Natalie Porter

Assistant Professor

Natalie Porter is a medical anthropologist specializing in multispecies anthropology and the anthropology of science, technology, and medicine. Her research explores how pandemic disease threats are


transforming scientific knowledge and public health practice worldwide. This work has taken her from high security laboratories in the U.S. and Europe to chicken and duck farms across Vietnam.

Natalie is currently writing a book entitled, Viral Economies: An Ethnography of Bird Flu in Vietnam, which traces several bird flu interventions from their inception in multinational policy arenas through to their implementation in poultry farming communities. The book explores the exchange of resources at different sites of bird flu intervention in order to signal emerging tensions between the resolutely “public” ethos of global health and the increasingly proprietary devices of bio-security. Articles related to this research appear in American Ethnologist and Public Culture. Natalie is also carrying out a research project that analyses scientists’ ongoing efforts to regulate experiments on highly pathogenic viruses. She has published articles in BioSocieties and Social Science & Medicine, which explore how experimental organisms such as mutant flu viruses and genetically modified animals travel through biomedical research networks.

Natalie holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Global & International Studies from the University of California Santa Barbara, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin Madison. Before joining the faculty at Notre Dame, Natalie held positions at the University of Freiburg and the University of New Hampshire. She was also a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Science, Innovation & Society at the University of Oxford.

Curriculum Vitae


292 Corbett Family Hall