Dr Claire Kelly

Dr Claire Kelly

Senior Research Fellow

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

Trustee, Beaford Arts

Research interests

Research Interests

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

Claire is a Senior Research Fellow, leading and collaborating on a range of interdisciplinary research 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

  • 2020 - GCRF with Plymouth University (Co-I): Water security in the agricultural landscapes of Turkey: towards improving the resilience of communities and socio-ecological systems. £59,242.
  • 2020 - GCRF with Plymouth University (Co-I): Nuestro Rio (our river): Local perspectives on water quality in the Rio Santa, Peru.  

  • 2020 - BBSRC GCRF Translation Awards (Res-I): Integrated community-driven engagement for sustainable enhancement of food production in East Africa: the Jali Ardhi [Care for the Land] project. £252,581.15

  • 2020 - RGS Environment and Society Scheme (Co-I): Improving socio-ecological resilience to wildfire in the UK via community engagement and integration of deep-time ecological data into landscape management. £14,943

  • 2019 - BBSRC Citizen Science Exploration Grant call (Co-I): SoilSCAN: Soils, Science and Community ActioN. £19,248.02

  • 2018 - GCRF with Plymouth University (PI): 'Ardhi na Kujifunza (Land and Learning): Building a sustainable future on the Jali Ardhi legacy. £73,765.
  • 2018 - RCUK Newton-CONICYT (Res-I): 'Making soil erosion understandable and governable at the basin scale for food, water and hydropower sustainability in Latin America'. £405,509.
  • 2017 - NERC GCRF (RF): Jali Ardhi II: Realising land management change in degraded Maasai grazing lands. £101,243
  • 2016 - NERC GCRF (RF): Jali Ardhi: Socio-ecological resilience to soil erosion driven by extreme climatic events: past, present and future challenges in East Africa. £168,640

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 9-/-0/2015 9-/-0/2015
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 9-/-0/2014 9-/-0/2014
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 8-/-0/2013 8-/-0/2013
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 8-/-0/2013 8-/-0/2013
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 8-/-0/2011 9-/-0/2011
Kelly C & Brooker I Kelly C & Brooker I 0 ''Recoupling' People and Parks' 01/01/1900 01/01/1900 PEARL
Kelly C, Essex S & Glegg G Kelly C, Essex S & Glegg G 0 'The case for reflective practice in marine planning' 01/01/1900 01/01/1900


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