The rich diversity of plants, animals, and other forms of life is mirrored by an incredible diversity of human cultures and languages. These forms of diversity have traditionally been divided up into natural and cultural domains, to be studied by either the natural sciences or the humanities and social sciences. But these kinds of neat divisions are increasingly being challenged – partly through a recognition that many societies never divided the world up in this way to begin with.
Our research under this theme explores how diverse human communities are entangled with plants, animals, and wider ecosystems in ways that shape all of our lives and possibilities. It draws together a variety of approaches—including the local values and practices of different cultural groups, scientific and policy frameworks, and the conceptual and methodological approaches of the humanities and social sciences—to explore possibilities for living sustainably with biodiversity. This research seeks to respond to our current period of intensifying biodiversity loss and social inequality in ways that are more inclusive, creative, and just. We place a particular emphasis on understanding and responding to the entangled losses of biological, cultural, and linguistic diversities. This includes examining what these losses mean, how they are experienced and resisted and how efforts to conserve them impact differently on variously situated communities and ecologies.