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Teaching Fellow in the Department of Geography+44 (0) 191 33 41866

Research interests

  • Political ecologies of mental distress and wellbeing: My current main research project addresses the environmental dimensions of health and wellbeing. I am particularly interested in approaches that emphasise active manipulation of the natural environment and how this differs from accounts of “ecotherapy” that are often based on more passive encounters with green environments. My aim is to advance understanding of the relationship between practices such as gardening, human wellbeing and everyday knowledges of ecological crisis.
  • Ecological Marxism: Relatedly, I also have a longstanding interest in ecological Marxism that informed my PhD research. I have focused especially on the contribution of Friedrich Engels as a Marxist and in discussions of ecology and geographical thought.
  • The “climate refugees” debate: This is a topic I have written about and spoken about at events for academics and the general public and used in teaching. The climate movement has (rightly) become more oriented around questions of social justice in recent years and there are various calls for solidarity with climate refugees. The issue of climate refugees is one example of how climate change could provoke a rethink of the core concepts of geopolitics including how we think about states and mobilities. However, I think there is also a danger that social justice activists might inadvertently play into narratives of a “threat” of large numbers of refugees coming to countries like Britain due to climate change. So a political ecology perspective can help develop an understanding of how climate change can be understood in relation to other political factors in driving movements of people.