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Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit


Currently a lecturer at St Andrew's University.



Pathways project co-ordinator

In this project I was interested in exploring how people understand their environment in time, and the factors which shape the perception of risk.

This research takes as its focus a particular British landscape (the East Anglian fenlands), exploring it from an ethnographic and historical perspective. The Fens are a place where the Protestant Work Ethic has been inscribed on the landscape; labour cuts drainage ditches to bleed the peat, and creates productive land where once there was only feckless and lazy swamp. Or, to listen to the story another way: labour attempts to impose man’s will on God’s dominion, with disastrous consequences for humans and for other species. The Fens remain a contested environment, represented variously as a natural flood barrier, a carbon sink, a key element in Britain’s food security, and a tourist attraction. My work explores how wetland is enclosed as a resource, and examines the politics that surround the kind of resource that it becomes.

I am also interested in the ways that children explore their local surroundings and how they re-articulate environmental knowledge through play and storytelling; during 2014 I carried out collaborative work with schools in South Cambridgeshire, and during 2014-2015 I worked with schools in the Cambridgeshire Fenlands and the Norfolk Broads.