Committee 2015-2016

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 years committee is made up of a vibrant group, representing a wide cross section of the discipline.

Chairman – Greg Thomas, Aberystwyth University

a8f7b5_84f7dacc2eb4496b9ccdfbd946223a49.jpg_srz_p_350_274_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzGreg is PhD candidate and Undergraduate tutor in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University. He chose to stay in Aberystwyth to pursue a PhD after completing his BSc in Geography (2012) and MA in Regional and Environmental Policy (2014) in the department. Using the case study of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show, his current research investigates the role and transformative effects of agricultural shows in the modern day countryside. More broadly Greg is interested in rural geography, youth geographies, and social and cultural geography. Teaching is a great passion for Greg and he is interested in developing new pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning in higher education.


Secretary – Mark Lambert, University of Nottingham

markMark is a PhD student at the University of Nottingham, having undertaken his undergraduate degree in Geography (BA) and his MA in Landscape and Culture at this institution. He is an historical geographer researching railway preservation in the UK between 1948 and 1975- for example why railway museums were established by the state, what objects were chosen (or not chosen) to be put into these, and the debates and discussions about where they should be established. His work builds on studies of the co-constitutive relationship between railways and western culture, utilising object-centred approaches in order to trace the biographies of particular preserved items before and after they were designated as being of historic importance, and also drawing upon research on the cultures of enthusiasm as a means to analyse the enthusiast individuals and groups who were often instrumental to the preservation of railway artefacts in this era. In his spare time, Mark enjoys hiking, birdwatching and watching TV.

Annual Conference Session Co-Ordinator – 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   focusses on the geographies of workplace laughter exploring issues around embodiment, emotion and affect. The project focusses on three case studies: a comedy club, a call-centre and a care home. The project arose out of Phil’s MRes Project (also undertaken at the University of Birmingham) which looked cultural production and the atmospheres of comedy clubs. He remains passionate about comedy and especially the Birmingham comedy scene. His other interests include cooking (and of course eating) and exploring cities on foot.


PGF-ACTS Co-Ordinator – Reshaad Durgahee, University of Nottingham

reshResh is an AHRC funded PhD candidate at the University of Nottingham. His PhD research looks at the phenomenon of 19th and early 20th century Indian indentured labour, a scheme developed to provide labourers for sugar plantations following the abolition of slavery. In particular, his research focuses on the cases of Mauritius and Fiji, examining the spatial identities of labourers and the lateral links that developed between the two colonies which created a turn of the century Indo-Pacific socio-political arena. Resh holds an MSc from the London School of Economics and a BSc from Lancaster University. His broader interests include small island developing states, economic development and investment promotion, deltiology and all things Belgian.

Midterm Conference Representative – Maddy Thompson, Newcastle University

Maddy Thompson PGF ForumMaddy is a 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 gender discourses 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. Her interests include travel, music and rugby league.


Midterm Conference Representative – Matthew Scott, Newcastle University

Matthew Scott PGF ForumMatthew is a PhD student in the Geography Department at Newcastle University sponsored by the ESRC. He is a political and historical geographer with broad interests in the geopolitics of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His PhD research is focusing on the technogeopolitics of transcontinental railways, focusing on the German/Ottoman Berlin-Baghdad Railway and the British Cape-Cairo Railway scheme and examining how understandings of what these railways were and what they could do shaped, and were shaped by, geopolitical visions of space, empire, and technology. Matthew is also a member of the Historical Geography Research Group and passes spare time by baking cookies and reading science fiction novels.


Social Media Officer (Human Geography) – Amber Wilson, University of Sheffield

Amber_WilsonAmber is a third year PhD candidate at the University of Sheffield, funded by the ERSC White Rose DTC Network.  Her research utilises census data in order to understand the changing geo-demographics of England and Wales between 2001 and 2011.  In particular, she is focusing on small-level data analysis to determine the ‘social vulnerability’ of neighbourhoods; using both GIS and quantitative data methods.  From her roles as PG Forum co-ordinator in her department and as well as a Student Lead within the White Rose DTC, Amber hopes to continue fostering collaboration and participation within the wider postgraduate community.  In her spare time Amber is a (wannabe) cook and has a love of all things that are penguin related.  


Social Media Officer (Physical Geography) – Ian Stephens, Aberystwyth University

IMG_0498Ian is a second year PhD candidate in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University. His research explores the eco-hydrology of glacier surfaces worldwide, examining the transport of water and biotic and abiotic particles across the glacier surface and through the near-surface temperate layer known as the weathering crust. At a broader scale Ian is interested in the entire glacial hydrologic system and surface dynamics influencing energy balance. Prior to studying for his PhD Ian undertook an undergraduate Physical Geography degree and Master’s in Glaciology, both at Aberystwyth University. When not gallivanting around the icier spots of the world on the pretext of data collection, he can be found either climbing, running, cycling, or, on very rare occasions, in his office (probably on Twitter).