Thesis Title [working title]: The Enviropig effects. Geographies of science study of biotechnological innovation enactments in animal farming
Primary Supervisor: Dr Mara Miele
Secondary Supervisor: Dr Chris Bear
Starting Date: January 2013
Completion Date: January 2017
Karolina Rucinska is a PhD student and a research assistant at Cardiff University. As a PhD researcher she looks at the creation of the first GM farm animal intended for human consumption and environmental protection - the Enviropig - to analyse the role of biotechnological innovations and scientific expertise performed in the laboratories for animal farming. Previously, in her MSc thesis, informed by STS literature of embodied knowing, she explored public understanding of the Enviropig in a focus group setting. Her thesis was presented at the annual 4S Conference in Copenhagen 2012.
Currently she also works on projects concerned with implementation of farm animal welfare legislation in the UK.
- MSc Sustainability, Planning and Environmental Policy at Cardiff University, Wales, UK (2011)
- BA Tourism Management, Dublin Institute of Technology and University of Glamorgan, Republic of Ireland, UK (2010) with an Erasmus study visit to Sant Ignasi, Barcelona
2013: Research Assistant during Work Package 2.1 to Dr Mara Miele on 'EUWelNetâ' for the European Commission (SANCO 2012/10293).
2012 - 2014: Research Assistant to Dr. Mara Miele on 'Assessment of the application of the EU 2010 directive on meat chickens welfare'. DEFRA funded project, (with Bristol and Reading Universities).
2012: Research assistant to Dr. Mara Miele on 'The halal meat market in Wales, potentials and barriers', Welsh Government funded project, June- September, 2012 'Report on Halal Slaughter Practices in Wales' (2013) by Mara Miele, Karolina Rucinska, Haluk Anil.
September 2010 - October 2012: Research assistant to Dr. Peter Feindt on 'Biopatenting and animal breeding - applicability of patent law and recommendations for the future development of the regulatory and legislative framework'. Research project in Cooperation with University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt and Technical University Munich. Funded by the German Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food. Co-PI.
Animal geographies, history and philosophy of science, embodiments, animal farming and consumption, animal welfare.
Biotechnological innovations in animal farming are on the rise. The Enviropig - developed through transgenic techniques and patented by Guelph University, Canada - aims to reduce phosphorus pollution and production costs, whilst remaining edible. By looking at the creation of this transgenic animal -known mainly through the accounts of scientists - this research addresses the issue of farm animal biotechnology controversies currently underexplored in the field of Animal Geography. This project attends to animal-human-technology hybrid relationships through engagement with multidisciplinary literature and an empirical Actor-Network study centred on animals, technology, scientists, NGOs and policy makers, and farmers in Canada. This projects aims to explore the potential implications of an ongoing shift in international policy toward intensification of livestock through biotechnological innovations.
Considering the well-documented controversies surrounding biotechnological innovations, debates on the futures of animal farming and a limited knowledge about the Enviropig, this research aims to:
- Explore the origins of the Enviropig as an example of a genetic advancements in livestock (Morris and Holloway, 2009), to discuss controversies surrounding it and understand its possible implications for animal farming;
- Analyse the role of biotechnological innovations and scientific expertise performed in laboratories for animal farming, to understand the impacts on knowledge-practices offarmers;
- Attend to geographies of pig production to explore and understand the implications of genetic advancements in livestock for changing human-animal relations and policy;
- Provide an original contribution to Animal Geography and enrich Social Studies of Science and Technology (STS) by researching farm animal biotechnologies, currently understudied in these two fields of academic knowledge.
- Provide a comprehensive study of a technology which enables intensification of livestock through genetics, in order to influence an international agricultural policy.
Miele, M., Rucinska, K. and Anil, H (2013) Halal Slaughter Practices in Wales. Available at: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/cplan/sites/default/files/MM_Halal-Slaughter-Practices-Wales.pdf
Sophie Davies, Karolina Rucinska and Gareth Thomas (2012)The House of Beasts Symposium: Enquiries into the human and the animal Humanimalia, Vol 4, No1. Special Section: House of Beasts.
Conference and Workshops Papers
“Let’s talk about a transgenic farm animal – the Enviropig. STS in a conversation with Animal Geography” presented at STS Conference in Sheffield UK, 2nd December 2013.
“Porcine history of domestication” presented at School of Planning and Geography PhD Away Day, May, 2013.
“The Enviropig effects: an STS study of biotechnological innovation enactments in animal farming” presented at Welsh Human Geography Postgraduate Conference, March, 2013.
“Enviropig - a greener food for the future? Ambivalence and entrapment in the public perception of transgenic modification of pigs” Presented at Society for Social Studies of Science and European Association for the Study of Science and Technology, Annual Meeting 2012 in Copenhagen with Dr. Mara Miele.