Miranda Cichy


Research title: How can biodiversity loss and extinction be better understood through arts-science collaboration?

Research Summary

My research is concerned with anthropogenic bird loss during the age of Sixth Mass Extinction, and how taxidermy specimens in both the visible and non-visible areas of museums enable us to bear witness to such extinction. By exploring the histories and biogeographies of these specimens, my work seeks to explore the metonymic weight historically placed on taxidermy, and unravel the stories of extinct birds, both as individuals and as entire now-vanished species.  

Blending creative non-fiction and poetry, my thesis aims to "flesh out" the fragile surface remains of these animals, exposing the troubled history of 19th century taxidermy and its modern use and developments. Understanding taxidermy as impermanent and vulnerable to decay, my work explores how museums might make use of their exisiting collections to enable audiences to encounter extinction in their gallery spaces.    


Journal articles:

  • ‘Paradise Lost: Encounters with Australia’s Extinct Parrot’ (Museum & Society: Exhibiting Extinction ed. Dolly Jørgensen, vol 20, no. 1, 2022)


  • 'Naming the Paradise Parrot, Psephotellus pulcherrimus' (Magma 81, Anthropocene, 2021)
  • 'The Hole' (Magma 79, Dwelling, 2021)
  • Three poems in the weird folds: everyday poems from the Anthropocene (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2020)
  • ‘Cinnabar’ (Zoomorphic, 2019)
  • ‘Pfeilstorch, 1822’ (Zoomorphic, 2018)
  • ‘Exhibit’, Curlew Calling: Poetry, Nature Writing and Images in Celebration of Curlew (Numenius Press, 2017) 
  • ‘Dobsonia Chapmani, return’, Nature and Regeneration (Corbel Stone Press, 2017)
  • ‘Phantom’, Nature and Myth (Corbel Stone Press, 2017)
  • ‘Minke’, Driftfish (Zoomorphic, 2016)
  • ‘Bee Summer’ and ‘Swoose’ in bodies declare themselves (Poetry Book Society, 2015)
  • Four poems in The Salt Book of Younger Poets (Salt, 2011)


  • 'Paradise Parrot' (becoming-Feral, Objet-a Creative Studio, 2021)
  • REVIEW: Marine Objects / Some Language by Suzannah V. Evans (SPAM, 2020)
  • ‘Hushed, arthritic tread: The Peregrine and health’ (Zoomorphic, 2017)
  • ‘Wading in Deptford Creek’, (Caught by the River, 2016)



External supervisors

  • Dr David Borthwick
  • Professor Pat Monaghan
  • Maggie Reilly 


2018-2022 Lord Kelvin Adam Smith (LKAS) scholarship

  • Winner of the LKAS 3-minute-thesis competition (2019) 


2006-2009 (BA English Literature, University of Cambridge)

  • Winner of the Brewer Hall prize for a collection of poetry (£250)



  • 'At Last: The Endling in Extinction Narratives', at British Animal Studies Network: Loss (online), September 2021


  • 'Animal Afterlives: Encountering the Extinct Great Auk' at Fins, Furs and Feathers: Natural and Supernatural Animals of Scotland and the North, part of the Wild Goose Festival, Dumfries (online), October 2020
  • ‘Life After Death: Encounters with Extinction Taxidermy’, at ASLE-uki 2020, University of Sheffield (online), September 2020  


  • Part of the organizing committee for Lost Species Day at the Hunterian Museum. On the evening I ran a creative writing poetry stall and read at an extinction poetry performance with four other poets.
  • ‘Beyond Skin: Encounters with the Paradise Parrot’, at British Society for Literature and Science, Extinctions + Rebellions, University of Liverpool, November 2019
  • Poetry read as part of Beastly Modernisms conference, University of Glasgow, September 2019


  • Academic Writing Skills Programme

Additional Information

Awards (poetry)

  • Winner of the Kirkpatrick Dobie Prize for Creative Writing (2021)
  • Shortlisted for Wigtown Poetry Festival’s ‘Fresh Voice’ Award (2019)
  • Shortlisted for the Bridport Poetry Prize (2016)
  • Second prize for the Poetry Book Society’s National Student Poetry Competition, judged by Andrew McMillan (2015)
  • Shortlisted for an Eric Gregory Award (2010)