UCL Anthropology


Lewis Daly

Lecturer in Social Anthropology of the Environment

Email: l.daly@ucl.ac.uk

Websites: UCL Anthropocene and TEA: The Ethnobotanical Assembly

Twitter: @tea_assembly


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, focusing on indigenous ecological knowledge and practices in the savannahs and rainforests of northern Amazonia. Lewis has conducted over two years of ethnographic fieldwork with Makushi communities in southern Guyana and northern Brazil, focusing primarily on multispecies engagements in the indigenous culture and cosmology. His research is framed by an appraisal of the impact of conservation, ecotourism, and sustainable development on Makushi lifeways and environmental practices.

Lewis has conducted postdoctoral research projects with the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi (MPEG) in Belém, Brazil, and the Ethno-ornithology World Atlas (EWA) at the University of Oxford.

He is also the founder and co-editor of TEA: The Ethnobotanical Assembly – an open-access online journal about people-plant relationships.

Research Interests

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


I teach across a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules in Social and Environmental Anthropology, including:

  • ANTH0003/0004/0208: Introduction to Social Anthropology (convenor / lecturer)
  • ANTH0127: Critical Issues in Social Anthropology (PG)
  • ANTH0069: Ethnography of Forest Peoples (UG / PG)
  • ANTH0106: Anthropology of Development (PG)
  • ANTH0105: Resource Use and Impacts (PG)
  • ANTH0209: Biosocial Medical Anthropology (PG)
  • ANTH0015: Being Human (UG)

UCL Student Choice Awards | Nominations:

  • 2017 – Outstanding Teaching
  • 2018 – Outstanding Feedback
  • 2019 – Outstanding Feedback

PhD Supervision

  • Alice Vittoria – Contested Forests in the Congo Basin: Logging, Conservation, and the BaYaka (Anthropology, 2018–)
  • Julian Riveros Clavijo – A Tale of Development and Migration: An Ethnography of Pacific African-Colombian Migrants in Antofagasta, Chile (Anthropology, 2019–)
  • Sarah Fischel – Multispecies Care and Coral Restoration in Bonaire, the Leeward Antilles (Geography, 2019–)
  • Juan Mejia Lopez – Reserves, Fishermen, NGOs, and Blue Crabs: The Multiple Makings of Guaimoreto Lagoon in Northern Honduras (Anthropology, 2020–)
  • Jack Jenkins-Hill – Revolutionary Forests: Conservation, Conflict, and Sovereignty in the Forests of Southern Myanmar (Anthropology, 2020–)
  • Sahib Singh – The Reluctant Forest: Resource Extraction, Dispossession, Resistance, and Ontological Conflicts in Central India (Anthropology, 2020–)
  • Matthew French – “Drift” Kelp and Multe “Gold”: Contemporary Human Foraging Amongst Edible Seaweed and Berries in Ireland and Norway (Anthropology, 2020–)
  • Sonia Dhandha – Conservation Prioritisation of Wild Orchids in International Trade (UCL Anthropology and Kew, 2020–)
  • Hope Strickland – Parahumanity in Cockpit Country, Jamaica, as a Minor Mode of Resistance Amongst Contemporary Maroon Communities (Anthropology, 2020–)
  • Bo Yang – Symbiotic Species, Symbiotic Relationships: Pursuing More-than-human Liveability on the Tibetan Plateau (Anthropology, 2021–)

Recent Publications

Lewis has published in journals including Anthropological Forum, Anthropology Today, Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford, Journal of Ethnobiology, Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, Botany, and Oryx, as well as various edited volumes, academic blogs, and magazines. He is currently working on his ethnographic monograph.

Research Groups / Collaborations

Editorial Work

Conference Organisation

  • 2017 – Plant Worlds, Centre for Biocultural Diversity (CBCD), University of Kent
  • 2014 – Botanical Ontologies, The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), University of Oxford