Dawn Biehler is an associate professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she researches and teaches subjects like human geography and environmental justice. She also researches the history of public health in U.S. cities, urban and feminist political ecology, housing, and human-animal interactions.
Much of Biehler’s work revolves around something that many might prefer not to think about: household pests. She studies how human lives overlap with those of insects, rodents, and other unwelcome organisms that make their way into our homes. She has even written a book on the subject called Pests in the City: Flies, Bedbugs, Cockroaches, and Rats. In the book, Biehler argues that the urban ecologies that support pests have been shaped not only by the physical features of buildings and cities, but also by social inequalities, housing policies, and our own ideas about what domestic spaces are.
Recently, Dawn Biehler was on the I.U. campus to give a lecture and lead a workshop in conjunction with Indiana University’s Themester 2018, which focused on the interaction between human and non-human animals. While she was here, she joined Aaron Cain in the WFIU studios.