Ally’s background is in social anthropology and primatology. Her research to date has focused on relationships between humans and orangutans, with a particular focus on ethical dilemmas faced by humans who work with the charismatic red ape. Ally’s Master of Arts thesis examined relationships between orangutans and keepers in a zoo in her hometown (Auckland, New Zealand), while her PhD at University College London explored debates about methods and ethics in orangutan rehabilitation and reintroduction: the process of returning traumatised orphans back to the wild.
As a postdoctoral researcher working with Dr Beth Greenhough and Dr Reuben Message on the Species and Spaces project at the School of Geography and Environment, Oxford, Ally will study non-orangutans, specifically those animals used in research in POLES: Places Other than Licensed Establishments. This work considers how transposing animal research to POLES – such as farms, fisheries, conservation sites, zoos, and veterinary clinics – poses new questions and challenges for human-animal relationships.