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Emmanuelle Roth


Emmanuelle is an anthropologist with a keen interest in health and science. After initially training in humanitarian action, she became involved as a social scientist in outbreaks of Ebola in West Africa. She wrote her PhD thesis at the University of Cambridge on the practical, epistemological, and ethical labor of sampling animals said to act as reservoirs of Ebola, such as bats, to identify the “origin” of the outbreak. Her postdoctoral research additionally draws on environmental history and resituates such “virus hunting” endeavors at the crossroads of natural history, conservation science, and infectious disease research. Emmanuelle currently investigates shifts in understanding, caring for, and valuing bats through examining practices of collecting bat specimens and samples in Mount Nimba, an Upper Guinea Forest mountain range rich in biodiversity and mined for iron one since the 1960s. It is in such “hotspots” that new framings of human-animal interactions, environmental vulnerability, and biological threats emerge and are acted on by scientific institutions and economic interests. She is also preparing a manuscript on epidemic traces, discourses of epidemic origins, and historical configurations of insecurity in Guinea.