From July 2021 to July 2022 I had the pleasure of undertaking a postdoctoral fellowship as part of the Beastly Business project at the University of Sheffield. I feel privileged to have had the chance to work with such a smart, talented and, above all, kind team of people. The excitement that came with taking up a new job in the University of Liverpool in August was a little dampened by the fact that it meant that I had to leave a post that I thoroughly enjoyed with a group of people that I like very much. Many trips, dinners, conferences and coffee meetings were left pending, as I rushed to wrap up my eels research. Some outputs were completed (Rosaleen and I managed to submit an article to a journal in the nick of time). Some were postponed (Teresa and I are planning to write another article some time next year). And some others were kept on the back burner, slowly but surely moving towards completion. It is this last one that I would like to share with you today.
First, though, let me tell you a bit about the background to this piece.
When I started reading about eels, back at the beginning of my fellowship, I quickly fell in love with this tenacious, resilient, fantastic species. The more I learned about them, the more I liked them, and this made me want to share with others some of the aspects that make them so fascinating. I wanted to share my fascination with eels—as well as my concern for their endangerment—not just through the traditional academic media, but also through a medium that we can all engage with and enjoy: art.
I am very excited to present to you ‘The European Eel: A Marvellous Creature in Perilous Waters’, a collection of illustrations commissioned from artist Sergio González Rosas which brings alive some of the key findings of the Beastly Business project’s research on this topic. I hope you enjoy these beautiful pieces and that they bring you closer to the European eel and its incredible story. You can enter the exhibition here. Enjoy!
Dr. Laura Gutiérrez
Lecturer in Criminology, University of Liverpool