I teach at both postgraduate and undergraduate level including lecture courses, small group discussions and tutorials, workshops and open discussions, and one-to-one dissertation supervision. 





Space, Place and Sensory Perception

This a new Year 3/4 course planned for 2014-15. The course will focus on understanding our everyday sensory worlds and their variation across various historical and geographical contexts. In so doing, it will acknowledge that sensory perception is as much a social, cultural and political practice as it is a physical or biological function. The course will begin by examining the philosophical groundings of the scholarly study of the senses within geography and related disciplines, before moving on to look at the work of contemporary theorists on a range of topics such as silence and noise, darkness and light, pleasure and disgust, immersion and distance, atmosphere and affect. Whilst the structure of the course will be largely dictated by the traditional Western classification of the five senses, ample consideration will be given to other sensory modalities such as kinesthesia (the sensation of movement) and synaesthesia (subjective sensation).

The course will be organised around lectures (with some guest speakers), student-led discussions, and tutorials, and aims to be as sensorially engaging as possible in its pedagogy, providing numerous opportunities for students to physically explore their senses. For example, experiential learning will form a crucial component of the course's immersive tutorials, in which students will be invited to develop their own sensory dexterities by conducting mini-investigations on and through the senses.

Social and Cultural Geography

I have been Course Organiser for Social and Cultural Geography since 2006 (except while on maternity leave in 2010 and 2013). This is a team-taught Year 2 Undergraduate course that considers why geography matters to the analysis and understanding of social relations as well as cultural identities and values. The course explores a number of key themes which are central to the practice of contemporary social and cultural geography, including inequality and difference, society, nature, and landscape, space and consumption, and mobility. A variety of local, national and international case studies are used to illustrate how social inequalities are made, and how identities are negotiated, through categories such as class, gender, sexuality, health, disability, and 'race'. The overriding concern of the course is to show how, and consider why, social structures, cultural meaning, and material circumstance are linked. In particular, we explore the way social inequalities are not only made (through the unequal distribution of incomes and wealth) but also legitimised and contested as individuals and groups struggle over meanings and representations.

The course is taught using a mixture of lectures and tutorials supported by a range of on-line material. The assessment includes an exam, a critical analysis of a 'real world' text (these change from year to year and have included policy documents, research reports, newspaper articles, song lyrics, websites, advertising campaigns, images and public lectures), assessed tutorial summaries and assessed tutorial participation.

Undergraduate Dissertation Supervision

I am currently supervising five dissertation students working on wild swimming, urban greenspace, the Scouts Association, sport and disability, and Autism and employment.

In previous years I have supervised students researching a wide range of topics including disability (in a variety of contexts), community identity in rural Welsh communities, landscape perception and horse riding, community festivals, Green Gyms, participatory arts, secular pilgrimages and the Porthcawl Elvis Festival, surfing, and urban running.


I am currently supervising three MSc students: Aditi Garg is looking at the use of mobile technology in understanding youth engagement with nature; Kristina Ward is exploring guerilla gardening and eco-graffiti; and, Thomas Leharne is researching the sustainability of wild camping.

Past supervisions include:

Jennifer Witheridge (2011), MSc The City, Cultivating Change: Community Gardening Shifting the Food Landscape in Edinburgh (Distinction on dissertation). A publication based on Jennifer's research is currently in press with Local Environment.

Valery Madero Mabama (2011), MSc Environmental Sustainability, In pursuit of Mexico City's sustainability: implementation of the 'Green Plan' as an instrument to promote public participation (Distinction on dissertation). A publication based on Valery's research is currently in preparation for submission to Journal of Environmental Planning and Management.

Lucy Ridley (2011), MSc Environment, Culture and Society, Time allocated during the working week to pursue environmental initiatives: a utopian dream, or potential reality?

Candace MacDonald (2010), MSc Environmental Sustainability, Investigating the inequality of greenspaces in urban areas based on income and race to find a correlation of residential health effects.

Justine Geyer (2008), MSc Human Geography by Research, Adolescent views, perceptions and uses of Causewayhead Park, Stirling.

Amber Zirnhelt (2005), MSc Human Geography by Research, A space for young people? 'Ruling' and 'riding' in the woods and city spaces of Edinburgh (Distinction on Dissertation).


My current research interests fall into three interrelated areas: cultural geographies of landscapes and embodiment; sensory perception and the creative arts; and, the links between greenspace, health and well-being. As such, my work falls at the interface between cultural, urban and historical geography and is characterised by an emphasis on in-depth qualitative and innovative research methods.

I would by happy to supervise students wishing to work in any (or a combination of) of the following areas: sensory perception, experiences and understandings of landscape, light and darkness, installation art, camping cultures, outdoor leisure (1900s onwards), nature in relation to health and well-being, urban cultivation. If you have a proposal that doesn't fall under the themes listed here but you feel it chimes closely with my interests please feel free to get in touch to discuss ideas.

I am currently second supervisor for George Steve Jaramillo, Extractive geographies: immersive lives. Phenomenological explorations of the Lead Mining Landscape in the southern Peak District.

Previous supervision includes:

Ealasaid Munro (2012) The Therapeutic Museum? Social inclusion and community engagement in Glasgow Museums, Second Supervisor (final year).

I am currently an Advisor for Richard Sobolewski (2013-), A historical geography of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland: memory practices and the national inventory of Scotland.