Personal profile

Scholarly biography


I am a geographer concerned with understanding contemporary human-nature relationships, particularly with regards to emergent forms of water governance. I explore processes of global water utility privatisation and financialization, political austerity policies, rapid urbanisation and climate change activism to understand evolving ‘hydro-social’ relationships between humans and their access to, and use of, planetary water.  

I work with a wide community of stakeholders who are involved in water governance. This includes farmers, naturalists, artists, planners, walkers, local residents, environmental activists and ecologists.

My teaching and research focuses on:

1. Understanding patterns of environmental citizenship and activism with regards to freshwater resources across the planet, particularly amongst community elders, in support of sustainability

2. Exploring how renaturing cities through the use of blue-green infrastructure can improve the ‘liveability’ of these dense urban spaces, and the ways in which these technologies and interventions can support climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.

3. Interrogating contemporary human health and wellbeing experiences within wetland environments, to understand the relationship between landscape forms, identity formation and our connectivity with other ‘more than human’ species.

My research has been funded through a variety of UK research councils including NERC and the AHRC, the European Union, the Daphne Jackson Trust, the Landscape Research Group and the Royal Academy of Engineers amongst others.

My most recent research project is WetlandLIFE ( part of the Valuing Nature Programme. I am a management board member of the Centre for Aquatic environments and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Approach to teaching

My teaching draws upon contemporary research across a range of disciplines, to enliven our sessions with discussions of applied examples of human geograpy concerns from across the planet. Our sessions together are a chance for us to discuss and debate current geographical themes and issues from a range of angles. This will help you develop your communication skills in a variety of ways, including confidence in verbal reasoning, clear analytical and writing skills, and familiarity with team working, all to support your development as budding geographers. To support you as the next generation of researchers I'll help you refine your qualitative research skills, drawing upon my own empirical examples and other data. Together we will use a range of resources to do this; from critiquing academic papers together, exploring podcasts, social media trends and documentary work. Independently, and with your peers, you will be learning to communicate your ideas and learning through blogs, reports, essays and poster presentations. As a lecturer and active researcher I am constantly refining my understanding of contemporary human geography concerns, and am always exposing myself to new ideas and approaches. I apply this same attitude to my teaching – and always encourage students to challenge themselves in their learning as we work together. I have committed years of my life to my development work in the field and to academic study – which has involved sacrifice and hard work. I hope to encourage you to fufill your potential to make a significant contribution to the world around you. The academic training you'll receive from myself and my esteemed colleagues will give you the skills and the confidence you need to pursue your life’s ambitions.

Research interests

My research interests lie in seeking to bridge the disjuncture between climate change science, water resources management practice and local articulations and experiences of changing water environments. My work is critically engaged with understanding how developed economies organize and manage their freshwater resources with regards to transitioning towards sustainable futures in the context of climate change. At heart my research explores why climate change narratives are still failing to resonate with most citizens, and are still not embedded within organisational praxis, and seeks to determine what approaches may close these gaps in order to support transitions towards sustainable futures. Inherent to this line of questioning are explorations of emergent forms of citizenship, discourses of governance and the links between landscape, taskscape and community within the late capitalist era. I draw on the work of Karen Bakker, Noel Castree, Eric Swyngedouw, Neil Adger and Tim Ingold to undertake empirical qualitative fieldwork which interrogates the political, cultural and physical intersections which co-create our sense of place, and our intimate, immediate relationship with our water environments. Recent research projects have included 'Rewilding elders: understanding environmental activism during retirement'; 'WetlandLIFE: taking the bite out of wetlands'; 'Towards Hydrocitizenship' and 'Community water governance: understanding place and subjectivity'.

Supervisory Interests

I am interested in supervising postgraduate research students (PhDs and MRes) in the following areas: community led water resource governance; sustainable water futures; elder environmental activism; nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation, degrowth theory in relation to environmental citizenship.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Cranfield University

Master, SOAS University of London

Bachelor, University of Leeds

External positions

Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Royal Geographical Society

1 Oct 2019 → …


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