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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

Dr Lesley Murray is a Professor in Spatial Sociology and Associate Dean for Research and Knowledge Exchnage at the University of Brighton, teaching sociology and research methods at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She is an experienced researcher with a track record in commissioning and managing research and in successfully bidding for research projects. Lesley has over 30 years’ experience in urban mobilities research in academia and government, having worked as a transport researcher for the London Research Centre, the Greater London Authority and Transport for London. She completed a PhD in 2007 (ESRC), followed by an ESRC-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Brighton. Lesley’s research interests centre on urban mobilities and mobility justice and she has published extensively in this field, including on gendered and generational mobilities, the intersections between mobile and visual methods and urban mobile spaces. Her current research is on storying the immobilities of gender-based violence (AHRC AH/X008843/1).

Research interests

Although my research interests centre on the field of mobilities, this is a broad area of research that incorporates many diverse topics. I have four main areas of interest within his field. Firstly, recent work has focused on intergenerational and gendered mobilities and gender-based violence. Secondly, I have worked for a number of years on mobilities and transport and the ways in which transport intersects with other social issues. Thirdly, my research seeks to understand the significance of urban physical spaces as sites of social interactions and design. Lastly, I continue to pursue new ways of carrying out research through creative research methodologies and methods. 

Approach to teaching

I teach sociology and research methods modules at all levels. I am a keen and active researcher and my research, along with my profession experience, shapes my teaching practice. I use a combination of traditional teaching activities: lectures, seminars, tutorials and supervision, ensuring that the activity is best suited to the learning outcomes and course assessment. Lectures are interspersed with questions, from and to students, and I use a range of modes of representation including film, literature, and visual arts, and different media including audio-visual and online, to communicate ideas through contemporary examples. I think that students learn best when they are fully engaged with a particular topic and can apply it in their social world.

Supervisory Interests

I am interested in supervising doctoral students on a range of topics including transport and mobilities, urban sociology, visual sociology and gender and generation. In addition, I welcome proposals from students seeking to adopt creative and inventive methodologies and methods. I am currently supervising projects on: lived experiences of the anthropocene; urban place-attachment across generations; sequential art in architectural practice; urban pocket parks; generation and automobility futures; and the wellbeing of refugee children.

External positions

Peer reviewer, Arts and Humanities Research Council

15 Mar 2017 → …

External Examiner, Canterbury Christ Church University

30 Sep 2016 → …


  • HM Sociology
  • Mobilities
  • Urban
  • Gender and Generation


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