Environment, Development and Governance

Our staff have expertise in nature-society relations, resilience, environmental politics, urban/regional planning, development and governance. 

Our research was highly rated in the 2014 REF exercise and addresses various themes based on empirical and conceptual studies conducted in a multitude of geographical locations, including the European Alps, Australia, the UK, British overseas territories and south/south-east Asia. Research in the group is both multi- and interdisciplinary and has an explicit focus on the complex interlinkages between environmental problems caused by human actions, development challenges in both the developed and developing world, and issues surrounding governance structures at various scales and in different geographical settings. 

Through our focus on interdisciplinary and spatially-informed approaches to produce cutting-edge theoretical and empirical research, we have strong links with several universities in the UK and with many international institutions in countries including Austria, New Zealand, Thailand, Singapore, the USA and Australia. Many of our members have received grants from ESRC, NERC, AHRC, the European Commission, the Leverhulme Trust, British Academy and the Nuffield Foundation and from other national and international research funders.

Our people


Abdallah Al-Noor

Supervisor: Sanzid Rahman with Geoff Wilson

Funding: Self-funded

Research theme: Mega-projects in developing economies: a case study of Merowe Dam in Sudan

Cara Clancy

Supervisor: Kim Ward with Nicki Whitehouse, Geoff Wilson

Funding: PU School studentship

Research theme: Socio-cultural impacts of re-wilding conservation

Magdalini Kechagia

Supervisor: Ian Bailey with Nicky Harmer, Geoff Wilson, Iain Stewart

Funding: PU Qr award

Research theme: Public understandings of fracking

Felipe Machado

Supervisor: Geoff Wilson with Sanzid Rahman

Funding: Brazilian government

Research theme: Resilience in Brazilian agriculture

J Sanchez-Garcia

Supervisor: Ian Bailey with Geoff Wilson

Funding: to be confirmed

Research theme: to be confirmed

​Tim Sydenham

Supervisors: Ian Bailey with Geoff Wilson

Funding: Plymouth University

Research theme: ​Interpreting local economic development governance: a decentred policy networks approach

Huw Thomas

Supervisor: Geoff Wilson

Funding: self-funding

Research theme: The resilience of fishing communities in the SW of England

Recently completed postgraduates:

Wendy Miller

Supervisors: Geoff Wilson/Richard Yarwood

Funding: Plymouth University

Research theme: Alternative food networks and urban deprivation

Jiska De Groot

Supervisor: Ian Bailey


Research theme: Attitudes to marine energy in small island communities​

Andrew Fox

Supervisors: Geoff Wilson, Stephen Essex

Research theme: Communities, institutions and flood risk