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School of Social and Political Science: Staff profiles


Laura Jeffery

Laura Jeffery
Dr Laura Jeffery
Senior Lecturer, Social Anthropology; Associate Dean (Research Ethics), College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
5.20 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44 (131) 651 3860
Research Interests
Forced displacement, Migration studies, Environmental anthropology, Environmental Sociology, Indian Ocean studies, Anthropology of Britain, Mauritius, Chagos islanders, Digital ethnography, Critical heritage studies, Environment and society, Conservation and development, Human-environment relations, Maldives, Seychelles, Roads and infrastructure, connective infrastructure

Guidance and Feedback Hours

  • Semester 1: Wednesdays 9am-11am. Or email for an appointment outwith this time.


I am a social anthropologist specialising in forced displacement, migration studies, development, conservation, and environmental knowledge, with ethnographic experience in several Indian Ocean islands and in the UK.

I am Senior Researcher on Professor Edward Simpson’s ERC Consolidator Grant on roads and infrastructure development in South Asia, working with Dr Luke Heslop on the development of connective infrastructure – roads, bridges, inter-island link roads and causeways, and harbours – in Maldives.

My previous research focused on the forced displacement of the Chagos islanders to Mauritius and Seychelles in the late 1960s and early 1970s and the onward migration of Chagossians to the UK since 2002. As an ESRC Research Fellow, I worked with Dr Rebecca Rotter to explore debates about environmental knowledge in the context of the controversial Chagos Marine Protected Area and the UK government’s policy review on resettlement of the Chagos Archipelago.



Edited Special Issues

Journal Articles

Please email me for a PDF if you do not have library access to these journals.

Selected Book Chapters

Research Groups

Edinburgh Marine Network

Global Environment and Society Academy

Citizens, Nations and Migration Network

Postgraduate Supervision

PhD Student Projects

  • Alberto Baltazar Cruz: Central American and Mexican undocumented migrant transit
  • Hiu Yan Yu: Chinese migration and citizenship in the UK
  • Mairi O'Gorman: social remittances and the 'social renaissance' in Seychelles
  • Dustie Spencer: transnational Kashmiri activism in the UK and online
  • Adaoma Wosu: women's intertidal resource use, Ibo island, northern Mozambique
  • Heid Jerstad: changing weather in the North Indian Himalayas
  • Dr László Lajtai: multilingualism, social inequality, and mental healthcare in Mauritius

Topics interested in supervising

I welcome enquiries about supervision relating to my research interests in: environment and society; human-environment relations; politics of conservation and development; connective infrastructure; anthropology of displacement and migration studies; political and legal anthropology; critical heritage studies; digital ethnography; islands of the Western Indian Ocean, especially Mauritius, Chagos, Rodrigues, Agalega, Seychelles, Maldives, and Reunion; anthropology of Britain

If you are interested in being supervised by Laura Jeffery, please see the links below for more information:

PhD In African Studies; PhD in Social Anthropology; PhD in South Asian Studies; MSc (R) in South Asian Studies