Dr Laura Jeffery is Lecturer in Social Anthropology in the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh, and has research interests in island ecologies, human–environment relations, and the establishment and management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Her ethnographic work in Mauritius, Seychelles, and the UK has focused on the Chagossian community displaced from the remote Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean to make way for a US military base on Diego Garcia. She currently holds an ESRC Research Fellowship to look at debates about climate change, environmental conservation, sustainable development, eco-tourism, military security, and the feasibility of human resettlement. This research takes place in the context of disputes between the UK and Mauritius about the sovereignty of the Chagos Archipelago and about the legality of the controversial Chagos Marine Protected Area (MPA) unilaterally declared by the UK Government in 2010, which is being challenged by the Mauritian Government under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
She has recently published on WikiLeaks evidence in judicial review of the MPA, debates about environmental guardianship, and ‘coconut chaos’ and the politics of restoration ecology.