Committee 2018-2019

Chairperson – Nina Willment, Royal Holloway University of London

Hi! I’m Nina and I’m a second year PhD student in the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway University of London. My PhD research seeks to advance understanding of contemporary work cultures within the creative economy through an empirical case study of British travel bloggers. My broader research interests lie around investigating the working lives, spaces and politics of creative work. My research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. Alongside my research, I also help with a range of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. In my spare time, I absolutely love travelling, anything to do with dachshunds and upcycling furniture!

Please feel free to get in contact if you have any comments, questions or anything about the PGF:


Secretary and Annual Conference Coordinator – Jamie Halliwell, MMU

Jamie Halliwell is a fifth-year part-time PhD student and is the chair of this year’s Mid-term conference organising committee. His research focuses on the case study of Eurovision Song Contest fandom, where he is exploring the ways fans construct their socio-cultural identities both online and offline. He is focusing more specifically on the ways gender and sexual identities are performed through Eurovision fan practices. He is interrogating the relationship between the contest and wider gay culture and how this impacts on gay and non-gay experiences of fandom. He is developing more innovative ways to engage social media technologies in the research process, such as developing WhatsApp focus groups and critically analysing Twitter tweets for qualitative research.

Annual Conference Coordinator – Gail Skelly, MMU

Gail Skelly is a PhD and Graduate Teaching Assistant at the School of Science and the Environment at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research is inspired by 20 years practice working in the Greater Manchester arts sector, and concerns the impact of light festivals in Northern England. Gail was Creative Director of Ordsall Community Arts, Salford, for 14 years, where she produced an annual lantern festival, ‘Lighting the Legend’, within a small urban community. Gail’s work is motivated by sharing how co-produced light festivals can embed a deep sense of place.





Annual Conference Coordinator – Maria Loroño Leturiondo, MMU

I’m a third year PhD student in environmental science communication. My research focuses on air pollution, on how it is perceived and experienced by the public, and on how we can improve communication so that citizens engage in positive behaviour. For my data collection I use a mixed-method approach based on questionnaires and qualitative interviews. I’m also really interested in science communication more broadly and I’m involved in different activities to bring science and society closer together. Outside academia, I like travelling, running, craft beer and good food!



Annual Conference Coordinator – Fraser Baker, MMU

Fraser Baker is a postgraduate researcher in the School of Science and the Environment at Manchester Metropolitan University. His current research focuses on applying GIS and remote sensing to assess the spatiotemporal dynamics of changing urban green structure in Manchester, UK.

Annual Conference Officer – Faye Shortland, University of Birmingham

Faye is a second year PhD student at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham funded by the AHRC Midlands 3 Cities DTP. She is most likely to currently be found carrying out fieldwork in the Lake District! Her research is about understanding the ways that different embodied experiences from various stakeholder groups can translate into the everyday management of the newly inscribed World Heritage Site: The English Lake District.  The focus will be on exploring how these groups represent and interpret the living cultural landscape with reference to heritage, agricultural and environmental policy.



Annual Conference Officer – Caitlin Hafferty, Cardiff University

Caitlin is a first year PhD student in the School of Geography and Planning at Cardiff University, and the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI). Her research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) under the Environmental Planning DTP pathway, and focuses on the use of Qualitative Geographic Information Systems (Qualitative GIS) in environmental decision-making and natural resource management. Her project involves developing ways of integrating qualitative data more effectively within traditional geospatial decision-making frameworks in order to enhance the ability of GIS to capture and represent complex human-environment relationships. This knowledge is directly applied to the Upper Thames Catchment Management Project in Gloucestershire, and involves a variety of local and non-local stakeholders. Outside of academia, Caitlin enjoys volunteering and occasionally working as a bartender and barista at a popular Cardiff restaurant.

Masters Representative – Amiee Morse, University of Birmingham

I am currently studying for an MRes in Human Geography at the University of Birmingham, where I also completed my undergraduate degree. My research interests lie in rural geography, particularly farming, and for my masters dissertation I will be exploring farmer responses to the proposed post-Brexit environmental policies in a cross-border study of the Welsh Marches. When I’m not working I can usually be found walking somewhere hilly, or reading in a café that does good coffee and cake!





Website Officer – Alexander Ford, UCL

I recently completed my MSc in Geography at UCL, having undertaken the ‘Environment, Politics and Society’ course. I am now based in Rome working at the FAO to better implement the FAO’s Small Scale Fishery Guidelines. My research focuses on post-harvest small-scale supply chains. I also have a strong working knowledge of Marine Protected Areas, socio-ecological relationships and ecosystem range and distribution shifts.






Social Media Officer – Camilo Torres, University of Aberdeen

I’m a first year Geography PhD student at the University of Aberdeen. I am interested in mobilities and everything related to transport, traveling, migration, etc. Right now, my research focuses on the socioeconomic and spatial aspects of cycling safety in Latin-American cities.






Physical Geography Officer – James Brooks, University of Manchester

“James is a final year PhD student in the Centre of Atmospheric Science at the University of Manchester, funded through NERC. His PhD project concerns characterising aerosol (very small particles suspended in the air) chemical composition, attempting to understand better how aerosol behaves around the world. He has been lucky enough to take part in two field campaigns as part of his PhD. The first was an aircraft study over India during the 2016 summer monsoon season, and the second was on board a research vessel around the Arabian Peninsula and Middle East. On these field campaigns, James operated several scientific instruments that collect data, which will end up improving our knowledge on climate change and air pollution. Alongside his research, James is a Homeless Outreach Project leader in Manchester through the Students Union, and also helps with a range of teaching in the department.”

ACTS Officer – Alex Kendrick, University of Liverpool

I’m a second year PhD student based in the Geography department at the University of Liverpool. My research looks into student ‘lad culture’, particularly how this manifests in student spaces, both offline and on social media. Alongside my research I also demonstrate on a broad range of human geography undergraduate modules. I am really looking forward to being ACTS co-ordinator this year, and I would be happy to hear any suggestions of sessions or workshops for postgraduates that you might find useful at RGS Annual Conference 2019.

Feel free to drop me an email or tweet: @alexjkendrick

Inclusivity Officer – Flossie Kingsbury, Aberystwyth University

Flossie is in the third year of her PhD at Aberystwyth University. A newcomer to the geography scene, she has a strongly interdisciplinary background. Her research interests include the history of sustainable / alternative lifestyles, heritage (in particular heritage values, intangible heritage, and heritage interpretation), the use of stories and oral testimony as research sources, and interdisciplinary research methods. All of these come together in her PhD research on lifestyle migration into Wales during the 1960s and 1970s. When not busy interviewing ageing hippies or typing words which supposedly mean something she can be found concocting delicious veggie meals with which to convert her meat-eating husband, playing video games with other procrastinating students, and reading children’s books (because they contain so much more sense than grown-up ones).




Inclusivity Officer – Vevila Dornelles, University of Reading

Vevila is a fourth year PhD student in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences at the University of Reading. She is researching gendered spatial practices related to online gaming, through a comparative case study of gamers’ gender relations and practices in Brazil and UK. Her feminist digital geographies research is funded by the Brazilian Government, through the CAPES agency. Before her PhD, Vevila had a career in teaching, and the GIS industry; currently, she is also interested in students’ pastoral care, and mental health in academia. Alongside gaming, dancing and cooking are her favourite hobbies.