Lauren Van Patter's doctoral research pairs ethnographic and ecological data to explore the more-than-human city through a case study of urban coyotes in Ontario. Her mixed methods approach engages participant observation, key informant interviews, camera traps, and secondary analysis of GPS collar datasets to interrogate shared life in multispecies cities. Theoretically, through a phenomenological exploration of the dwelt geographies of coyotes, she is exploring how broader biopolitical narratives of wildlife management map onto the everyday lives and embodied encounters of animals and humans in cities. Grounded in urban political ecologies and a more-than-human everyday urbanism, she is working to unsettle anthropocentric cartographies by highlighting intersecting human and animal temporalities and mobilities, and sensoria, tracing canid scent- and soundscapes.
In collaborating with the not-for-profit wildlife organization Coyote Watch Canada, Lauren's research is grounded in the experiences of local communities and guided by the expertise of citizen scientists. In terms of management and policy outcomes, it contributes to nonlethal approaches to wildlife responses, advancing Best Practices for aversion conditioning (humane hazing). This research will fill a crucial gap in the wildlife management scholarship, and will be useful to wildlife practitioners operating at the local scale who increasingly favour nonlethal tools.