Personal profile

Research interests

Dr. Catherine Kelly is a geographer with research interests in sustainability, tourism and wellbeing. Her lecturing, research and practices cross a range of these broad categories. Catherine's research areas have varied over her academic career - starting with rural geography, then moving into the field of heritage studies and then tourism (cultural, heritage, wellness and sustainable tourism specifically); with a more recent emphasis on the importance of 'blue spaces' for human wellbeing. She is interested in the importance of water-based 'therapeutic landscapes' for physical, psychological and social wellbeing. Catherine's research also looks at how wellbeing can be used to advocate for personal relationships with the coast and its stewardship/environmental conservation. She is interested in access to the sea - in physical, social and cultural terms. Since joining the School of Business and Law, Catherine is also interested in the role of the Blue Economy in tourism development and sustainable business practices.

Catherine's work on Blue Spaces has received widespread media attention resulting in interviews for the BBC, Guardian newspaper, Independent, and a range of high circulation magazines and podcasts. She is a regular invited speaker at public events and festivals in the UK and overseas. She sits on the newly created UK national Blue Space Forum for the Environment Agency.

Supervisory Interests

I welcome the opportunity to supervise PhD students with an interest in the areas of tourism and wellbeing, place and wellbeing, sustainability, nature-based tourism, coastal tourism, blue spaces, water and wellbeing, rural tourism, cultural/heritage tourism, national parks and biospheres.

Approach to teaching

My appraoch to teaching is a finely tuned sense of 'calm, humorous, authority'.  With many years experience, I like to meet students where they are at...a new first year or a keen Phd student. My teaching style is informative and interactive. Building confidence in student opinion-formation, backed up with research, is a key teaching goal for me. I like to inspire my students with real life examples, stories, case studies, guest speakers and excursions to put learning into practice!

Education/Academic qualification

BSc Stress Management, University of Greenwich

Award Date: 1 Aug 2011

PhD Human Geography, Coventry University

Award Date: 1 Nov 1994

BSc Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin

Award Date: 1 Aug 1991

External positions

Panel Member

2021 → …

Board Member

2015 → …


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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