Jared Margulies joined the BIOSEC project as a post-doctoral researcher in October 2017. He gained his PhD from the Department of Geography and Environmental Systems at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), where his dissertation examined the multispecies politics of conservation governance in South India. He conducted his primary dissertation fieldwork in southwest India with the support of a Fulbright-Nehru Grant in 2015-2016 based in Tamil Nadu in the Western Ghats. Before moving to Sheffield, Jared lived in Baltimore, Maryland, “The Greatest City in America,” for over a decade.
Jared leads BIOSEC Work Package 5 – Consuming Wildlife: environmental crime, security and biodiversity protection. He is studying the global illegal trade in rare cactus and other succulent plants. This research explores how plants circulate as ‘lively commodities’ through illicit trade, with particular attention to the diverse community of actors engaged in plant theft and plant commodification, as well as those actors working to conserve and protect succulent species. Through a method of following plants, his research has thus far taken him to Mexico, the US Southwest and California, Brazil, and several countries in Europe. Based on this research he is developing a book entitled Plant Politics: a global ethnography of illicit succulent life.
In August 2019, Jared moved to the University of Alabama as an Assistant Professor of Political Ecology, where he will continue this research on illicit plant trade.