate students with interests in biosecurity. They delve into some the core themes in the season (including questions about scale, reproduction, and power) as well as some of the difficulties for thinking about biosecurity and animals.

Amanda Bunten-Walberg and Oliver French

Amanda (Mandy) Bunten-Walberg (she/ her) is a PhD Candidate at Queen's University's School of Environmental Studies. Her research explores more-than-human ethics in contagious contexts through the case study of bats and COVID-19. In particular, Mandy is interested in how more-than-human ethics, critical race theory, queer theory, and biopolitical theory might guide humans towards developing more ethical relationships with bats and other (human and more-than-human) persons who are dominantly understood as diseased. Connect with Amanda via email (

Oliver French is a 3rd year PhD student at the University of St-Andrews, working as part of the Welcome Funded Global War Against the Rat project. His BA thesis explored the production and application of eco-governmental power within Swedish National Parks. His current research develops a historical-ethnography of human-rat relations in epidemic of control during the third plague pandemic with a focus on India, where he is currently on archival fieldwork. Find out more about Oliver on the St. Andrews website.

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Recorded: 27 January 2023

Featured Readings:

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Animal Highlight: Jellyfish

Watercolor Turkey 2

In this highlight Amanda talks about jelly fish and the many ways in which they are thought to be transgressive potential threats to biosecurity. Amanda reminds us to try and thinking sensitively about creatures who seem vastly different to us and to also be amazed by the feats they can accomplish.


Drawing of Squirrel

Thank you to Animals in Philosophy, Politics, Law and Ethics (A.P.P.L.E) for sponsoring this podcast; the Biosecurities and Urban Governance Research Collective for sponsoring this season; Gordon Clarke (Instagram: @_con_sol_) for the bed music, Jeremy John for the logo, Christiaan Menz for his editing work, and Amanda Bunten-Walberg for the Animal Highlight

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