Joana Formosinho

Joana Formosinho

Guest researcher

My research centres on the challenges and opportunities that symbiotic microbes pose to representations of the human and the human body— particularly in what concerns the boundaries between body and environment, human and non-human.

With a background in the biological sciences, I use STS ethnography to follow microbiome debates across disciplinary fields. I track where and how conceptualisations of health and the human are changing, what the conceptual challenges are, and the role of methodology in bringing them forth. I work with the literature (narrative and visual), through interviews and lab visits.

I focus in particular on the concept of holobiont—the functional unit of host plus symbiotic microbes. A conceptual bridge between body and environment, the holobiont is a key thought-figure for the Anthropocene— at the intersection of public health and sustainability.


I hold a BSc in Zoology from University of London and an MSc in Holistic Science from University of Plymouth/ Schumacher College. Outside academia, I have worked as a consultant researcher and writer in the NGO and business sectors,  and have taught at Schumacher College in the UK. I’m a member of the student advisory committee for the International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB). I speak English, Portuguese and Spanish.


Contact me:
By email:
By telephone: +45 50153190
Twitter: @joanaformosinho



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