Asher Soryl portrait

Ph.D Candidate

University of Otago
Bioethics Centre

Hi there, my name is Asher Soryl and I am a PhD candidate at the University of Otago Bioethics Centre. My research focuses on philosophical issues related to animal welfare - in particular, the welfare of wild animals - and my educational background is in analytic philosophy.

Currently, I am working on completing my doctoral dissertation under the supervision of Mike King, Andrew Moore, and Phillip Sedon.

Before beginning my PhD, I completed a BSc degree at the University of Canterbury, and during this period I underwent a semester-long exchange at the University of British Columbia. Shortly after graduation I flew halfway across the world to study a MA at the University of Amsterdam, where I wrote my thesis on the ethics of wild animal suffering under the supervision of Marc Davidson.

About Me

As a child, I was raised by my two loving mothers in Christchurch, New Zealand - though my biological father and his husbands have always been an important part of my life. Despite growing up a kiwi, I was born in London, and as an adult I have thrived living in many different countries and cities across the world. My siblings and I were also raised vegan and educated bilingually speaking both English and te reo Maori (the indigenous language of New Zealand).

Throughout my life I have always been involved in activism and have volunteered for various different community and charitable groups promoting civil and animal rights. In my career this has led me to become interested in Effective Altruism, and I have previously worked as a researcher and outreach coordinator for the international non-profit Animal Ethics. I am also a philosophical open individualist, and consider the reduction of extreme suffering to be the primary goal in my life.

Family portrait
Feeding a tortoise