Jessica Dempsey studies the rise and evolution of economic approaches to biodiversity conservation. She is co-founder of the international network the Convention Biological Diversity Alliance, a civil society network, developed to report on and provide input into UN biodiversity-related activities and programs. The “Enterprising Nature” video arises from her book of the same title (forthcoming from Wiley-Blackwell), which tracks the politics of new economic natures. She is an assistant professor in Geography at the University of British Columbia.

Rosemary Collard’s work explores the relationship between capitalism and animal life. The “Animal Traffic” video arises from her in-process book (under contract with Duke University Press) that investigates the booming global economy of live wildlife trade, exploring how wild animals are transformed into living commodities that circulate worldwide and can be bought, sold, and owned. She is an assistant professor in Geography, Planning and Environment at Concordia University, and a fellow at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute and the Loyola Sustainability Research Centre.

Jim Thomas researches and writes about the impacts of emerging technologies and international campaigns. He is a co-convenor of the International Civil Society Working Group on Synthetic Biology, which authored an extensive submission paper on synthetic biology and biological diversity, the founder of the Synbiowatch collaborative, which maintains the website, and is a member of the CBD’s Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Synthetic Biology The “Synthetic Biology” video arises from his work on several ETG Group publications, including Extreme Genetic Engineering – An Introduction to Synthetic Biology (2007) and The New Biomasters: Synthetic Biology and the Next Assault on Biodiversity and Livelihoods (2010). He is a research program manager and writer at ETC Group in Montreal.


Joanna Reid is a writer and editor based in Vancouver, BC. She works with a number of universities, publishers, and non-profit organizations. She has a PhD in Human Geography from UBC.


Zoocheck is a Canadian charity that works to “promote and protect the interest and well-being of wild animals” by “improving wildlife protection” and ending abuse of individual wild animals. Zoocheck’s “Forgotten Animals” campaign addresses issues related to the exotic pet trade. For more information visit

ETC Group “works to address the socioeconomic and ecological issues surrounding new technologies that could have an impact on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.” For over thirty years, ETC Group, formerly RAFI (Rural Advancement Foundation International), has carried out groundbreaking research into seeds, farmers’ rights, emerging technologies, and the economic arrangements and strategies of the “life Industries” (including biotech, agriculture, and pharmaceuticals). For more information visit

Third World Network is “an independent non-profit international network of organizations involved in sustainable development, the South, and North-South relations.” TWN specializes in sharing information among its network; “Biodiversity and Traditional Knowledge” is one of its key topic areas. For more information visit


Trevor Barnes
Juliane Collard
Rebecca Collard
Ian Cook
Alina Fisher
Meghan Gagliardi
Vinay Gidwani
Peter Keller
Rob Laidlaw
Scott Prudham
James Rowe
Karena Shaw
Nicole Shukin
Juanita Sundberg
Nettie Wild
Chee Yoke Ling
Heinrich Boll Foundation
SYNENERGENE Project of the EU seventh framework
11th Hour Project


This project was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Victoria, and Concordia University.

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