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Greta Ferloni

Research Postgraduate (PhD)

Research Postgraduate (PhD) in the Department of Geography


I am a PhD student within the DurhamARCTIC programme. My research focuses on interactions between sea ice and vessels, aiming to understand how marine traffic unfolds amidst the icy waters of the Bering Strait region. Prior to starting my PhD, 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, Italy.

Current Research

Intersecting mobilities of sea ice and vessel traffic in the Bering Strait region (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 and vessel traffic mobilities in the Arctic waters around the Bering Strait, situated between Alaska and Russia. It draws on the perspectives of (i) sea ice scientists who study and quantify sea ice and vessel traffic through remote sensing, (ii) weather forecasting data analysts who produce sea ice charts for navigation and (iii) vessel captains and crews with first-hand experience in sea ice navigation. Through these different perspectives, the project cuts across Human Geography and Physical Geography approaches to engaging with sea ice, vessels and their distinct and intersecting mobilities.

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 in the icy waters surrounding the Bering Strait, revealing the ways in which different subjects, perspectives and ways of knowing intersect in complex ways to give insight into the entanglement of perception, cognition, movement and stasis that constitutes mobility.

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)