UCL Anthropology


Dr Lewis Daly

Lecturer in Social Anthropology of the Environment

Office: Room 140, UCL Anthropology

Email: l.daly@ucl.ac.uk

Twitter: @tea_assembly

Websites: UCL ProfileUCL Anthropocene, and TEA: The Ethnobotanical Assembly

  • DPhil in Anthropology, University of Oxford (2015)
  • ESRC 1+3 PhD Studentship (ES/I903887/1) (2011-15)
  • MSc in Anthropological Research Methods, University of Oxford (2011)
  • MSc in Social Anthropology, University of Oxford (2009)
  • BSc in Anthropology, University College London (2007)


Lewis Daly is a Lecturer in Social Anthropology of the Environment at UCL. He completed his doctorate (DPhil) in Anthropology at the University of Oxford in 2015, which investigated indigenous ecological knowledge and practices in the savannahs and rainforests of northern Amazonia. He has been conducting long-term ethnographic fieldwork with Makushi communities in southern Guyana and northern Brazil since 2010, focusing primarily on more-than-human engagements in the indigenous society, culture, and cosmology. In particular, Lewis is interested in advancing a dedicated anthropology of plants and plant-life, and has conducted research into agroecology, gardening, food practices, plant medicine, and plant use in ritual. His research is framed by an appraisal of the impact of conservation, ecotourism, and sustainable development interventions on Indigenous lifeways and environmental practices in Amazonia today.

Lewis has conducted postdoctoral research projects and collaborations both in the UK and internationally, including with the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi (MPEG) in Belém, Brazil and the Ethno-ornithology World Atlas (EWA) at the University of Oxford. He is a Guest Lecturer in Ethnobiology at the Institute of Human Sciences at the University of Oxford, as well as a Visiting Scholar at the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography (SAME), also at Oxford.

Lewis is the founder and co-editor of TEA: The Ethnobotanical Assembly, an open-access online journal and research community dedicated to exploring people-plant relationships from a diversity of angles and perspectives.

Research Interests

  • Anthropology of Amazonia, lowland South America, and Latin America
  • Animism, perspectivism, shamanism, ontology, cosmology
  • Multispecies ethnography in the Anthropocene
  • Indigenous knowledge and Indigenous rights
  • Historical ecology of tropical rainforests
  • Anthropology of plants, ethnobotany, phytoethnography
  • Anthropology of birds, birding, ethno-ornithology
  • Agriculture, food processing, and fermentation technologies
  • Sensory ecology (chemosensation, olfaction, taste, bioacoustics)
  • The politics of conservation, ecotourism, and sustainable development


Lewis has taught across a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules in Social and Environmental Anthropology, including:

Teaching Awards

UCL Student Choice Awards | Nominations:

  • 2023  ⌲  Inspiring Teaching Delivery
  • 2019  ⌲  Outstanding Feedback
  • 2018  ⌲  Outstanding Feedback
  • 2017  ⌲  Outstanding Teaching

PhD Supervision

Lewis's current PhD students are the following:

  • Roy Ashton ⌲ How Does the Forest Speak? Tracking and Sensory Awareness among Forest-Dwelling Hunter-Gatherer Peoples (Anthropology, 2022–)
  • Catherine Clarke ⌲ Conservation Politics and Indigenous Rights in the Colombian Amazon: The Negotiation and Implementation of Area-Based Conservation Targets (Anthropology, 2021–)
  • Bo Yang ⌲ Symbiotic Species, Symbiotic Relationships: Pursuing More-than-Human Liveability on the Tibetan Plateau (Anthropology, 2021–)
  • Juan Mejia Lopez ⌲ Reserves, Fishermen, NGOs, and Blue Crabs: The Multiple Makings of Guaimoreto Lagoon in Northern Honduras (Anthropology, 2020–)
  • Jack Jenkins-Hill ⌲ The Making, Remaking, and Unmaking of Tanintharyi Region's Revolutionary Forest, Myanmar (Anthropology, 2020–)
  • Sahib Singh ⌲ The Reluctant Forest: Resource Extraction, Dispossession, Resistance, and Ontological Conflicts in Central India (Anthropology, 2020–)
  • Sonia Dhandha ⌲ Conservation Prioritisation of Wild Orchids in International Trade (UCL Anthropology and Kew, 2020–)
  • Matthew French ⌲ “Drift” Kelp and Multe “Gold”: Contemporary Human Foraging Amongst Edible Seaweed and Berries in Ireland and Norway (Anthropology, 2020–)
  • Sarah Fischel ⌲ Multispecies Care and Coral Restoration in Bonaire, the Leeward Antilles (Geography, 2019–)
  • Julian Riveros Clavijo ⌲ A Tale of Development and Migration: An Ethnography of Pacific African-Colombian Migrants in Antofagasta, Chile (Anthropology, 2019–)
  • Alice Vittoria ⌲ Sharing the Forest: Bayaka Mobility and Dwelling in a More-than-Human Landscape in the Congo (Anthropology, 2018–)

Recent Publications

Lewis has published in a wide range of anthropological and interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journals, as well as various edited volumes, academic blogs, and magazines. He is currently writing his ethnographic monograph.

Research Positions, Groups, and Collaborations


Conference Organisation

  • 2024 ⌲ Rights of Nature workshop w/ Paul Powlesland, UCL Anthropology
  • 2017 ⌲ Plant Worlds, Centre for Biocultural Diversity (CBCD), School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent
  • 2014 ⌲ Botanical Ontologies, The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), University of Oxford