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Paul G. Keil

PhD, Macquarie University

I am a social anthropologist, my research guided by theories that understand cognition, action, and culture as socio-ecological achievements emerging from organism-environment interactions. In 2010, I conducted ethnographic research on sheepdog herding competitions, examining how human and dog complemented the other, their respective species-specific capacities integrated into an interspecies distributed cognitive system. My postgraduate research was a multispecies ethnography and social anthropology of human-elephant relationships in Assam, northeast India, fieldwork funded by the Prime Minister’s Australia-Asia Endeavour Award. The broad objective was to examine how people’s environments, worldviews, and practices emerged in coordination with the lives of elephants, and to conceptualise forms of human-elephant sociality beyond the oft-typified dynamic of conflict, competition, and domination. I was awarded my PhD from Macquarie University, Australia, and am also an honorary postdoctoral fellow at Macquarie.