Based at the School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford, Species and Spaces seeks to understand how the introduction of new species and clinical sites into animal research challenges established infrastructures, practices and cultures of animal care.

Our research is concentrating into two streams: ‘Species’, focuses mainly on fish, and especially the ongoing explosion of the use zebrafish in research in the last two decades. ‘Spaces’, examines research at Places Other Than Licensed Establishments (POLES), with a special focus on veterinary clinics and the veterinary practice/research interface.

Three broad questions guide our work: What has motivated and constrained the search for new species and sites for animal research from the passing of Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act to the present? How does the introduction and spread of new species transform practices of ethical review, the 3Rs, animal care, public engagement and understandings of animal sentience? How are clinical-research interfaces and ethical practices being transformed through research involving companion species in veterinary practices?

We are approaching these questions using a combination of methods including documentary analyses, in-depth interviews with stakeholders (researchers, regulators, animal technicians, Named Persons, suppliers, regulators and welfare charities) and ethnographic immersions in different settings, in industry and university sectors.

A list of site content that is tagged as Species & Spaces – grouped by type of content.

Blog entry

Written by:

Rich Gorman

In July 2018 several members of the Animal Research Nexus team were invited to an exciting workshop at the University of Nottingham.

Written by:

Beth Greenhough

At the start of this project we stated one of our key objectives was to generate new cultures of communication across science, health and animal welfare, which would shape the future of animal research in the UK.

Written by:

Reuben Message, Bentley Crudgington

The way we think about the welfare needs of animals is always conditioned by our prior experiences and preconceptions. This is especially true of fish.


We are delighted to announce that Ally Palmer joined the Animal Research Nexus team based at Oxford University from July 2018. Ally will be working on the practices of ethics and oversight when research is carried out in POLES - or places other than licenced establishments.


In June 2018, the Animal Research Nexus Team met with the Programme Advisory Committee, Project Advisors, and other invited colleagues.


This poster explores the increase in popularity of the zebrafish in animal research in the UK, raising questions about how the species is incorporated into and transforms animal research infrastructures and practices of care and welfare.