My work explores the ways in which markets, states and diverse aspects of civil society
combine to shape and govern relations between people and nature. I am part of a growing group of
scholars, principally anthropologists and geographers, who are exploring the ‘neoliberalisation of nature’.
My particular interest is to examine the increasingly consequential intersection of conservation and capitalism: the social processes that distance humans from nature and promote damaging environmental practices (which Marx referred to as ‘metabolic rift’) and its distinction from contexts that foster social awareness of environmental issues and ecological stewardship. I have developed a comparative approach that analyses two major instances of ‘nature-society’ schisms in capitalism (industrial agriculture and industrial whaling), and three instances in late-capitalism where attempts are being made to overcome such disconnects (Azorean whaling, the emergence of ecotourism and nature parks as conservation strategies, and the role of urban botanical gardens in raising the ecological literacy of city dwellers).