Dr Stephanie Lavau

Dr Stephanie Lavau

Visiting Research Fellow

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science & Engineering)


2013  Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, Plymouth University    

2009 Doctor of Philosophy, School of Philosophy, Anthropology & Social Inquiry, The University of Melbourne

1997 Master of Science (First Class), Science in Society, The University of Melbourne

1994 Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours), The University of Melbourne

Professional membership

  • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society – Institute for British Geographers (RGS-IBG)
  • Member of the European Association for Studies of Science and Technology (EASST)
  • Member of the Performing Nature at the World's Ends network

Teaching interests

I teach at undergraduate and postgraduate level, in the following subject areas:
  • environment and society
  • environmental policy
  • social studies of science and other knowledge practices
  • qualitative research methods.
I coordinate/contribute to the teaching of the following undergraduate modules:
  • GGX1200 Geography Matters (lecture and tutorials)
  • GGX1202 Practising Geography 1 (tutorials)
  • GGH2203 Nature and Society (module coordinator)
  • GGX2200 Fieldwork in Geography (module coordinator & Brittany coordinator)
  • GGX2201 Principles and Applications of Geography 1 (tutorials)
  • GGX2202 Principles and Applications of Geography 2 (workshops and tutorials)
  • GGP3204 Biological Conservation (lectures)
  • GGX3200 Dissertation in Geography
I coordinate/contribute to the teaching of the following postgraduate modules in the Masters in Sustainable Environmental Management:
  • GEES509 Environmental Governance and Politics (module coordinator)

Research interests

My research focuses on relations between societies and environments, and the ways in which these are imagined, practised and contested in science, environmental management, farming and food production, policy-making, and rural life.  My research interests include:

  • geographies and materialities of knowing and managing nature
  • biopolitics and contemporary technologies of securing life
  • sustainable management as a contemporary mode of practising nature
  • intersections of scientific and other knowledge practices (e.g. commercial, legal, lay)

My research is situated at the intersection of human geography and science and technology studies (STS), engaging also with sociology of environment and social anthropology. 

My current research ("Bugs in the System") investigates challenges in the regulation, development and use of insects and other invertebrates as biological control agents for crop protection.  In studying how these bugs are produced as safe and effective technologies of agricultural ecology and economy, this research examines difficulties in managing a series of socio-technical extensions, for example from the controlled environment of the laboratory to the more unruly spaces of agriculture, and from regulating chemical products to living products.

From 2009 until 2012, I was a postdoctoral researcher for Biosecurity Borderlands, a three year programme funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.  Through this collaboration between the University of Exeter and Open University, I investigated: the ecologies of knowing and managing zoonotic disease in wildlife and farm animals; mediations between risk and other food concerns in the inspection and surveillance of meat; the intersections of regulatory, commercial and labour pressures in managing disease risks in food production; and public understandings of animal disease risks.