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Greta Ferloni

Research Postgraduate (PhD)

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Research Postgraduate (PhD) in the Department of GeographyChristopherson Building 


I am a PhD candidate funded by the Leverhulme Trust as part of the DurhamARCTIC programme. My research focuses on mobilities in, of and around sea ice through an interdisciplinary approach across Human and Physical Geography. I studied at Durham University as an undergraduate, receiving a BA in Geography in 2015. In 2017, I completed a two-year MSc in Geographical Information Management and Applications in a joint programme from four universities in the Netherlands: University of Utrecht, University of Twente, Wageningen University and Delft University of Technology. After that, I worked for two years as a GIS Applications Engineer consultant in Milan.

Current Research

Mobilities of, in and around sea ice in Alaska’s Bering Sea (2019 – 2022 Leverhulme Trust DurhamARCTIC project)

Arctic sea ice is melting, and shipping traffic is increasing, raising challenges not just for risk mitigation and the management of marine traffic, but also for how we understand mobility in icy waters. This research examines sea ice mobilities in the Arctic waters of the Bering Sea, situated between Alaska and Russia, by taking three perspectives that engage with (i) the mobility of space, (ii) the mobility of human and non-human entities in space, and (iii) mobility as experienced by those around mobile spaces from positions of relative stability.

Mobility research is at the heart of understanding how individual practices, specific knowledge, and the spatial practices of everyday life are embedded within broader mobilities of people, surfaces, volumes, power relations, geopolitics and culture. This research examines understandings of oceans as spaces interwoven with human agency in everyday life and engages with the changing materiality of oceans as dynamic and interactive volumes of water and ice. It thereby offers a new perspective on the intricate texture of mobility of, in and around the icy waters of the Bering Sea, revealing the ways in which different subjects (locals, sailors, scientists), perspectives (in, of, around sea ice) and ways of knowing (remote sensing, moving through, observing from the coast) intersect in complex ways to give insight into the entanglement of perception, cognition, movement and stasis that constitutes mobility.

These three perspectives (of, in and around sea ice) are explored by employing GIS analysis of sea ice data (such as spatial extent, concentration, thickness and drift vectors), ethnography on sea ice and interviews with Indigenous coastal communities. The mixed methods methodology is brought together by focusing on knowledge as practice and lived experiences as a means of understanding complex social processes.

Academic Background
2015 – 2017: MSc Geographical Information Management and Applications (Distinction Cum Laude) – University of Utrecht
  • MSc Thesis – Exploring Place and Identity Through Soundscape Mapping
  • Supervisor: Dr Frank Ostermann
2012 – 2015: BA Geography (First Class Single Hons) – Durham University
  • BSc Dissertation: Evading Invasion: Soundscaping Urban Conflict in Jerusalem
  • Supervisor: Dr Noam Leshem
  • Awarded Royal Geographical Society Dissertation Prize (Political Geography Research Group)