Paul G. Keil Ph.D

Paul G. Keil Ph.D



Paul G. Keil Ph.D

Postdoctoral Researcher & Deputy Head of Department
Department of Ecological Anthropology


  • keil[at]



Research Profile

Paul Keil obtained his PhD in 2017 in social anthropology at Macquarie University, Australia. His regional and ethnographic expertise is in Northeast India and Australia, with research interests informed by more-than-human anthropology, cognitive science, and environmental humanities. Keil has published on a variety of human interactions with dogs, wild pigs, and elephants. His analytical interest lies in interspecies teamwork, shifting perspectives towards animals, recreational hunting, co-engineered ecologies, uncertainty in human-animal relations, and sharing place with charismatic wildlife, including several papers on human-elephant relations in Northeast India.

Keil is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the ERC BOAR Project: "Veterinarization of Europe? Hunting for Wild Boar Futures in the Time of African Swine Fever." He also holds an Honorary Postdoctoral Affiliate at the Department of Anthropology, Macquarie University, and is a member of the Coexistence Consortium 


Research outputs

Scientific Publications

Edited Volumes & Special Issues

2023 Laine, N., Keil, P.G., Rahmat, K. (eds.) Composing Worlds with Elephants. Paris: Institut de recherche pour le développement.


Articles in peer reviewed journals

2023     Keil, P.G. Unmaking the Feral: The shifting relationship between free-roaming pigs and settler Australians. Environmental Humanities 15 (2)

2022    Fair H., Schreer V., Keil, P.G., Kiik L., Rust N. Dodo dilemmas: Conflicting ethical loyalties in conservation social science research. Area:

2022    Harris, C.B., Sutton, J., Keil, P.G., McIlwain, N., Harris, S.A., Barnier, A.J., Savage, G. & Dixon, R.A. Ageing together: Interdependence in the memory compensation strategies of long-married older couples. Frontiers in Psychology13: 854051.

2021    Keil, P. G. Rank Atmospheres: the more-than-human scentspace and aesthetics of a pigdogging hunt, The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 32, 96-113.

2020     Keil, P.G. On the Trails of Free-Roaming Elephants: Wild human-elephant relations, mobility, and history in upland Southeast Asia. Transfers 10, 2-3

2017     Keil, P.G. Uncertain human-elephant encounters in North-East India. Journal of Religious and Political Practice, 3(3), 196-211.  

2017     Harris, C.B., Barnier, A.J., Sutton, J., Keil, P.G., & Dixon, A. (2017/09). “Going episodic”: collaborative inhibition and facilitation when long-married couples remember together. Memory, 25(8), 1148-59.

2015   Keil, P.G. Human-Sheepdog Distributed Cognitive Systems: An analysis of interspecies scaffolding at a sheepdog trial. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 15(5), 508-529.

2015   Harris, C.B., Barnier, A.J., Sutton, J., & Keil, P.G. Couples as socially distributed cognitive systems: Remembering in everyday social and material contexts. Memory Studies, 7 (3), 285-297.

2014     Barnier, A.J., Priddis, A.C., Broekhuijse, J., Harris, C.B., Cox, R., Congleton, A.R., Keil, P.G & Addis, D.R. Reaping what they sow: The benefits of remembering together in intimate couples. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 3(4), 261-265.

2011     Harris, C.B., Keil, P.G., Barnier, A. J., & Sutton, J. We Remember, We Forget: Collaborative Remembering in Older Couples. Discourse Processes, 46 (4), 267-303.

2010     Sutton, J., Harris, C.B., Keil, P.G., & Barnier, A. J. (2010/12/1). The psychology of memory, extended mind and socially distributed remembering. Phenomenology of Cognitive Science, 9 (4), 521-560.

2010    Harris, C. B., Barnier, A. J., Sutton, J., & Keil, P.G. (2010/02/01). How did you feel when “The Crocodile Hunter” died? Voicing and silencing in conversation influences memory for an autobiographical event. Memory, 18(2), 185-197.


Book Chapters

2023    Laine, N., Keil, P.G., Rahmat, K.,. Introduction, In Laine, N., Keil, P. & Rahmat, K. (eds.) Composing Worlds with Elephants. Paris: Institut de recherche pour le développement.

2023     Keil, P.G. The social effects of musth. In Laine, N., Keil, P. & Rahmat, K. (eds.) Composing Worlds with Elephants. Paris: Institut de recherche pour le développement.

2022    Keil P.G. & Laine, N. Human-elephant worlds in Northeast India. In J. Wouters & T. Subba (eds.) Routledge Companion to Northeast India. New Delhi: Routledge.

2016     Keil, P.G. Elephant-Human Dandi: How Humans and Elephants Move Through the Fringes of Forest and Village in Assam. In P. Locke & J. Buckingham (eds.), Rethinking Human-Elephant Relation in South Asia (pp. 197-223). New Delhi: Oxford University Press, India.

Conferences and Workshops

Selected Conference Presentations

2022     Keil, P.G. The Art of Pigdoggin' What is hunting? 3-day workshop in Prague

2022     Keil, P.G. (2022/07/26) Finding the Communal in Conflict. HOLB panel. European Society for Social Anthropologists conference, 2022. Online.

2021     Keil, P.G. (2021/11/26) Killable Companion: The Relational Knots that Sustain Pig-Pig in a World Geared towards her Unmaking. Multispecies relations - care and creativity in times of crisis panel. Australian Anthropological Society Conference. Online.

2021     Keil, P.G. (2021/10/25) Living with Elephants: Shared landscapes and a more-than-human proposal. RAI 2021: Anthropology & conservation. Online.

2020     Keil, P.G. (2020/09/26) Taking the feral position? Competing obligations studying human and wild-pig relations in Australia, Contested Loyalties panel, Pollen 2020: Contested Natures: Power, possibility, prefiguration., Online.

2019     Keil, P.G. (2019/06/22). Scaffolding the Elephant: Becoming domestic and living by the norms of the human world. School of Oriental and African Studies Elephant Conference II, SOAS, London.

2019     Keil, P.G. (2019/05/03). Elephants Crossing with Care: Making Space for Local Ways of Life. Arts of Coexistence: Care and survival in the Sixth Extinction. Oslo School of Environmental Humanities, University of Oslo.

2018     Locke, P. & Keil. P.G. (2018/11/15). Beyond the Disciplinary Silo- Human-Elephant Interactions and The Imperative for Interdisciplinary Collaboration. American Anthropological Association annual meeting, San Jose, California.

2018     Keil, P.G. (2018/01/15). Humans and elephants, co-creating worlds in Assam. Locating northeast India: Human mobility, resource flows, and spatial linkages. Tezpur University, Assam.

2016     Keil, P.G. (2016/12/13). Hidden elephants and the problem of the wild in multispecies ethnography. Anthropological Society Conference, University of Sydney.

2016     Keil, P.G. (2016/04/05). Colonising in the footsteps of elephants. School of Oriental and African Studies Elephant Conference, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

2015     Keil, P.G. (2015/12/02). Uncanny human-elephant entanglements in Northeast India. Australian Anthropological Society Conference, University of Melbourne.

2015     Keil, P.G. (2015/11/30). Feeding a living god. New Zealand Asian Studies Society Conference, Canterbury University.


Conference and Workshop organisation

2022     What is hunting? 3-day workshop in Prague. Programme Committee, (2022/11/27-29)

2020     Composing Worlds with Elephants: a multidisciplinary dialogue on human-elephant relations (2020/12/13-15). Scientific Programme Committee, Lead Organiser.

2019     Belonging, Prosperity and Security in a More-than-human world (2019/09/11-12). Programme Committee

Grants & Awards


2021     Project 891063, FERALHUNT “Hunting the Unruly Pigs of the New Wild: An anthropology of recreational pig hunting” Mezinárodní mobilita výzkumných, technických a administrativních pracovníků výzkumných organizací, January 2021- December 2022.

2016    Keil, P. G. “Human-Elephant Entanglements” Postgraduate Research Fund (PGRF), Session 1. Macquarie University,

2012     Barnier, G. Savage, D.R. Addis, R. Cox, J. Sutton, N. Bullot, C. Harris, M. Irish, E. Connaughton, A. Cordonnier, A. Selwood, M. Temler, K. Williamson, P. Keil, & A. Devitt. "Belief in memory". Macquarie University, CCD 2012 Cross Program Support Scheme.



2014    Prime Minister’s Australia-Asia Endeavour Award Postgraduate Scholarship: A prestigious award providing financial support for Australian students to undertake research in Asia. Mobility focused and fostering future academic and industry leaders

Other publications and activities

Online essays

2022     Szczygielska M, Kuen L, O’Mahony K, and Keil P. G. Feral ethics. Thinking feral with pigs. New Alphabet School (HKW)

2020     Sosna. D, Keil, P. G., Broz, L. (07/05/2020) Pandemic futures: disposable or reusable masks? Times of Covid-19, Retrieved from

2018     Keil. P. G (2018/02/01). Death of a hungry god. SAPIENS, photo essay. Retrieved from:

2015     Locke, P. & Keil, P.G. (2015/10/27). Multispecies methodologies and human-elephant relations. Engagement- A blog published by the Anthropology and Environment Society. Retrieved from: 

2012     Keil, P.G. & Downey, G. (2012/06/25). Man-Sheep-Dog. Interspecies social skills. Neuroanthropology, PLOS blogs. Retrieved from 'Man-sheep-dog': inter-species social skills - Neuroanthropology (


Science communication

2021     Morethanhuman matters (2021/07/01) Interview on past and current research. Retrieved from

2021     RESPEKT (2021/01/03) Interview in national, weekly Czech magazine on pig hunting research. Retrieved from

2020     GTAEF Elephant Professional Lecture series (2020/07/29). “Working with elephants: interspecies and living in a more-than-human society” Public presentation on research

2019     Elephant Collaborative Website ( Part of a broader collaborative project with elephant scientist, Dr Tarsh Thakekaera, I constructed this website to curate short-form essays from elephant experts, foster cross-disciplinary discussion, and introduce new ideas to the public on human-elephant relations. Submissions are ongoing.

2019     Assam Tribune (2019/06/29). “A double track multiplies the mistakes of the past at Deepor Beel” Opinion editorial piece on elephant conservation for respected regional newspaper, India.

2017    Bangkok Scientifique (2018/10/24). “Living in Elephant Worlds.” Presentation on research

2016     Current Conservation Magazine, 10 (3). “Bridging the Gap Between Humans and Elephants: An interview with Piers Locke and Paul Keil.”


Book reviews

2021     Keil, P.G. (2021/03) N. Laine, 2020. Living and Working with Giants: A Multispecies Ethnography of the Khamti and Elephants in Northeast India” Gajah 53, 60-61.

2020     Keil, P.G. (2020/03/23) Twenty-first century world-making through processes of domestication. A review of A. Blanchette 2020. “Porkopolis: American Animality, Standardized Life, and the Factory Farm”. Anthropology Book Forum, 6(1).

2019     Keil, P.G. (2019/07/20). R. Govindrajan 2018. Animal Intimacies: Interspecies Relatedness in India's Central Himalayas. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies. DOI: 10.1080/00856401.2019.1608416

2016     Keil, P.G. (2016/04/24). Y. Musharbash & G. Henning Presterudstuen, 2014. Monster Anthropology in Australasia and Beyond. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 27(3), 415-417.