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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

Mary Gearey is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography within the School of Environment and Technology. She has over twenty years’ research experience in water resources management and governance, gained through interdisciplinary practice throughout the EU and sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr Gearey undertakes empirical qualitative fieldwork to explore the corresponding relationships between practices of community resilience and water resources policy, planning and management in the context of Sustainable Futures.  Her work is inter-disciplinary, orientated around emerging modes of governance within natural resources management informed by her background in International Development. 

Dr Gearey’s research has been funded through NERC, the European Union, the Daphne Jackson Trust, the Landscape Research Group and the Royal Academy of Engineers amongst others.

Dr Gearey’s current research project is WetlandLIFE (www.wetlandlife.org) part of the Valuing Nature Programme. She is a management board member of the Centre for Aquatic environments https://www.brighton.ac.uk/aquatic/index.aspx

Approach to teaching

My commitment to Sustainable Futures scholarship and dialogue means that I am constantly reworking, refining my understanding and exposing myself to new ideas and approaches. I apply this same approach to my teaching – encouraging students to challenge themselves in their learning. 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 share with our students the potential they have to make a significant contribution to the world around them and to communicate that through the academic training we give them we help them develop the skills and the confidence to enable them to pursue their 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

Supervisory Interests

I am interested in supervising postgraduate research students 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.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Mary Gearey is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

politics Social Sciences
resilience Social Sciences
water Earth & Environmental Sciences
water resource Earth & Environmental Sciences
governance Social Sciences
retiree Social Sciences
community Social Sciences
sustainability Earth & Environmental Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2004 2020

Disruptive Elders: Enacting Heterotopias of the Riverbank

Gearey, M., 19 Feb 2020, Heterotopia and Globalisation in the Twenty-First Century. Ferdinand, S., Souch, I. & Wesselman, D. (eds.). 1st ed. London: Routledge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter

social media

Chronos and Kairos: Time, water, memory and the wayfaring riverbank

Gearey, M., 3 Feb 2019, (Accepted/In press) Monsoon [+other] Waters. Bremner, L. (ed.). London: University of Westminster, p. 155-163

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter


Fluid Logic: the effluence and the affluence behind urban water efficiency paradigms

Gearey, M., 28 Jun 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Lo Squaderno. 52, 1, p. 21-25

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
urban water
water use
drinking water
Open Access
Public Space
Local Communities

Globalization and Labour in the Twenty-First Century

Gearey, M., 9 Nov 2019, In : British Journal of Industrial Relations.

Research output: Contribution to journalBook Review

twenty-first century
working conditions

Activities 2016 2019

  • 7 Invited talk
  • 5 Publication Peer-review
  • 1 Oral presentation

Antipode (Journal)

Mary Gearey (Reviewer)
25 Aug 201924 Sep 2019

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication Peer-review

Routledge; Taylor & Francis (Publisher)

Mary Gearey (Reviewer)
1 Aug 201930 Aug 2019

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication Peer-review

An introduction to the WetlandLIFE project

Mary Gearey (Presenter)
19 Dec 2018

Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk

An introduction to becoming a Daphne Jackson Research Fellow

Mary Gearey (Presenter)
2 Nov 2018

Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk