Tamar Law

Ph.D. Candidate, Development Sociology

  • Research focus: Nature-society relations and capitalist natures; political ecology of climate mitigation and adaptation; politics of soil, feminist science studies and the role of techno-science in spheres of accumulation; nature-based solutions (NbS) and nature-based infrastructures (NbI); agrarian futures
  • Hometown: Ithaca, New York
  • College attended and degree earned: Cornell University (Bachelors, summa cum laude), University of Oxford (Mphil, highest distinction)

What are the big challenges you want to tackle in the world?

I view soil as a fruitful site to reflect on emerging epochal questions as we grapple with possibilities of life in the Anthropocene, including:

  • What is the promise and folly of enrolling nature as infrastructure within climate mitigation and adaptation?
  • How do new forms of capital accumulation emerge alongside shifting strategies of climate management and governance?
  • What role do scientific knowledge and emerging technologies play in capitalist natures?

What were you doing before the PhD program?

I received my bachelor's from Cornell in 2016 through the College Scholar Program, where I was awarded summa cum laude for my honor's thesis examining the knowledge politics of beekeeping in Manakara, Madagascar. Outside of the academic sphere, I spent time working in various food justice non-profits and as an environmental educator and playworker. I then went on to receive my MPhil in Human Environmental Geography from the University of Oxford in 2020, where I was awarded highest distinction on my thesis and fieldwork examining soil politics under climate change in Central New York State.

What has been the most memorable or impactful experience of your academic or professional career so far?

Learning from and with interlocuters during fieldwork in Central New York State and in Madagascar.

Connect with Tamar

  • tl432 [at] cornell.edu