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.