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Professor in the Department of Geography+44 (0) 191 33 41876


Biography and Research

I am a social and cultural geographer interested in encounterable life and the geographies of difference with a particular focus on contested forms of coexistence.

My current research focuses on the social, cultural and political dimensions of more-than-human cities and the ethical questions and challenges that are posed by species on the move. These questions are explored in depth through my work on urban kittiwakes in the UK and Norway, which examines the growth of seabird colonies in urban areas, the implications for urban planning and community, and how the presence of oceanic species are changing the way that we think about cities, threatened species, and coastal geographies. As part of this work, I am involved in collaborations with marine ecologists and anthropologists.

My interest in the contested politics of coexistence builds on my wider research around the geographies of encounter, the politics of tolerance, and manifestations of conflict that fold in questions of race, culture and species. It asks how people learn to live with difference in diverse contexts.

My recent book Robin offers a social and cultural history of the robin, cutting across varied geographies, folklore, art, literature and the ambivalent histories of the colour red. It is part of Reaktion’s Animal Series.

Prior to joining the department in 2017, I held lectureships and teaching positions at the University of Hull and Durham University and was a senior lecturer at the University of Manchester. I completed a BA, MA, and PhD (2011) at Durham University.

Keywords: encounterable life; difference; cities; affect and emotion; cultural theory; animal studies; environmental humanities; urban theory.

Esteem Indicators

  • 2021: Editor: Social & Cultural Geography


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