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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, Critical heritage studies, Environment and society, Conservation and development, Human-environment relations, Maldives, Seychelles, Roads and infrastructure, connective infrastructure

Guidance and Feedback Hours

  • Semester 2: Thursdays, 1-3pm


I am a social anthropologist specialising in forced displacement, migration studies, development, conservation, and environmental knowledge. I am currently working on three projects:

  1. I am Principal Investigator on a Global Challenges Research Fund ESRC-AHRC Forced Displacement grant, working with Dr Mariangela Palladino and Dr Sebastien Bachelet to explore the capacity of arts-based methods to facilitate creative engagement with forced displacement in Morocco.
  2. 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 connective infrastructure – roads, bridges, inter-island link roads, causeways, and harbours – in Maldives.
  3. I am working with Dr Rebecca Rotter, Professor Vinesh Hookoomsing, and Saradha Soobrayen to support the intergenerationanl transmission of Chagossian cultural heritage. This project builds upon my ESRC doctoral research on the politics of victimhood among forcibly displaced Chagos islanders in Mauritius and Seychelles, my Leverhulme postdoctoral research on the onward migration of Chagossians to the UK, and my ESRC Research Fellowship exploring 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

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
  • Dr 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; 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 Social Anthropology