The Bloomsbury Colleges | PhD Studentships | Studentships 2017 | Antibiotic use in companion animals: a mixed methods anthropological study
Document Actions

Antibiotic use in companion animals: a mixed methods anthropological study

Principal Supervisor: Dr Clare Chandler (LSHTM)

Co-supervisor: Dr Ana L. P. Mateus

This unusual PhD position will suit a highly motivated anthropologist interested in the complex issue of antimicrobial resistance, the roles of antibiotics in society, the application of multi-species ethnographic perspectives to public health issues, and the potential of a One Health approach.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an increasing problem for both animals and humans. A cornerstone of approaches to address resistance is to reduce drug pressure upon bacterial populations, many of which are shared between human and non-human animals. It is as yet unclear how this may be achieved in an effective, sustainable manner. This project will focus on the human-animal nexus in the emergence and spread of community AMR.

The PhD research will involve ethnographic fieldwork at companion animal primary care practices around London and with owners of cats and/or dogs attending these practices. The PhD researcher will be encouraged to draw from a multi-species ethnography perspective, for example the work of Eben Kirksey, Donna Haraway, Anna Tsing and Heather Paxon. In addition, the researcher will have access to the Veterinary Companion Animal Surveillance System (VetCompass) data at practice level on antimicrobial usage. This data might be used to conduct descriptive analysis of antimicrobial usage and identify potential risk factors of interest for qualitative exploration. The student will develop finely grained understandings of antimicrobial usage and resistance, paving the way to consider animal-human-microbe entanglements in the context of wider ecologies and infrastructures.

The student will be registered at LSHTM and co-supervised by staff at RVC.

Candidate Requirements:

The successful candidate will have a degree in anthropology or a related subject, an interest in health across species, an interest in antimicrobial resistance and experience carrying out ethnographic fieldwork.  Some basic quantitative skills would be useful.

The studentship is open to applicants who would be assessed to have UK/EU fee status.

Key References:

[1] Buckland EL, O'Neill D, Summers J, et al. Characterisation of antimicrobial usage in cats and dogs attending UK primary care companion animal veterinary practices. The Veterinary record 2016.

[2] Chandler, C.I.R., Hutchinson, E., & Hutchison, C. (2016) Addressing Antimicrobial Resistance Through Social Theory: An Anthropologically Oriented Report. London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Available online at

[3] Haraway DJ. When Species Meet. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press; 2008

[4] Kirksey, E., & Helmreich, S. (2010). The emergence of multispecies ethnography. Cultural Anthropology, 25(4), 545-576

[5] Mateus AL, Brodbelt DC, Barber N, Stark KD. Qualitative study of factors associated with antimicrobial usage in seven small animal veterinary practices in the UK. Preventive veterinary medicine 2014; 117(1): 68-78.

[6] Paxson, H. (2012). The life of cheese: Crafting food and value in America (Vol. 41): Univ of California Press.

[7] Tsing, A. L. (2015). The mushroom at the end of the world: on the possibility of life in capitalist ruins: Princeton University Press.

Further details about the project may be obtained from

Principal Supervisor: Dr Clare Chandler (LSHTM) (

Co-supervisor: Dr Ana L. P. Mateus (

Further information about PhDs at LSHTM is available from:

Application forms and details about how to apply are available from:

LSHTM uses an online application system, please see:

Please contact for queries related to the submission of the application.

Please use the standard LSHTM application system to apply for this studentship and state clearly under the funding section that you are applying for this particular studentship. Since you are applying for an existing project you do not need to include a research proposal, so please instead upload a document which states that you are applying for this studentship.

Closing date for application is:

28th April 2017