Committee 2016-2017

A new committee is elected on an annual basis at our PGF Midterm Conference, before taking office after the AGM at the Annual International Conference. This year’s committee is made up of a vibrant group, representing a wide cross section of the discipline.


Chairperson – Maddy Thompson, Newcastle University

maddyMaddy is a third year PhD student in the Geography Department at Newcastle University. Her research is funded by the ESRC and uncovers the geographical imaginations of Filipino nursing students and graduates. This project explores how geographical imaginations can be understood as a determinant of migratory aspirations, and she is interviewing both aspiring migrants and aspiring stayers. Maddy also has a concern with the exploitative practices surrounding Filipino nurses and Filipino nurse migrants. More broadly, she is interested in postcolonial and feminist geographies, social and cultural geography, and interdisciplinary migration research. She also serves as a postgraduate representative for the Social and Cultural Geography Research Group. Her interests include travel, comedy, and rugby league.



Secretary – Phil Emmerson, University of Birmingham

ead shotPhil Emmerson is a PhD student in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham, funded through the AHRC’s Midlands 3 Cities programme. His PhD examines the geographies of laughter and caring through a broadly more-than-representational lens, focusing particularly on the ways in which laughter intersects with everyday life in residential care homes in the UK.  His methodology involves a series of ethnographic engagements including periods spent working within Care Homes but also touring with a Pantomime Troupe who perform in Care settings across the UK. Phil is an avid reader but his other interests include cooking (and of course eating), bouldering and exploring cities on foot.



Annual Conference Session Co-Ordinator – Tim Fewtrell, Loughborough University

timTim Fewtrell is a third year PhD student at Loughborough University. His research explores youth volunteering in Muslim communities in Birmingham, with a particular focus on the pathways, experiences and motivations of young Muslim volunteers. His research looks at the ‘everyday’ facets of religion and their intersections with the practices and experiences of young Muslims as they transition into adulthood. This work builds upon an emerging body of literature that has brought together three cross-cutting areas of interest within geography: youth, religion and volunteering. Outside of his research, Tim is a keen sportsman, regularly playing hockey, tennis and football.



Annual Conference Session Co-Ordinator – Dan Casey, University of Sheffield

Hi! I’m Dan, a secodaniel-casey-1nd year PhD student in Geography from the University of Sheffield. My research is interdisciplinary, being based around UK farming and evaluates the way Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) work in farming to deliver a wide range of ecosystem services.

Alongside my research I help with a wide range of teaching in the department and also this year am the Postgraduate Forum Representative in Geography at Sheffield, organising monthly events there. I look forward to getting involved this year with the PG Forum Committee at the RGS by helping to organise the annual conference sessions. If you have any ideas for proposed sessions please feel free to get in touch!

One thing I love is travelling – one of the questions my friends always love to ask me is ‘are you in England?!’.


PGFACTS Co-Ordinator – Kieran Phelan, University of Nottingham

kieran-postgrad-cardKieran is a first year PhD student in the Geography Department at the University of Nottingham. His research is funded by the ESRC. His PhD builds upon an emerging body of literature concerning the geographies of making, craftsmanship, luxury branding and value. Through reviewing place-image and ‘made in’ branding strategies, his research project explores Harris Tweed production, critically reviewing the cloth’s value, in relation to the commodification of people, place and provenance. Outside of the office, Kieran enjoys Motown music, foreign films and all things cheese and wine.


Social Media Representative – Wilbert den Hoed, Newcastle University

wilbertWilbert den Hoed joined the Geography Department of Newcastle University as a PhD researcher in 2014. His study is part of a larger interdisciplinary project at Newcastle University’s Open Lab about the experience of place and mobility of older people ( His PhD specifically looks at cycling mobility in suburban areas of both Newcastle and Rotterdam, using an innovative combination of qualitative and mobile methods. His work is rooted in urban social geography and mobility studies, and links into the fields of sustainable travel, active ageing and technology. Wilbert’s other interests are sports, travel and Spain.



Website Officer – Chris Martin, University of Leicester 

Chris is a PhD student and just starting his fieldwork. He is researching how children and young people interact with mobile digital technology in their outdoor play, looking at how combinations of environment and mobile technology assemble to afford playful moments in older children’s lives, and consider how these ‘matter’. He is particularly interested in de-centring the playing child and reconstructing them in a complex assemblage to present an alternative perspective to biosocial dualisms, offering the qualities of non-human actants up to increased scrutiny. He studies part-time and is also an adventure playground worker, youth worker, and sound engineer. In his spare time (!!) he is a martial artist, musician, and loves cooking spicy food and travelling.



Masters Representative – Beth Robertson, Newcastle University

bethBeth is currently completing her MA in Human Geography Research (2017) at Newcastle University. Beth has continued her studies at Newcastle where she completed her BA in Geography (2016). She has tailored her studies to understand the implications of development processes on indigenous populations across the world. Her undergraduate degree involved a three month research project in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania, where she investigated the implications of private models of primary schooling using post colonial and development theories. She also hopes to investigate the power relations within participatory development and indigenous people in Tanzania’s education system. 


The Forum also has a committee organising a 2017 Postgraduate Mid-Term Conference, detail on them are here.