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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

Mary Gearey is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Environment and Technology. She has 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

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

water resource Earth & Environmental Sciences
water Earth & Environmental Sciences
sustainability Earth & Environmental Sciences
book review Social Sciences
radicalism Social Sciences
catchment Earth & Environmental Sciences
management practice Earth & Environmental Sciences
privatization Earth & Environmental Sciences

Research Output 2004 2018

Gerontocracies of affect: how the "politics of austerity" have reshaped elder environmental radicalism

Gearey, M. 12 Dec 2018 The Right to Nature: Social Movements, Environmental Justice and Neoliberal Natures. Apostolopoulou, E. & Cortes-Vazquez, J. (eds.). (Routledge Studies in Environmental Policy)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

rural community

Mud on the carpet: messy reflexive practices with older environmental activists - bringing the outside in

Gearey, M. 30 Apr 2018 Messy ethnographies in action. Plows, A. (ed.). Wilmington, United States, (Vernon Series in Anthropology)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

scientific institution
social reality
social construction

Re-naturing cities: reducing flood risk through nature-based solutions

Gearey, M. 1 Apr 2018 103, 2, p. 105-109 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
urban drainage
storm surge

Re-naturing the City for Health and Wellbeing: Green/Blue Urban Spaces as Sites of Renewal and Contestation

Gearey, M., Robertson, L., Anderson, J., Barros, P. & Cracknell, D. 19 Dec 2018 Planning cities with nature: Theories, strategies and methods. Lemes de Oliveira, F. & Mell, I. (eds.). 1 ed. Switzerland, Vol. 1, (Cities and Nature; vol. 1, no. 1)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Urban Space
Social Justice

Tales from the riverside: What community stories can tell us about sustainable water resources management practices

Gearey, M. 25 Apr 2018 26, 2, p. 132-140 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

indigenous knowledge
management practice
water resource

Activities 2018 2018

  • 1 Invited talk