Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. Recently Completed Geography PhD Students

Recently Completed Geography PhD Students

Kim Hagen (2015), Analysing resilience: disaster response and recovery in the Solomon Islands.

Kellie Payne (2015), Culture and Climate Change: Representations of Climate Change In Contemporry Art Exhibitions.

Peter Wood (2015), Creating City Cyclists: Understanding Why People Start, and Sometimes Stop, Cycling in South London.

James McGinlay (2014), Policy and Practice in the Assessment and Management of Floodplain Meadows in England.

Olly Zanetti (2014), 'Food Security in Practice'.

Robert Chris (2013), 'Geoengineering and systems thinking'.

Billur Dokur (2012), 'Culinary tourism and the making of a 'modern' town'.

Paval Antonov (2012), 'Environmental storytelling'.

Ozan Zeybek (2012), 'Silencing Provincial Geographies'.

Johanna Wadsley (2012), 'Financing Water for All: Moral economy of global water governance'.
Johanna is joint recipient of the 2012 RGS-IBG Neville Shulman Challenge Award, for Hugging the Coast, an exploration of liminal living in the Sangihe Archipelago, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. The expedition and research exchange will take place in August 2012.

'Open doors' and 'open minds' – that is how I think of my time in the Geography Department at the OU. They provide a welcoming, institutional home for a remarkably diverse group of postgraduate researchers, from all walks of life and parts of the globe. I still enjoy the flourishing of those supportive friendships. In a very literal sense, the doors to some of the most interesting minds in human geography are always open, a privilege of access which never failed to amaze me. And then there are the conversations, whether it be over lunch, passing in the corridor, or at one of the departmental or Open Space seminars. It is the talk that I miss the most, for its openness and collegiality, and the way that musings always prefigured questions; this is where the limits to our thinking were pushed, prodded and played with, with a fearlessness not easily found in other institutions. It was a great education, for which I will always be very grateful.

- Johanna Wadsley -

Jamie Kesten (2012), 'Multiculture, community and social inclusion in new city spaces'.

Juan Arredondo (2011) 'Spatial Entanglements and Visions of change in a Spanish Port City. An Ethnography of Place Making'.

Alex Wafer (2011), 'Informality, infrastructure and the state in post-apartheid Johannesburg'.
Alex is currently a Post-doctoral Researcher for the Max Planck Institute for Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Germany and the African Centre for Migration and Society at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Nadia Bartolini (2011), 'Modernizing the Ancient: Brecciation, Materiality and Memory in Rome'.
Nadia is currently a Research Associate for the OpenSpace Research Centre at The Open University.

Akin Akinwumi (2011), 'The Will to Transform: Reconciliation, Nation-Building, and the Politics of Redress in South Africa'
Akin is currently based in Vancouver, Canada. He is a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Geography at Simon Fraser University.

Following a year doing the MRes I began my PhD in geography in 2007, completing the programme in 2011. All in all, it was a rewarding five years. While the process of doing a PhD was not without its challenges, I found the experience to be altogether positive. The OU Geography Department provided a supportive and inspiring environment in which to carry out my research and develop a rich scholarly perspective. The Department was large enough to bring together a range of faculty, postgraduate researchers, scholarship and activities. Yet, for the most part it was small enough to feel incredibly personal and accessible.

- Akin Akinwumi -

Lucila Newell (2011), 'Rubbish Politics in Buenos Aires'.
Lucila is currently a mum, applying for post-doctoral research grants, undertaking consultancy work, and coordinating a reading group and a blog on feminist mothering, the focus of her future research.

Doing my PhD at The Open University was great. The Department of Geography hosts an amazing group of people that have been welcoming, supportive and stimulating.

- Lucila Newell -

Uli Beisel (2010), 'Who bites back first? Malaria control in Ghana and the politics of co-existence'.
Uli is currently a DAAD Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany.

Angela Last (2010), 'Mutable Matter - An experiment in engaging publics with nanotechnology'.
Angela is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at UCL.

Jan Simon Hutta (2010), 'Queer Geographies of Geborgenheit: The LGBT Politics of Security and Formations of Agency in Brazil'.
He is currently working in Berlin as researcher and co-coordinator of Transgender Europe's activist research project 'Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide' (TvT).

Ariel Terranova-Webb (2010), '"Getting Down the Road": Understanding Stable Mobility in an American Circus'.

Gurpreet Bhasin (2009), Public Space and Popular Discourse in Colonial Delhi: 1860-1920.

Elena Vacchelli (2009), Geographies of subjectivity: locating feminist political subjects in Milan.
Elena is currently a Research Fellow in the Social Policy Research Centre, Middlesex University.

My experience at the OU Geography Department has been very positive and gratifying for a range of reasons: firstly, I had the opportunity to carry out my Ph.D. in a friendly Department that happens to be groundbreaking within the academic field of Geography. In the time I spent here, there were always many opportunities for exchanging ideas and engaging in cutting-edge geographical debates during collaboratories and seminars. Secondly, the OU is a pioneer institution in distance learning, hence the mentoring aspect during the Ph.D. is taken very seriously. As a result, I benefited of an inspiring and supportive supervision team in a collaborative working environment.

- Elena Vacchelli -

Poshendra Satyal Pravat (2009), Understanding Environmental and Social Justice in the Developing World: A Case of Forest-People Interface in the Terai of Nepal.
Poshendra is working in the Ecosystem Assessment Programme, UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Center, Cambridge.

Shannon Hensley (2009), The Embodiment of Rumba in Cuba.
Shannon is currently working as an Associate Teaching Fellow for the School of Geography at the University of Exeter.

I chose the OU, really, because of my interests in Gillian Rose and Steve Pile's work. While I was studying there Gillian came to Kentucky for a geography event, we had the chance to meet and talk and that's how I found my way to the OU. Before talking with Gillian, I didn't really think of the OU as a 'real' place because of its distance teaching for undergraduates - I imagine that is a common (mis)conception. In other words, my choice of PhD supervisors was a key factor in my decision to pursue a PhD at all and the OU has some of the most well known critical geographers.

- Shannon Hensley -

Liza Griffin (2007), The Good Governance of Fisheries: a North Sea Case Study.
Liza is now a Research Fellow on the Governance and Sustainability Programme at the University of Westminster.

Margo Huxley (2006) The Soul's Geographer: Government and the Emergence of Town Planning in the Twentieth century in England and Australia.
Margo is now Senior Lecturer in Town and Regional Planning at Sheffield University.

David Etherington (2005) Producing New Welfare Spaces: Local labour market Policies in the UK and Denmark.
David is currently Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research (CEEDR) at Middlesex University.

The claim that it's an immensely stimulating environment simply doesn't do justice to the department's uniqueness. Both academics and postgrads are continually engaged in local and international events. These diverse experiences enliven the departmental seminars, research groups, and reading groups which act as inspiring focal points for the department's activities. The acceptance of postgrads as an integral part of the department's life provides incredible opportunities to go beyond gaining the usual research skills and learn different ways of what it means to be a generous member of the academy. The OU is unusual in that there is no ready-made postgraduate community, but for that, there is ample support and encouragement to create new networks and most importantly networks that work for the unique combination of students that are selected each year. This departmental life is complemented by a rigorous system of thesis supervision and individual attention. This can be intellectually intimidating at first, but the realisation quickly dawns that it's a tailored form of nurturing and encouragement that is envied by other students from other universities. I can't imagine a better department to do a thesis in geography!

- Colin Marx -

Request your prospectus

Request a prospectus icon

Explore our qualifications and courses by requesting one of our prospectuses today.

Request prospectus

Are you already an OU student?

Go to StudentHome