Photographs by Christian Ziegler

WHAT IS HAL?

HAL is short for HumAnimaLab or Human-Animal-Laboratory. And it’s a research group that aims to identify both legal and illegal wildlife trading networks at local and global scales. At the moment, HAL is curious about many things, such as the identity and relationships between network actors, the nature of capital flows which stem from the trade, the various steps in the extraction and transformation processes, and more.

WHY DOES HAL EXIST?

Wildlife trading is a growing phenomenon, but its under-workings and scale, among other things, remain unclear. By detailing its nature and scope, HAL can contribute to bring attention to the phenomenon and may also inform the action of policy makers and other engaged actors who seek to curb or better regulate the trade.

HOW DOES HAL WORK?

The group attempts to better understand the wildlife trade by tackling it from different angles. Original projects that are focused on the trade are undertaken by contributors with backgrounds in various fields (including anthropology, environmental science, psychology, international development, etc.). Research themes are multidisciplinary and utilize the ethnographic method. Works are posted to the HumAnimaLab website where they combine with existing published academic research, news stories, videos and even artistic images to offer a multifaceted picture of the contemporary wildlife trade.

WHO IS HAL?

Today, HAL is comprised of university students (at the undergraduate and graduate level) studying different subjects at several Canadian universities, and is headed by Professor David Jaclin of the University of Ottawa.