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Dr Kate Symons

Profile summary

Professional biography

I joined the OU as Lecturer in Global Development in April 2021. Prior to this, I spend over five years at the University of Edinburgh in a variety of teaching and research roles, including Online Learning Project Co-ordinator for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, and teaching international development at the School of Social and Political Sciences. I hold a PhD in Human Geography from the University of Edinburgh, which focussed on the political geography of conservation and development in Mozambique, an MSc in Africa and International Development, and a BA (Hons) in Philosophy. 

Research interests

My research focusses on the politics of marine conservation and development, focussing primarily on Mozambique. I am particularly interested in the relationship between conservation and extractive projects under neoliberalism, and the day-to-day politics of implementing and governing marine protected areas. 

I am also interested in innovative online and blended pedagogies in teaching international development, and the role that blended learning can play in providing access to higher education for refugees. This includes collaborating with the Foundations for All research project which is piloting a blended learning bridging programme for refugees in Uganda. 


Teaching interests

I am currently involved in designing and producing a new module for the MSc Global Development which supports students to produce a critical and robust Masters dissertation, and provides research methods training. I have also contributed to modules in Understanding Global Development and Key Challenges in Global Development.

External collaborations

I collaborate with colleagues at the University of Edinburgh, the American University in Beirut, Lebanon and Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda on Foundations for All, investigating the role of blended learning in global access to higher education for refugees. 


Radical social innovations and the spatialities of grassroots activism: navigating pathways for tackling inequality and reinventing the commons (2022)
Apostolopoulou, E; Bormpoudakis, D; Chatzipavlidis, A; Cortés Vázquez, J; Florea, I; Gearey, M; Levy, J; Loginova, J; Ordner, J; Partridge, T; Pizzaro, A; Rhoades, H; Symons, K; Veríssimo, c and Wahby, N
Journal of Political Ecology, 29(1) (pp. 144-188)

Can lecture capture contribute to the development of a community of inquiry in online learning? (2021)
Wood, Anna K.; Symons, Kate; Falisse, Jean-Benoit; Gray, Hazel and Mkony, Albert
Distance Education, 42(1) (pp. 126-144)

Introduction: Tracing Geographies of Extinction (2020)
Symons, Kate and Garlick, Ben
Environmental Humanities, 12(1) (pp. 288-295)

Geographies of Extinction (2020)
Garlick, Ben and Symons, Kate
Environmental Humanities, 12(1) (pp. 296-320)

The tangled politics of conservation and resource extraction in Mozambique's green economy (2018)
Symons, Kate
Journal of Political Ecology, 25(1) (pp. 488-507)

Transnational spaces, hybrid governance and civil society contestation in Mozambique’s gas boom (2016)
Symons, Kate
The Extractive Industries and Society, 3(1) (pp. 149-159)

Anti-politics, Apocalypse and Adaptation in Kenya's National Climate Change Response Strategy (2014)
Symons, K.
Scottish Geographical Journal, 130(4) (pp. 266-278)

Land rights and justice in neoliberal Mozambique: The case of Afungi community relocations (2018)
Symons, Kate
In: Apostolopoulou, Elia and Cortes-Vazquez, Jose A. eds. The Right to Nature: Social Movements, Environmental Justice and Neoliberal Natures. Routledge Studies in Environmental Policy (pp. 70-83)
Publisher : Earthscan-Routledge