Research Projects


Book Making Organicist Biotechnology

My book manuscript in progress, Making Organicist Biotechnology, is a laboratory ethnography exploring the recent emergence of organicism in the biosciences. Focused on the work of laboratory researchers in the UK and US, it investigates how increasingly complex, embedded, and ecological understandings of the biological shape how scientists and other actors involved in bioinnovation understand, enact and negotiate biotechnological application in society.


This work is based on my PhD dissertation (University of Cambridge, 2017), which was funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Wenner-Gren Foundation.

Research Placental Relations

Currently, I conduct ethnographic research with placenta researchers and developmental biologists in the United Kingdom to examine knowledge production and application in the context of the reproductive sciences. As bioscientists increasingly study fertility as a relational issue, co-produced between foetal and the maternal tissues, what are the effects of these notions of relational fertility on bioinnovation and applied biotechnology?


This project is part of a larger Wellcome Trust-funded initiative Changing In/Fertilities based at the University of Cambridge, where I coordinate the work package "Translational In/Fertilities" together with Noémie Merleau-Ponty.

Changing In Fertilities Clear Background



Biocircularities is a collaborative research project which looks at the diverse ways in which technoscientific innovations in epigenetics, bio-banking and regenerative medicine challenge  how people understand bodily temporality. Questioning the methodological assumption that lives are ‘lived forward’ from birth to death in the linearity of successive steps, the project explores how non-linear, looped and circular understandings of the life course create new desires, subjectivities and social structures with implications for social and intergenerational justice. The project is co-organised with Branwyn Poleykett.

© 2019 by Karen Jent.