Environmental Cultures

Environmental Cultures brings together a critical mass of researchers and practitioners at Plymouth whose work recognises how the arts, culture and the humanities are inextricably bound up with environmental challenges. We aim to foster collaborations both within and across traditional disciplinary and institutional boundaries. 

The cluster is supported by the University’s Arts Institute and also works closely with the Sustainable Earth Institute; however, it is also committed to establishing new connections with partners in other HE institutions, and with those working in fields such as government and the voluntary sector.

To contact us, please email Dr Mandy Bloomfield or Dr David Sergeant

Check back here shortly, when more details about the members of Environmental Cultures and their research will be available; but in the meantime, see below for some examples of recent work by people in the cluster.

Samples of recent work

Dr Mandy Bloomfield

As part of Mandy Bloomfield’s current research into cultural imaginaries of the ocean, she worked with the artist Andy Hughes, and students in English and Geography, to make a film exploring the complex relationships between plastic, nature, the ‘real’ and the virtual.

Dr Nichola Harmer

Nichola Harmer’s interests bring together sustainability and creative approaches to research in human geography. A collaboration with the artist Naomi Hart explored how UK parliamentarians represent environmental challenges in Britain’s overseas territories, producing paintings that depict iconic species of territory flora and fauna that also reflect and speak to ongoing links with the UK.

Zoe Latham

Zoe Latham's MPhil/PhD in architecture interrogates notions of place and landscape through the rituals of fly-fishing upstream on Dartmoor. The embodied nature of the research requires continual shifts amongst disciplines, stepping outside of more positivist architectural discourse into environmental building studies, cultural/ human geography and anthropology.

Heidi Morstang

Heidi Morstang’s research combines interests in documentary film and photography, landscape, history, seed collections, ecology and scientific interventions. Her recent film ‘Pseudotachylyte’ portrays how geo-scientists explore the Arctic landscape of the Lofoten Islands. The film contributes to an understanding of how field scientists work and why physical field work is crucial to understanding the significance of visual interpretation.

Dr David Sergeant

David Sergeant’s current research on the imagination of the near future engages issues of embodiment, community, technology and environmental scale. A recent collaboration with Regen, local energy groups and an artist/maker used 'utopian feasts' as a means of exploring the importance of narrative, and a structured imagining of the future, to the achievement of material change in the present.

Dr Ben Smith

Ben Smith’s highly acclaimed recent novel, Doggerland uses the lens of speculative fiction to engage with pressing contemporary issues such as renewable energy, ocean waste, climate change and the scale-effects of the Anthropocene. The landscape of Doggerland provides a setting in which to explore these issues, drawing on research in Environmental Literature, Cultural Geography, Archaeology, Ecology and Marine Science.