Meg Perret Rose Hills
Amphibians, Agency & Affect: On the Production of Scientific Knowledge in the Anthropocene
More than one third of the 6,300 amphibian species are threatened with extinction, and if all of these species go extinct, the rates of extinction would be 25,000 to 45,000 times the background extinction rate for amphibians. From the view of amphibians, our earth is on the brink of the sixth mass extinctionthe only extinction event to be caused by a single species: Homo sapiens. Amidst this alarming loss in biodiversity, conservation biology has emerged as the authoritative body of knowledge by which we come to understand extinction and what can be done to prevent it. Using a case study of scientific research on amphibian declines and extinctions, my research seeks to understand the production of scientific knowledge in this time of ecological precarity. With an attention to both human and nonhuman actors, my research asks: What multispecies assemblages are at play in this scientific research? What kinds of interspecies relationships form, and whom do they benefit?