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Feathered majesty in the grainfield?​
Conflict, conservation, and the
whooper swan in Iceland

Feathered majesty in the grainfield? was my thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of an MSc in Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Iceland, which I completed in spring 2018. Written under the supervision of Dr. Karl Benediktsson and Dr. Edda R. H. Waage, the research was supported in part by a grant from the Pálmi Jónsson Nature Conservation Fund.


Motivated by recent debates in Iceland about whether to lift local protection of whooper swans due to their role in agricultural damage, I interviewed farmers, wildlife enthusiasts, and policy-shapers in order to explore nuances of the human–wildlife conflict at hand. The study contributes to a richer understanding of how cultural attitudes towards other animals gain value within conservation decision-making, a critical component of illuminating the often-concealed “biopolitics of conservation” that directly affect the protection of wildlife and landscape around the world.


Click below for the abstract and access to the thesis through the University of Iceland’s digital research repository.

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