Michelle L. Hak Hepburn

Research Key Words

Environmental anthropology, political ecology, Americas, resource management


I am interested in environmental anthropology, and the myriad ways that people interact with and live in their surroundings. My PhD project, entitled “Thinking with trees to see the forest: Huayruro and the lived experience of deforestation in San Martin, Peru,” is an ethnography of the changing realities of place and how people in the Peruvian Andean Amazon interact with and use forest resources.

B.S.Sc Major in Anthropology, Major in Linguistics, University of Ottawa, 2012

MA, Anthropology, University of British Columbia, 2016

Masters Degree Thesis Title:
Trapping Bears in Algonquin territory: Cultural perceptions in practice

M.A. Supervisor: Dr. Shaylih Muehlmann, PhD

Conference Presentations:

“(There are No) Bears on Bloor Street: How living in untamed spaces shapes Northern Ontario perceptions of black bears.” SfAA 2016. Vancouver, BC. March 29-April 2, 2016.

“Patenting Traditional Ecological Knowledge: A Critical look at the Peruvian Example.” Landscapes of Knowledges: Canadian Anthropology Society Annual Conference 2015.  Leval University, Québec, QC.  May 13-16, 2015.

“The loom: Tourism potential or lost knowledge? (El telar: ¿potencial para turismo o conocimiento perdido?).”  Conference-workshop: Sistematization of biodiversity resources relevant to the tourism industry (Sistematización de información relevante para la determinación de recursos de la biodiversidad orientada a la industria turística).  Peruvian Amazon Research Institute – San Martín (Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonía Peruana – San Martín).  Tarapoto, Peru, January 30-31, 2014.

“The role of Traditional Knowledge in the conservation of biodiversity (El rol de conocimentos tradicionales en la conservación de la biodiversidad).”  Conference-workshop: Documentation of biodiversity resources in San Martín communities (Documentación de los recursos de la biodiversidad en comunidades de la Región San Martín).  Peruvian Amazon Research Institute – San Martín (Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonía Peruvian – San Martín).  Taropoto, June 11; Lamas, August 22; Juanjui, Sept. 11; Mayobaba, Sept. 25; Rioja, Sept. 26, 2013.

“Anthropology’s contribution to the understanding of use of flora (La contribucion de antropologia en el enterdimento del aprovechamiento de la flora).”  Conference-workshop: Species ecology of potential and commercial hardwoods and non-timber forest products in five watersheds (Ecología de especies comerciales potenciales, maderables y no maderables en 5 subcuencas).  Peruvian Amazon Research Institute – San Martín (Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonía Peruana – San Martín). Moyobamba, July 4-5; Juanjui, July 11-12. Bellavista, July 18-19. Lamas, July 25-26. 2013.


Conference Posters:

“Trapping Bears in Bears in Algonquin Territory: Cultural perceptions in practice,” PosterPalooza, Department of Anthropology Research Open House, University of British Columbia. Vancouver, BC. April 2, 2015.

SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship – Masters , 2015
Faculty of Arts Award , 2014
Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship , 2016