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Centre of African Studies: People


Laura Jeffery

Laura Jeffery
Dr Laura Jeffery
Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology
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

  • By appointment


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

  1. I am Senior Researcher on Professor Edward Simpson’s ERC Consolidator Grant, "Roads and the politics of thought: Ethnographic approaches to infrastructure development in South Asia" (2015-20), working with Dr Luke Heslop on connective infrastructure – roads, bridges, inter-island link roads, causeways, and harbours – in Maldives. For more information, please visit the Roads project website.
  2. I was Principal Investigator on an ESRC-AHRC GCRF Forced Displacement grant, "Arts for Advocacy: Creative Engagement with Forced Displacement in Morocco" (2016-18), working with Dr Mariangela Palladino and Dr Sébastien Bachelet. For more information, please visit the Arts for Advocacy project website.
  3. I was Principal Investigator on an AHRC Impact and Engagement project, "CHAGOS: Cultural Heritage Across Generations" (2017-18), working with Dr Rebecca Rotter, Professor Vinesh Hookoomsing, Saradha Soobrayen, Chagossian groups, and Crawley Museum. For more information, please visit Chagos.Online. 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

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