Jes Hooper, Founder
Jes is an Anthrozoology PhD candidate at the University of Exeter and a member of Exeter’s Anthrozoology as Symbiotic Ethics (EASE) working group. Her doctoral research focuses on human-civet interactions via the concept of "disappearance" in the Anthropocene.
Jes has published several academic works on civet coffee production and authentication, civet coffee tourism, and the rising phenomenon of Civet Lover pet keeping clubs. Jes has also co-authored several papers on the topics of animals in tourism, animal ethics, and media portrayals of animals during times of crises, and is currently co-host of two international conference, Anthrozoology as International Practice, and Emerging Voices for Animals in Tourist. Jes is also currently co-editing two special journal issues and one book volume on the topic of ethical human-animal relations.
Jes is also member of the IUCN SSC Small Carnivore Specialist Group, and works as the Campaigns and Research Manager for Badger Trust, a single-species initiative protecting European badgers in England and Wales.
My background is in primarily in biological sciences, having studied Animal Science at Bachelor level and then Primate Conservation as an MSc. Whilst I've worked in a variety of science based and vocational animal care roles throughout my career (including as a primate field researcher, behaviourist, zoo keeper and registrar) my passion has always been the philosophical pursuit of understanding the more intimate ways human and animal lives are shaped and connected. Having first encountered a binturong whilst I was an undergrad volunteering at my local zoo, I was immediately fascinated by these large and unsual animals and was shocked that (at the time) so little was known about them. Since then, my fascination with Viverrids has grown, and I now dedicate my research to them.
I founded the Civet Project in 2019 when I began my PhD research into human-civet relations as a way of disseminating my research to public and academic audiences. Since then, the project has grown and we are now planning on obtaining charitable status. It was my aim that the Civet Project will promote ethical human-civet relationships in all forms - whether that's via ethical consumerism and tourism, or via direct multi-species interactions. Overall I hope the Civet Project will inspire empathy for lesser-known species including those of minimal conservation concern.