Dr Claire Kelly

Dr Claire Kelly

Senior Research Fellow AB

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)


Senior Research Fellow
Associate Lecturer


1999 BSc (Hons) Environmental Science, First Class Honours (Open University)

2002 MRes Sustainable Environmental Management (University of Plymouth)

2009 PhD Geography (University of Plymouth). Thesis title: Partnerships in the development and management of marine nature-based tourism: An analysis of effectiveness

Professional membership

Fellow of Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)

Roles on external bodies

Adjunct Faculty Member, Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST), Arusha, Tanzania

Research interests

Research Interests

Claire holds a Master of Research Degree (MRes) in Sustainable Environmental Management and a Doctorate (PhD) in Geography, focussing on the effectiveness of public/private sector partnerships within the complex and fragmented policy environment of the coastal zone.

Claire currently works as a Research Fellow on a range of human geography-based projects in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, where she is also a member of the Centre for Research in Environment and Society (CeRES). As a social scientist and a geographer, Claire’s research interests focus on people and their relationships to place across a range of contexts. Specifically, her interests span social capital, resilience, stakeholder engagement and partnership working, governance and participation, and qualitative research method development. Claire has taught on a range of modules at undergraduate and Masters levels, including research skills and methods, environmental management and field work.  

Outside of academia, Claire has extensive experience of engagement at community level; working with Beaford Arts to design and support the delivery of the oral history component of the Hidden Histories project; as a Project Officer for an EU-funded LEADER II rural development programme, and as a long-term volunteer in her own rural community. 

Grants and Contracts

  • September 2018 - PI on GCRF with Plymouth University internal competition-funded project 'Ardhi na Kujifunza (Land and Learning): Building a sustainable future on the Jali Ardhi legacy. £73,765 over 15 months.
  • May 2018 - Researcher-I on RCUK Newton-CONICYT (Chile) funded project 'Making soil erosion understandable and governable at the basin scale for food, water and hydropower sustainability in Latin America'. 
  • November 2016 - Named Research Fellow on a GCRF-funded project to examine socio-ecological resilience to soil erosion in the East African region.
  • July 2015 – Named Post-Doctoral Researcher on the IMIXSED Project; funded through the HORIZON 2020 RISE (Research and Innovation Staff Exchange) programme, this project brings together EU, North American and African scientists to deliver a powerful tool for sediment management.
  • April 2015 – Named Post-Doctoral Researcher on the BIOSMART project; funded by the Norwegian Research Council, this project promotes a ‘smart’(integrated, human-capital based, and wise) bioeconomic transition across Norway.
  • June 2008 – Travel Grant awarded by the Rural Geography Research Group (RGS) to attend the 3rd Anglo-German Rural Geographers Meeting. Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany, 27-29 June 2008.
  • Oct. 2005 - School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences PhD scholarship (Plymouth University).
  • Oct. 2000 - School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science MRes studentship (Plymouth University).

Key publications are highlighted

Salvia, Kelly, Wilson & Quaranta 2019 'A Longitudinal Approach to Examining the Socio-Economic Resilience of the Alento District (Italy) to Land Degradation—1950 to Present' Sustainability 11, (23) 6762-6762 , DOI PEARL
Rabinovich A, Kelly C, Wilson G, Nasseri M, Ngondya I, Patrick A, Blake WH, Mtei K, Munishi L & Ndakidemi P 2019 '“We will change whether we want it or not”: Soil erosion in Maasai land as a social dilemma and a challenge to community resilience' Journal of Environmental Psychology 101365-101365 , DOI PEARL
Wynants M, Kelly C, Mtei K, Munishi L, Patrick A, Rabinovich A, Nasseri M, Gilvear D, Roberts CN & Boeckx P 2019 'Drivers of increased soil erosion in East Africa’s agro-pastoral systems: changing interactions between the social, economic and natural domains' Regional Environmental Change , DOI PEARL
Blake WH, Rabinovich A, Wynants M, Kelly C, Nasseri M, Ngondya I, Patrick A, Mtei K, Munishi L & Boeckx P 2018 'Soil erosion in East Africa: an interdisciplinary approach to realising pastoral land management change' Environmental Research Letters 13, (12) Author Site , DOI PEARL
Tyrrell N, Sime D, Kelly C & McMellon C 2018 'Belonging in Brexit Britain: Central and Eastern European 1.5 generation young people's experiences' Population, Space and Place 25, (1) Author Site , DOI PEARL
Kelly C & Yarwood RB 2018 'From rural citizenship to the rural citizen: Farming, dementia and networks of care' Journal of Rural Studies , DOI PEARL
Wilson GA, Kelly CL, Briassoulis H, Ferrara A, Quaranta G, Salvia R, Detsis V, Curfs M, Cerda A & El-Aich A 2017 'Social Memory and the Resilience of Communities Affected by Land Degradation' Land Degradation & Development 28, (2) 383-400 , DOI PEARL
Salvati L, Kosmas C, Kairis O, Karavitis C, Acikalin S, Belgacem A, Solé-Benet A, Chaker M, Fassouli V & Gokceoglu C 2016 'Assessing the effectiveness of sustainable land management policies for combating desertification: A data mining approach' Journal of environmental management PEARL
Ferrara A, Kelly C, Wilson GA, Nolè A, Mancino G, Bajocco S & Salvati L 2016 'Shaping the role of 'fast' and 'slow' drivers of change in forest-shrubland socio-ecological systems' Journal of Environmental Management 169, 155-166 , DOI PEARL
Wilson GA, Quaranta G, Kelly CL, Salvia R & Harmer N 2015 'Community resilience, land degradation and lock-in effects: evidence from the Alento region, Italy' Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 59, (3) 518-537 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Yarwood R, Sidaway JD, Kelly CL & Stillwell S 2015 'Sustainable deathstyles? The geography of green burials in Britain' The Geographical Journal 181, 172-184 , DOI PEARL
Salvati L, Ferrara A, Mancino G, Kelly CL, Chianucci F & Corona P 2015 'A Multidimensional statistical framework to explore seasonal profile, severity and land-use preferences of wildfires in a Mediterranean country' International Forestry Review PEARL
Kelly CL, Ferrara A, Wilson GA, Ripullone F, Nolè A, Harmer N & Salvati L 2015 'Community resilience and land degradation in forest and shrublandsocio-ecological systems: Evidence from Gorgoglione, Basilicata, Italy' Land Use Policy 46, 11-20 Publisher Site , DOI PEARL
Kelly C, Essex S & Glegg G 2012 'Reflective practice for marine planning: A case study of marine nature-based tourism partnerships' Marine Policy 36, (3) 769-781 PEARL
Kelly C 2012 'Measuring the performance of partnerships: Why, what, how, when?' Geography Compass 6, (3) 149-162 PEARL
Savage VR, Reid CC, Kelly C & Blair A 2008 'Reviews: Frontiers: Histories of Civil Society and Nature, A Right to Housing: Foundation for a New Social Agenda, Stakeholder Dialogues in Natural Resources Management: Theory and Practice, the Coordination of the European Union: Exploring the Capacities of Networked Governance' 26, (2) 471-476
Kelling C 2008 'Stakeholder dialogues in natural resources management: theory and practice' ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING C-GOVERNMENT AND POLICY 26, (2) 474-475 Author Site
Kelly C, Glegg GA & Speedie CD 2004 'Management of marine wildlife disturbance' OCEAN & COASTAL MANAGEMENT 47, (1-2) 1-19 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Conference Papers
Yarwood R, Tyrrell N & Kelly CL 2015 'Young People, Military Families and Citizenship: War Babies or Heroic Citizens?' Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers Annual Conference. Geographies of the Anthropocene University of Exeter 01/09/2015 04/09/2015
Kizos T, Kelly CL, Detsis V & Metaxakis M 2014 'Competing Landscape Visions: Stakeholders' Perceptions and the Future of the Landscape of Messara and Asterousia, Greece' Permanent European Conference on the Study of the Rural Landscape: ‘Unravelling the Logics of Landscape’ Gothenburg and Mariestad, Sweden 08/09/2014 12/09/2014
Kelly CL, Ferrara A, Wilson GA, Ripullone F, Nolè A, Harmer N & Salvati L 2013 'Community resilience and land degradation in Gorgoglione, Basilicata (Italy). Paper presented at the , 27 – 30 August 2013' Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers Annual International Conference London 27/08/2013 30/08/2013
Wilson GA, Quaranta G, Kelly CL, Salvia R & Harmer N 2013 'Community resilience, land degradation and lock-in effects: evidence from the Alento region, Campania, Italy' Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers Annual International Conference,. London 27/08/2013 30/08/2013
Kelly CL, Wilson GA & Kelly CL 2011 'Community Resilience and Land Degradation: Evidence from the EU LEDDRA Project. Paper presented at the , 31 August – 2 September 2011' Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers Annual International Conference London 31/08/2011 02/09/2011
Kelly C & Brooker I Kelly C & Brooker I 0 ''Recoupling' People and Parks' 0 0 PEARL
Kelly C, Essex S & Glegg G Kelly C, Essex S & Glegg G 0 'The case for reflective practice in marine planning' 0 0
Other Publications


IMIXSED Project: www.plymouth.ac.uk/schools/school-of-geography-earth-and-environmental-sciences/imixsed-project

BIOSMART Project: biosmart.no/en/

Here to Stay Project: www.migrantyouth.org