Bacteria samples under a microscope

Rewilding the Human Biome: A Conversation with Jamie Lorimer

From the scale of a landscape to the scale of a human body, Jamie Lorimer sees a "probiotic turn" underway that uses life to manage life.
Fountain and reflections at the Stravinsky Memorial

Where the Queer Wild Things Are

Can wildness be its own way of thinking and knowing? And where should we look to find out? Julia Dauer reviews Jack Halberstam's wide-ranging new book, Wild Things.
Large yellow bird holds teddy bear on an air plane

An Ecological Case for Cuteness

Many environmentalists are suspicious of cute mascots. Evelyn Ramiel invites us to open our hearts to cute characters that create ecologies of care.
Soft lit cow in a dark room

When Sacred Cows Become Tools of the State

In the midst of India's beef ban, beef detection kits are supposed to help stop violence against Muslim and Dalit people accused of eating the meat. But do they? Clara Miller and A. Parikh argue that increased surveillance hurts both people and cows.
Close up portrait of a giant tortoise

Tortoises All the Way Down: A Conversation with Elizabeth Hennessy

Elizabeth Hennessy's recent book follows in the footsteps of Galápagos tortoises to uncover the complex history of a tourist and biodiversity hotspot.
Cattle carcass with bone beneath its hide exposed, decaying in a field

When Climate, Cattle, and Copper Collide

For many Botswanan farmers and their cattle, home is where the water used to be. Justyn Huckleberry describes how international investments in copper mines erase families and their livestock from the land.
Two horses and a fence

Fences Tell a Story of Land Changes on the Navajo Nation

For Kelsey Dayle John (Diné), fences provide a site for reflecting on family, history, culture, and Navajo relationships to land and animals.
Close-up of a hornet on a pin.

Beyond the “Murder Hornet” Panic

Remember murder hornets? Samuel Klee tells their story a different way—with less panic and more attention to settler-colonial plantation ecologies.
Shark swimming in black ocean

This Shark Can Outlast Nuclear Waste. But Will It?

This mysterious deep-sea shark is built to live centuries. Will it survive to tell the tale of the Anthropocene? Sadie E. Hale considers the Greenland shark, nuclear waste, and ocean plastics, showing how their sclaes of time and space converge.
An illustration of two bats flying at dusk

No, Bats Aren’t Scary: Five Questions for Tessa Collins

This Halloween, consider the wild lives of bats today, adapting to a changing climate and facing a deadly (and spreading) fungus.
a row of pigeons sitting on a telephone wire photographed from below

Why Pigeons Can’t Be Pigeonholed

Consider the pigeon. Impossible to categorize as nature or culture, the space between these binaries is where they thrive.
A souvenir postcard depicting Chicago in the early 20th century with streetcars, horses, pedestrians, and street signs

Chicago’s Deep History of Vegetarianism: A Conversation with Connie Johnston and Kay Stepkin

The National Vegetarian Museum celebrates Chicago's vegetarian past with a traveling exhibit about the vegetarian firsts of the Second City and beyond.
Row of aquaculture fish tanks

Can Aquaculture Make Seafood Sustainable?

Aquaculture is bringing seafood out of the sea. It might be a good idea.
A portrait of Lori Gruen and the cover of Critical Terms for Animal Studies

The Future of Animal Studies: A Conversation with Lori Gruen

Acclaimed animal studies scholar Lori Gruen takes stock of the field and discusses her new collection, Critical Terms for Animal Studies.
A black dog gently pulls off a gray sock from a child's foot.

Where Disability Rights and Animal Rights Meet: A Conversation with Sunaura Taylor

Artist and writer Sunaura Taylor charts a path toward disability and animal liberation by rethinking care and interdependence, understanding the environmental and physical burdens of our food systems, and more.
A white canid and a human being lean on a rooftop balcony together

Multispecies Ethics are Messy: Five Questions for William Lynn

Ethicist and geographer William Lynn discusses ways to think about the wicked problems posed by conservation and wildlife management.
Several young men reach out and touch a Burmese python as it moves along a tile floor.

Making Kin with Serpents in Myanmar’s Snake Temples

Buddhist beliefs and Burmese pythons create a multispecies world in the Snake Temples of Myanmar.
close up of heron's head

MetroCard Mosaics Celebrate Migration

In "A Manifesto about Migration, Freedom, and Diversity," one artist creates mosaics of New York's migratory birds from recycled MetroCards.
A sculpture depicting a police officer with a dog on a leash, as the dog attacks a man who is falling backwards

Why Animal Studies Must Be Antiracist: A Conversation with Bénédicte Boisseron

A new book, Afro-Dog: Blackness and the Animal Question, moves beyond familiar comparisons between race and species by drawing on Black studies.
An image from Emily Fairfax's beaver ecology animation showing that beaver dams help mitigate wildfires.

How a Beaver Became a Twitter Star

A geoscientist crafts a viral research video with a little bit of patience and a whole lot of felt.
A color illustration of a donkey causing a commotion in an ornate English courtroom full of people in fine clothes.

Animal Law for Social Justice: A Conversation with Pamela Hart and Megan Senatori

Protecting animals can mean protecting people, too. Two attorneys weigh in on the state of animal law and discuss their nonprofit organization that shelters pets of those escaping domestic abuse.
Lake Erie seen from above, with swaths of green ribbons cutting through the blue water, evidence of an ongoing algal bloom

Outswimming Extinction in the Great Lakes

Dan Egan's compelling narrative of recent challenges to Great Lakes ecosystems raises intriguing questions about invasion, evolution, and species survival.
Black and white artist rendering of ecohorror icon Godzilla attacking a city

Eleven Ecohorror Films to Creep You Out

Curious about ecohorror? An ecocritic recommends classic, campy, and little-known films that play with our culture’s deepest fears about nature. A few of these creature features just might get under your skin—literally.
A line drawing of two coyotes in a ying-yang design.

Urban Wilds and Modern Mythology: A Conversation with Gavin Van Horn

With Aldo Leopold, Lao Tzu, and the trickster Coyote as his guides through the city, a writer explores how to live well with beavers, falcons, and the urban wilderness.
piles of ivory tusks engulfed in flames

Should We Empathize with Poachers?

Globalization makes animals more vulnerable to illegal trafficking, even as regulations restricting poaching have increased. An ecologist reviews Rachel Nuwer's new book and asks what role empathy should play in addressing animal trafficking.
A young man stands in front of a water landscape at sunset pointing a large microphone with a fluffy grey "dead cat" windscreen off to the right to record environmental sounds.

The Marketplace of Environmental Sounds

How is the musical history of animal imitation caught up in racism, sexism, and imperialist nostalgia? From classical music to whistling, this conversation explores the art and ethics of imitating, recording, and selling the sounds of the nonhuman world.
From the cover of Lauren Groff's book Florida, the orange silhouette of a panther is set against a black background with white capitalized letters spelling FLORIDA

Why All Fiction Should Be Climate Fiction: A Conversation with Lauren Groff

How does the celebrated author of the new story collection "Florida" write books in a poisoned, warming world? "By being constantly, constantly angry. All day long."
Colorful portion of a map of Kansas City, with icons of buildings and red lines drawn on it to mark different routes of animals and humans.

The Animals’ Guide to History: A Conversation with Stephanie Rutherford and Shari Wilcox

Two geographers, co-editors of the new volume Historical Animal Geographies, discuss how the animals around us shape our histories, our environments, and the stories we tell about the world.
A peacock stands on reddish earth in the center of the image. His briight blue and green plumage fills the enttire frame.

Birds on the Brain in the Ancient World

In ancient Greece and Rome, birds filled more than the skies. Jeremy Mynott’s new book explores birds in ancient imaginations and the science, pastimes, art, and literature they inspired.
Starlicide

Starlicide

In this meditation on the pesticide Starlicide, a poet explores how human hubris leads us to control nature's "nuisances" and how we fail to see their beauty.
A Pig Born a Commodity, Raised as a Friend in Neflix’s Okja

A Pig Born a Commodity, Raised as a Friend in Neflix’s Okja

To some, this pig is family. To others, she's food. In a review of Netflix's Okja, a geographer explores how the film's representation of super pigs and human-animal friendships asks us to rethink our relationships with nonhuman animals.
Two brown dogs face each other and try to smell each other. Their tails are wagging.

What Dogs Can Teach Us About Justice: A Conversation with Colin Dayan

What would it mean to see through the eyes of dogs? The tangled histories of humans and animals show us how personhood, criminality, and cruelty are constructed.
A red dragonfly rests on a thistle.

Millions of Insects and a Curator at Work

Insects are going extinct at alarming rates. Curators at one of the country’s premier insect collections are working to slow that change.
A Firsthand Account of Finding Nature on a U.S. Military Base

A Firsthand Account of Finding Nature on a U.S. Military Base

We need to expand our ideas of nature to include the battlefield. A historian explains why we should view soldiers' daily lives as part of the natural world.
Natalie Portman inspects a crocodile in the film Annihilation

In Annihilation, the Revolution Will Not Be Human

A science fiction novel offers a genre-bending perspective that helps us think about wildness, purity, and invasion in new and strange ways.
A sterling silver sculpture of a honeybee

Finding Hope and Community with Honeybees: A Conversation with Heather Swan

The decline of honeybees is cause for alarm and a symptom of global biodiversity loss. Beekeepers, however, find creative ways to build relationships with honeybees and steward their hives.
The Immigrants Who Supplied the Smithsonian's Fish Collection

The Immigrants Who Supplied the Smithsonian’s Fish Collection

The Smithsonian's fish collection preserves not just specimens but the labor and knowledge of immigrant fishermen on the California coast.
Painting of two ostriches

The Black Birders Who Made White Ornithologists Famous

Nancy Jacobs' new book uncovers how African birders and vernacular birding knowledge helped build European imperial science.
Cottonwoods in Concrete: A Call for Collaborative Survival among Ruins

Cottonwoods in Concrete: A Call for Collaborative Survival among Ruins

A forest sprouting from a levee in eastern Washington offers a model for flood management, if only we notice it.
A parakeet named Punky perched on piano keys. A modified version of a photo by Amyra Moon, March 2011.

Can a Piano Sing a Birdsong?

The French composer Olivier Messaien attempted to reproduce the calls of 80 European birds in a three-hour piece for solo piano. Did he succeed?
A portrait of the writer William deBuys. Photo by Ben Moscona.

Hunting a Unicorn: A Conversation with William deBuys

The preeminent environmental writer and conservationist ventures into the mountains of Laos to find one of Earth's rarest creatures and returns believing well-crafted narratives showcasing the beauty of nature can help to fight the Sixth Extinction.
Crying Dugongs and Ocean Encounters in Southeast Asia

Crying Dugongs and Ocean Encounters in Southeast Asia

Stories of the dugong, a cousin of the manatee, offer important insight into human-nature encounters in the waters of Southeast Asia.
Humility and Hubris: A Review of Luc Jacquet's "Ice and the Sky"

Humility and Hubris: A Review of Luc Jacquet’s “Ice and the Sky”

Even with the impacts of the Anthropocene, it would be hubristic not to realize that ice and sky will far outlast anything so puny as humanity.
The Truthiness of Nature Films: A Review of Perrin and Cluzaud's "Seasons"

The Truthiness of Nature Films: A Review of Perrin and Cluzaud’s “Seasons”

The makers of "Winged Migration" return with a new film that challenges viewers’ expectations of authenticity in nature documentaries.
An abandoned building, beginning to fall down, next to an overgrown vacant lot in Baltimore. Photo by Dawn Biehler, 2016.

The Itchy Ecology of Segregation: A Conversation with Dawn Biehler

For many of us, mosquitos are an annoying fact of life in the summer. But for Dawn Biehler, they are also a symptom of social inequality.
Turning Toward

Turning Toward

A writer's poignant reflections on care and healing. What might happen if we all turned toward, instead of away?
Building an Arctic Atlas

Building an Arctic Atlas

A team from Audubon Alaska designs ecological maps to make us rethink our place in the arctic.
Female Birds Sing, Too

Female Birds Sing, Too

When a long-dominant theory about sexual selection’s role in the evolution of bird song is corrected, what happens to conventional ideas about the sex of singing birds?
An Ode to Madison’s Lake Monster

An Ode to Madison’s Lake Monster

A story about sea serpents, water spirits, and how Madison's lake monster lore invites an ethic of coexistence.
Nuclear power station row in Chernobyl. Photo by Tim Mousseau.

Chernobyl at Thirty: A Special Edition Environment and Health Roundtable

Drawing from presentations at the recent meeting of the American Society for Environmental History in Seattle, a historian, an ecologist, and a political scientist bring their different perspectives to bear on central questions of knowledge stirred by Chernobyl. What have we learned, or not?
The Urban Buzz: Pollinator Protection in Madison, Wisconsin

The Urban Buzz: Pollinator Protection in Madison, Wisconsin

A variety of bees inhabit urban spaces alongside us. In Madison, efforts are underway to improve habitats for the pollinators.
Alan Bennett: An Ecological Storyteller

Alan Bennett: An Ecological Storyteller

An ecologist channels a lifetime of studying birds into intricate wood carvings.
Chloroform and Butcher Birds: Violence in Late 19th-Century Children's Literature

Chloroform and Butcher Birds: Violence in Late 19th-Century Children’s Literature

Children's novels from the nature study movement contain strikingly violent episodes, a fact that pushes us to rethink our understanding of period environmental ethics.
Killing Birds

Killing Birds

The recent collection of a rare bird re-ignites the debate among scientists and broader publics about the value of lethal techniques for studying wildlife.
Champion the turkey

Stories of Champions

A poem for Champion the turkey, who escaped the Thanksgiving table.
Being With Bees

Being With Bees

A beekeeper struggles to make sense of aggression from her typically docile insect charges.
leopard

Leopard In A Box

What can a taxidermied leopard teach us about commemorating animals in an age of extinction?
Harry Greene

Rewilding and Reptiles: A Conversation With Naturalist Harry Greene

World-renowned herpetologist and naturalist Harry Greene discusses humanity's "deep history" with snakes, empathy and embodiment in animal research, Pleistocene rewilding, natural history in education, and more.
"It's Only Whites Who Go There": On Safari in Uganda

“It’s Only Whites Who Go There”: On Safari in Uganda

A safari trip inspires wonder at both what is found in a game park and who is not.
Animals

Six Reasons to Think and Live With Animals

Domestic and wild, companions and consumed, treasured and discarded, animals occupy a complex place in our academic theories and in our day-to-day lives. Six reasons why animals help us both think and live more ethically and sustainably on this planet.
Checkerboard mesa strata

Seven Ways to Sense the Anthropocene

Seven projects that help us to better sense—visualize, hear, count—ecological and social transformations in the "Age of Humans."