Panel Discussion: Natural Capital
Thursday 31 January 2019, 6.30pm–7.30pm

Wild_Relatives_1(ICARDA genebank).jpg

“Natural Capital is a concept that unites the economy and the environment as allies for a sustainable future.” (

“… the mastery of non-mastery: a mastering or endless perfecting of the art of conveying that there are some things that cannot – and should not – be mastered or captured.”
Shela Sheikh, Planting Seeds/The Fires of War: The Geopolitics of Seed Saving in Jumana Manna’s Wild Relatives 

In the context of Jumana Manna’s current exhibition at the DHG, Wild Relatives, this lively panel discussion with contributions from academics and artists will explore the concept of ‘natural capital’, and what this might mean for addressing climate change and pollution.


Dr. Patrick Bresnihan
Dr. Bresnihan is a Lecturer in the Geography Department of Trinity College Dublin. His work explores the political ecologies of environmental transformation and efforts to manage such transformations. He has carried out research on the Irish and European fisheries, wind energy, water and water infrastructures, and the urban commons. He has published widely through peer-reviewed journals, reports, edited collections and in his book, Transforming the Fisheries: Neoliberalism, Nature and the Commons (University of Nebraska Press, 2016).

Professor Yvonne Buckley
Professor Yvonne Buckley is the Professor of Zoology at Trinity College Dublin and an Honorary Professor at the University of Queensland in Australia. Prof. Buckley is an ecologist specialising in environmental decision making, natural capital management and population ecology. She leads a team of researchers and students seeking to understand the fundamental drivers of animal and plant population processes in a rapidly changing world. She uses these discoveries to provide support for environmental decisions in the areas of biodiversity conservation, invasive species management and habitat restoration. She is the founding chair of a learned society for ecologists in Ireland, the Irish Ecological Association, and is chair of the National Biodiversity Forum, providing advice to government on biodiversity strategy. Professor Buckley is originally from North Cork and received a B.A in Biology (1st class) from Oxford University and a Ph.D. from Imperial College London (2002). She worked at Imperial College London and the University of Queensland, Australia before joining Trinity College Dublin in 2014.

Tom O’Dea
Tom O’Dea is an artist-researcher and active member of the Orthogonal Methods Group (OMG) at CONNECT, an SFI-funded research centre headquartered in Trinity College. He has a background in mechanical engineering. O’Dea’s work is focused on the interplay of technologies and power. More specifically, he is interested in the politics of scientific knowledge and, as an extension of this, how ways of describing the world through computational structures impact the possibilities for our being, acting and thinking in the world. His work has examined how data driven practices of self-tracking such as social media and health trackers, genetics, and climate change modelling mediate our relationship with our bodies and the environment. These interests have brought O’Dea to focus particularly on measurement technologies – ways of encoding the material and immaterial phenomena that make up existence in abstract representational forms – and the way these act to express, suppress, illuminate or obscure political affects, power inequalities and knowledge hierarchies. His practice investigates measurement practices at both the theoretical level and in their practical implementation throughout society. Recent activities include exhibitions: Infrastructures of Now, NCAD Gallery (2018); 1967-2017, IMMA (2017-8) w/OMG; Self-Portrait SNP, National Gallery of Ireland (2017-8), The Width of Air, Carter Rd. Mumbai and NYU Gallery Shanghai (2016) w/Stereotropic Anecdota; Workshop and residency Matters of Facts, Grazer Kunstverein and IZK, Graz; and an art practice based PhD in Computer Science in Trinity College and a forthcoming article After Measurement in ephemera.

Image: Jumana Manna, Wild Relatives (2018), film still. Courtesy of the artist. Photography: Marte Vold.