Browser does not support script.

Staff Profile

Dr Ben Garlick

Lecturer: Human Geography

Before moving to York in January 2017, I studied Geography at Cambridge University and both my Masters and PhD in Human Geography at the University of Edinburgh. My PhD research explored the historical animal geographies of osprey (Pandion haliaetus) conservation in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Scotland. My thesis narrated and explored the ways in which humans and ospreys in Scotland are historically intertwined – involved – with each other. Through five stories, chronicling the militarised nest-defense of ‘Operation Osprey’ at Loch Garten (begun in 1956), as well as later initiatives to manage the birds on Speyside, my thesis explored complex ethical questions concerning the human-animal relations that arise amidst attempts to ‘secure’, know and foster a successful species re-colonisation.

You can find out more about what I am up to by following me on social media (Twitter or Instagram) under the handle @geographicalben. You can also visit my WordPress site.


I currently lead a first year module on 'Fieldwork Studies in Human Geography'. I also contribute to the teaching of 'Critical Thinking and Academic Skills', 'Social and Cultural Geography', 'Mapping the Geographies of Yorkshire', and 'Nature Conservation'. I lead the second year module 'Cultural and Landscape'. For the third year, I lead the modules 'Nature/Culture' and 'International Cross-Cultural Fieldwork'. I am an active personal tutor and dissertation supervisor. I am also available to supervise postgraduate work.

During the course of 2017, I successfully completed my Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PCAP) and was awarded Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in early 2018.


I draw, in particular, on the ‘more-than-human’ or ‘posthuman’ scholarship of Tim Ingold, Giles Deleuze and Donna Haraway. I trace human-animal relations in terms of their dwelt, immanent and situated natures. My active research interests are focussed upon historical, cultural and animal (or 'more-than-human') geographies. My primary concerns are with how humans and animals interact and become involved in each others' lives, geographies and compositions. In particular, I look to explore:

  • The role of animals and other nonhumans in the production of a variety of spaces, places and environments, as well as the spatiality of nonhuman animals - or animals' geographies. I look to expand an appreciation of animals' geographical practices and lives by putting social theory into conversation with ecological, biological and ethological accounts.
  • The meeting of humans and nonhumans and the role of each in the production of scientific knowledge, particularly within the fields of conservation and ecological science. I am also interested more broadly in the intersections between humans, animals, technologies and environments.
  • The ethical status of nonhuman life and nature within different geographical, temporal, material and bodily contexts and the ethics of conservation practice and initiatives like ‘rewilding’.
  • The geographies of species, ecological communities and extinction.
  • Researching the historical and cultural geographies of animal-human relations and landscapes via a range of historical qualitative methods including archival research, oral history and interview methods, and ethnographic and field site visits'



Garlick B and Symons K (forthcoming) ‘Geographies of extinction: Exploring the spatio-temporal relations of species death’ Environmental Humanities. In press, due May 2020.

Symons K and Garlick B (forthcoming) ‘Introduction to the special issue: Tracing geographies of extinction’ Environmental Humanities. In press, due May 2020.

Garlick B (2019) 'Deceptive Landscapes: Ornithological hide-work and the perception of ospreys on Speyside, 1957-1987' Geohumanities. 5(1): 215-236.

Garlick B (2019) ‘Cultural geographies of extinction: animal culture amidst Scottish Ospreys’ Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 44(2): 226-242.

Garlick B (2015) “Not all dogs go to heaven, some go to Battersea: sharing suffering and the Brown Dog Affair” Social & Cultural Geography 16(7): 798-820.

Other works

Garlick B (2018) ‘Sol95-Sol120EXCERPTOFTRANSCRIPT’ York Literary Review, Valley Press, York. pp.14-21

Book Reviews

Garlick B (2019) 'Book Review: The Routledge Companion to Animal-Human History, Hilda Kean, Philip Howell (Eds). Routledge, Abingdon (2018). 560 pages, £140 hardcover'. Journal of Historical Geography. In Press – available online.

Garlick B (2019) “Book Review: Historical Animal Geographies by Sharon Wilcox and Stephanie Rutherford, Eds.” cultural geographies. 26(3): 411-412.

Garlick B and Ginn F (2016) “Book Review: Flight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction by Thom van Dooren” Progress in Human Geography 40(1): 149-150.

Garlick B (2014) “The Rutland Water Ospreys by MacKrill T, Appleton T & Macintyre H” Scottish Birds 33(4): 345.


“The Shame of Extinction: Proposing the Geographies of a ‘Species Feeling'”, More-than-human haunted landscapes (1): Absence, RGS-IBG Annual Conference (August 2019).

“The Total Mountain: Reading Nan Shepherd’s Parables for the Virtual”, Mountains of the Mind, YSJU School of Humanities, Religion and Philosophy research Conference, York (July 2019).

“Gardening with the remains of “a living archive”: The Humberhead Peatlands as Anthroposcenic”, Excavating multispecies landscapes: temporalities, materialities and the more-than-human Anthropocene (1): ‘Ruin’, RGS-IBG Annual Conference, Cardiff University (August 2018).

“Deceptive Landscapes: Negotiating proximity between humans and ospreys in twentieth-century Speyside, Scotland”, (1) presented as part of the Animal Geography Research Workshop, University of Nottingham (4 July 2018); (2) presented at the International Conference of Historical Geography, University of Warsaw (July 2018).

“Geographies of Extinction: The ‘miserable tale’ of the ospreys of Loch an Eilein”, Geographies of Extinction: Exploring the Spatio-temporal relations of Species and Death, RGS-IBG Annual Conference (August 2017). *Also co-convenor of session.

 “Awkward biopolitics: ospreys, pesticides and conservation biosecurity on Speyside, 1963-1968”, Cambridge Geography Department’s Historical and Cultural Geography seminar series, University of Cambridge (October 2016).

“The empty castle: ospreys, geography and extinction”, Edinburgh Environmental Humanities Network workshop ‘Unexpected Encounters with Deep Time: Haunting’, University of Edinburgh (April 2016).

“The ethical entanglements of re-wilding the skies: osprey nest-building in Scotland”, Ecological Restoration in the Anthropocene, RGS-IBG Annual Conference, University of Exeter (August 2015).

“Standardising beastliness: logging osprey behaviour at Loch Garten and the negotiated production of the animal archive, 1957-1980”, Beastly Pasts and Places, International Conference of Historical Geography, RGS-IBG London (July 2015).

“Narrating extinction: mourning the ospreys of Loch an Eilean”, Historical Animal Geographies, AAG Annual Conference, Chicago MI (April 2015).

“Confidence building: a historical geography of nesting and ospreys on Speyside”, Historical Animal Geographies: Tracking Traces in the Archive, RGS-IBG Annual Conference, London (August 2014). *Also co-convener of session.

“STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL: protecting the ospreys of Speyside, 1958-59”, New and Emerging Research in Historical Geography, Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers Annual Conference, London (August 2013).

“Not all dogs go to heaven, some go to Battersea: remembering the Brown Dog in Battersea Park, London, and the expression of shared suffering”, More-than-human geographies: from accommodation to conflict and killing, Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers Annual Conference, University of Edinburgh (July 2012).

Professional Activities

I am always keen to disseminate my work to those who might be interested, and have recently produced an accessible summary document, outlining my PhD research for a non-specialist audience (available on request or via his personal website).

I regularly attend national and international conferences in my field, exploring new developments in the discipline alongside avenues for future collaboration. I am currently involved in establishing a York Environmental Humanities network - if you would like to be involved, please get in touch!

I am a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and a member of the RGS-IBG Historical Geography Research Group.

Cookie Settings