Chair (2011-12): Sophie Yarker
Sophie is a PhD candidate in the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies (CURDS) at Newcastle University. Her PhD is a study of urban change and the impacts of this on the sense of place and identity and attachment and belonging to local communities, The study comes out of a combined interest in narratives of heritage, urban regeneration and wider development paradigm of social and community wellbeing. Having completed her undergraduate studies in Sociology and Social policy at Newcastle, Sophie was employed for four years as a research project manager for a local market research company. It was during this time that she returned to the university part time to complete her masters in Regional Development Research within CURDS. In her spare time Sophie enjoys running, photography and baking.
Secretary: Stacey Balsdon
I am currently studying for a PhD at Loughborough University after completing my undergraduate degree here in 2011. My PhD focuses on studentification and the residential decision making of students when choosing their accommodation type and location. Originally from Devon, I enjoy going back in my spare time and spending time on the beach and the moors.
Treasurer and Social Co-ordinator: Kate Kipling
I am a PhD candidate in the School of Geography at the University of Leeds, where I also completed an MA in Social and Cultural Geography and a BA in Human Geography. My ESRC funded research is looking at British citizenship ceremonies and tests, focusing on their role in promoting integration, inclusion and belonging. I will be conducting research with a diverse range of new citizens in Yorkshire, examining their personal perceptions and experiences of the process. In my spare time I enjoy travelling and being outdoors, whether walking in the hills, swimming in the sea or watching live music at festivals.
Richard is a PhD candidate in the Geography department University College Cork, Ireland. His research explores pilgrimage practices in contemporary Ireland as forms of embodied mobility. The study is informed by the geographies of mobilities, non-representational geographies and research on self and landscape. He holds a BA (Geography and History) and an MA (History) from the National University of Ireland (UCC), and an MA (Peace and Development Studies) from the University of Limerick. His research is funded by the Geography Department, UCC. Richard is a scout and volunteers as a leader in a local Venture Scout group, he also enjoys walking, current affairs and podcasts.
Mid-Term Conference Co-ordinator: Peter McMenamin
Pete is a PhD candidate in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Birmingham. His research is funded through an AHRC studentship and explores the potential of cultural regeneration and development in post-conflict cities, where issues of identity, culture and belonging remain highly contested. His case study of Londonderry, Northern Ireland will focus on the efficacy of the city’s award of the inaugural ‘UK City of Culture’ status for the year 2013, as part of ongoing reconciliation attempts to overcome its highly segregated society. His interests include cultural landscapes, identity, memory and urban studies. In his spare time Pete loves keeping fit, cooking and music. He is this year’s mid-term co-ordinator.
Web Content Manager: Ben Smith
I am a Phd candidate in the School of Geography at King’s College London, where I also completed an Masters in Water: Science and Governance. My research focuses on river restoration as a way of maintaining and improving the ecosystem services provided by rivers in the UK. A particular focus is on changes in ecosystem function in urban rivers in London. Before my Masters I worked for three years at the Stockholm Environment Institute in Oxford on the use of climate projections to support adaptation to climate change. In my spare time I enjoy tennis, cooking and photography.
Webmaster: Wayne Murphy
Wayne is a Phd candidate at the University of Leicester. his research focuses on the response of the Amazon swamp palm forests to human and environmental impacts.