Sally Atkinson is a social anthropologist working on the intersections of technoscience in everyday human and more-than-human life. Branching out into medical anthropology and science and technology studies, Sally is interested in how relations in technoscientific practice, in fields as diverse as neurodegenerative disease, aging and industrial bioproduction, co-construct socio-cultural understanding of living matters. Daughter of a cheesemaker, Sally is acutely aware of how her life has been continually shaped by living with microbes.
Sabine Biedermann is a Berlin-based anthropologist and a member of the Laboratory: Anthropology of Environment | Human Relations. Her research interests comprise the social anthropology of science and technology, medical anthropology, human-environment relations, multispecies ethnography and posthumanism. Her current research deals with the question of how the human microbiome is enacted in everyday practices, focusing on human-microbial collaborations towards health and wellbeing.
Charlotte Brives is an anthropologist of science and biomedicine at the CNRS in France. She has been working on human-microbe relationships since her thesis, which focused on biologists-Saccharomyces cerevisiae relations in a laboratory. She then worked on clinical trials on HIV therapies in sub-Saharan Africa before her transformative encounter with bacteriophage viruses. For the past four years, she has been developing interdisciplinary projects with biologists, microbial ecologists and physicians to work on the potentialities and creative powers of these companion species.
Andrea Butcher is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki. Her expertise lies broadly in the anthropology of development, applying STS-inspired approaches to questions of climate, environment and health in low-resource settings. Her previous research focused on political questions of climate, development and spirituality in the Himalayas. She began studying human-microbial relations in the context of international development in 2017 and has worked on projects examining antimicrobial resistance drivers in Bangladesh and West Africa.
Jose A. Cañada is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences. Having earned a PhD from the University of Helsinki in 2018, his career has especially focused on studying knowledge production and material practices associated with socio-technical controversies, working on topics such as pandemic preparedness and response, biobanking and the development of water infrastructures. He is currently involved in the SoSAMiRe project, where he studies issues related to AMR global policy-making and national implementation in West Africa.
Denis Chartier is an environmental geographer and artist, professor at the University of Paris, member of The Laboratory of Social Dynamics and Spatial Reconstruction (LADYSS). He has been working for 20 years to identify responses to ecological disasters at different scales. He also tries, by mixing art and science, and by engaging in a dialogue with numerous allies such as microbes, to build tools for the reappropriation of capacities to think, feel and act in the Capitalocene.
A.C. Davidson works at the intersections of social and environmental justice within queer and feminist theory. Alongside working as a lecturer in human geography at the University of Huddersfield, they work with community groups on climate action and unlearning racism. Their latest article, ‘Radical Mobilities’, was published in Progress in Human Geography in 2020.
Mark Erickson is reader in sociology, and director of doctoral studies at the University of Brighton, UK. He is a sociologist with research interests in sociology of science and technology, cultural studies of science and technology, social theory and social research methods and methodology. His most recent book is Science, Culture and Society: Understanding Science in the 21st Century (Polity 2015).
Joshua Evans is senior researcher and leader of the Novel Fermentations Research Group, part of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability at the Danish Technical University. For his PhD in Geography and the Environment at Oxford he investigated how Copenhagen’s culinary innovators and their microbial counterparts shape each other through the pursuit of novel flavours in fermentation. His doctoral research is built on prior work at Nordic Food Lab, a former non-profit institute for open-source research on flavour and food diversity.
Nicolas Fortané is a sociologist working at the French Research Institute for Food, Agriculture and Environment (INRAE). His research engages with microbes in different ways: how animal health is enacted through veterinary practices and knowledge, policy instruments and market structures. Thanks to the amazing people he met via this book project he recently developed a strong personal interest in microbial life and is now experimenting a lot with (delicious) sourdough bread recipes.
Riina Hannula is living in a multispecies tribe creating a practice of more-than-human care with earth-others such as goats, peacocks, soil, plants, microbes, bunnies, chickens, insects and cats. Their thinking-with happens in different mediums from audio and video essays to live situations. They are a Master of Arts in media studies and a PhD student in the Microbial Lives: Practices of New Human-Microbial Cultures project at the University of Helsinki, Finland.
Katriina Huttunen is a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Helsinki. She holds an MA in development studies, and her current research focuses on a Nordic-based vaccine trial conducted in West Africa. Katriina is interested in the multiple relationalities of the trial context and in the ways in which various phenomena, such as scientific knowledge production, travel and humanitarian helping are entangled.
Veera Kinnunen is a social scientist working on a threshold of more-than-human sociology, environmental humanities and feminist ethics. Her research interests cover the material culture of everyday life, dwelling, and ways of living with waste. Kinnunen is a senior lecturer of sociology at the University of Lapland, Finland. In her spare time, Kinnunen experiments with her microbial companions in bokashi and kombucha jars, and dreams of a garden of her own.
Marine Legrand, environmental anthropologist, currently works as a ‘research and knowledge sharing’ fellow at the LEESU (Environment, Water & Urban Systems Lab), Ecole des Ponts Paris Tech. She explores social practices associated with the ecologisation of land-use planning, from landscape design to sanitation. She has a passion for the cycles and rhythms of the living the atomic and the organic, and the many ways post-industrial societies deal with their own shit.
Oona Leinovirtanen is an artist and MA in social sciences. Her methods are corporeal and based on improvisation. She does not want to know too much. At the moment, she works with movement, sculptural installation, video and writing. She loves microbes in between and everywhere. She needs freedom and challenges. Her dream is to live outdoors and move less in an upright position. Ecological values are most important for her.
Germain Meulemans is an anthropologist at CNRS in France. He is interested in how soil and the multiple forms of life that inhabit it become recognised as social and political actors in their own right (rather than simply as a resource or developable land) in the worlds of soil ecology, critical urban gardening and community projects aimed at reducing soil erosion. He conducts ethnographic fieldwork in France and the US.
Johanna Nurmi is a university teacher at the Department of Social Research, University of Turku. Her research focuses on health-related expertise and its contestations concerning vaccines, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), nutrition and microbes.
Elina Oinas is professor in sociology at the Swedish School of Social Science at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her research deals with shifting knowledge practices, power, gender, feminisms, development/transformation, health, and embodiment in different organisations, contexts and collaborations in Finland, Benin, Ethiopia and South Africa. She has been interested in how social sciences engage with human body fluids and microbes since the 1990s, with empirical work on menstruation, HIV, and most recently diarrhoea.
Emma Ransom-Jones is a microbiologist who currently works as a postdoctoral research officer at the University of Huddersfield. Her research focuses on the characterisation of probiotics and their effects on human health. She also works on research projects that identify the impact of humanity on the environment and measure the effectiveness of interventions to mitigate this damage.
Matthäus Rest works on the relations between the economy, the environment, science and time, mostly with peasant communities in the Alps and the Himalayas. He is interested in unbuilt infrastructures, the temporalities of fermentation and the future of agriculture. Currently based at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, he is working with a group of biomolecular archaeologists who trace the deep history of dairying through the DNA of modern and ancient microbes.
Salla Sariola is a sociologist of science and medicine at the University of Helsinki. Her current research concerns the social study of microbes that includes fermentation, composting and making enquiries into the changing scientific practices concerning microbiota and antimicrobial resistance. Her research has included clinical trials, mistrust, community engagement, HIV activism, and bioethics in Sri Lanka, India, Benin and Kenya, at the intersections of feminist and queer theory, medical anthropology, global health and science and technology studies.
Andie Thompson thinks microbes are amazing and has a specific interest in AMR and metagenomic technologies. She is a PhD candidate in anthropology and STS at the University of Amsterdam and a member of the FutureHealth project, a team studying interventions designed in the pursuit of a sustainable and healthy collective future. Her current research involves following epigenetic studies of toxic stress and maternal health in Portland, Oregon.
Vishnu Vardhani Rajan – Body philosopher. Vishnu ferments, agitates, and pickles e v e r y t h i n g. They use materials from the body as starter cultures to perform fermentation. They recommend human hair to make soy sauce, and chilies and ant-hill mud to make yogurts. Vish brings back to Helsinki compressed air, rocks, mud and water, especially from Hyderabad-India. A bringing together of two articulations of home, a movement from geo-politics to geo-poethics.
Catherine Will works on the sociology of science and technology at the University of Sussex, studying how to account for inequality in efforts to mobilise against antimicrobial resistance. The project has been a wonderful introduction to bacteria that live with humans through the eyes of scientists, clinicians and patients struggling with recurrent, persistent and resistant infections, and writing this piece with Mark Erickson gave a chance to debate how to foreground microbes in the social science.