Jared Margulies

Assistant Professor


  • PhD, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), 2017
  • MSc, University of Oxford, 2010
  • BA, Goucher College, 2008


I study and teach political ecology, a diverse field of practice interested in the production of environmental inequalities, human-nature relationships, and how matters of social justice intersect with pressing environmental questions. My dissertation examined the politics of human-wildlife relations, conservation, and conflicts in South India around a series of protected areas. There I focused on issues of human-wildlife conflict within agricultural and tea plantation landscapes at the borders of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka states, a critical habitat for the Asian elephant, tiger, and leopard, among other animals. In particular, I was interested in how ‘human-wildlife conflict’ as a framing for understanding a wide variety of negative human-animal relations had come to both encompass and represent a wide suite of political and environmental contestations involving agriculturalists, laborers, government officials and bureaucrats, in addition to conservationists (and of course, animals). Much of my research in India has ultimately focused on how certain governmental strategies aiming to reduce forms of conflict between humans and animals often exacerbates them, and why this is so. Before I joined the Department of Geography at The University of Alabama, I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the BIOSEC project in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Sheffield, UK. There I shifted gears to the study of illegal wildlife trade, with an emphasis on illegal trade in cactus and succulent plants, as well as the geopolitical and racialized contours of illegal wildlife trade interventions. This ultimately led to several years of multi-sited, multi-species fieldwork on the largely unexplored global wildlife trade in succulents, which I am currently developing into a book. While cacti might seem like a big leap from elephants and tigers, what connects them is an attention to the inherently political nature of conservation efforts and how matters of (in)justice are interwoven into human relations with nonhuman life. I continue to conduct research on these subjects and welcome inquiries from prospective graduate students with aligned interests.

Selected Publications

  • Massé, F., & Margulies, J. D. (2020). The geopolitical ecology of conservation: The emergence of illegal wildlife trade as national security interest and the re-shaping of US foreign conservation assistance. World Development132, 104958. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.104958
  • Margulies, J.D., R.W. Wong, & R. Duffy. 2019. The imaginary ‘Asian Super Consumer’: A critique of demand reduction campaigns for the illegal wildlife trade. Geoforum 107: 216-219. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2019.10.005
  • Margulies, J.D., L.A. Bullough, A. Hinsley, D.J. Ingram, C. Cowell, B. Goettsch, B.B.  Klitgård, A. Lavorgna, P. Sinovas, and J. Phellps. 2019. Illegal wildlife trade and persistence of “plant blindness.” Plants People Planet 1(3): https://doi.org/10.1002/ppp3.10053.
  • Margulies, J.D. 2019. On coming into animal presence with photovoice. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space. 2(4), 850-873. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F2514848619853060.
  • Margulies, J.D. 2019. Making the “man-eater”: Tiger conservation as necropolitics. Political Geography 69: 150-161. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0962629818302324.
  • Margulies, J.D., and K.K. Karanth. 2018. The production of human-wildlife conflict: A political animal geography of encounter. Geoforum 95: 154-164. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016718518301842
  • Margulies, J.D., and B. Bersaglio. 2018. Furthering post-human political ecologies. Geoforum 94: 103-106.  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016718518300940
  • Margulies, J.D. 2018. The conservation ideological state apparatus. Conservation and Society 16(2): 181. http://www.conservationandsociety.org/text.asp?2018/16/2/181/228938.
  • Margulies, J.D., N.R. Magliocca, M.D. Schmill, and E.C. Ellis. 2016. Ambiguous geographies: connecting case study knowledge with global change science. Annals of the American Association of Geographers 106(3): 572-596.