Miss Eva McGrath

Miss Eva McGrath

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


Eva McGrath is a fully funded PhD candidate within the Human Geography Department at Plymouth University (2017-2020), creatively exploring rivers and ferry crossings in the South West.

During her Undergraduate and Masters in Literature at King’s College London, she specialised in aquatic readings of literary texts: studying the theme of water across disciplines, time scales and in alternative forms (sea, river, ice, canal, delta, rain, marsh).


PhD Candidate Human Geography, University of Plymouth 2017 – 2020

MA Comparative Literature, King’s College London, 2016 (Distinction)

BA English Language and Literature, King’s College London, 2015 (First)

King’s Leadership and Professional Skills Award, King’s College London, 2015 (Gold)

Professional membership

Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society

Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment 

Teaching interests

October 2019 GGH3201 Citizenship module, University of Plymouth, UK. Delivered a 2 hour interactive seminar with third year Human Geography students using a stakeholder debate structure to understand different perspectives of Brexit for citizens in the UK, Europe and Commonwealth.

March 2019 GGX1204 Plymouth and Identity module, University of Plymouth, UK. Delivered 12 hours of workshops to second year Human Geography students focused upon the collection and analysis of primary data related to the experience of place through ethnographic methods.

October 2018 GGH3201 Citizenship module, University of Plymouth, UK. Delivered a 2 hour interactive seminar with third year Human Geography students using a stakeholder debate structure to understand different perspectives of Brexit for citizens in the UK and Europe.

Research interests

Water and Human Geography: people living by water, life underwater (whales), relations on the water and across the water

River borders: terrain, experience, politics, imagination



Creative, qualitative methodologies

More than Human relations (including weather)

Geography and Literature

Grants & contracts

University of Plymouth Studentship 2017 - 2020.

Across the River: the role of border watercourses and ferry crossings in shaping bankside identities.
This thesis investigates rivers as physical, psychological and experiential borders, and is situated within social and cultural geographies of place. In order to understand how people relate to the river, it focuses upon ferries, operating from one side of the river to the other. The approach is creative, inviting ferry travellers and operators to draw and write what they see and experience whilst on the river, in order to understand how being on a river and crossing over a river adjusts perspectives of place. 


Dr. Nichola Harmer  https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/staff/nichola-harmer

Professor Richard Yarwood   https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/staff/richard-yarwood

Creative practice & artistic projects

July 2019 Kate Paxman, ‘Excursion’, Paignton Beach, UK. A staged exercise in non-representational ethnographic practices that are site-responsive

May 2019 Laura Denning, ‘Water Journeys’, Bridgewater & Somerset Canal, UK. Advisory and participatory role with 12 other female scholars and artists to create a conversation around watery themes whilst cruising the Bridgewater & Somerset Canal.

February 2019 Andy Hughes, ‘Plastic Scoop’, University of Plymouth, UK. Advisory and participatory role as he develops his funded environmental project using machinima filmmaking as a creative method to share new perspectives and approaches about plastic pollution, climate change and ecology through in-game footage from Grand Theft Auto V and archival footage.

December 2018 ‘Pies, Pints and PhD’s’, National Marine Aquarium. Invited to present research to a non-specialised audience to showcase the richness and diversity of research into river and marine environments.

Other academic activities


September 2019. Stories that Matter: exploring (re)presentation and communication of hydrosocial research, Workshop with Delta Project Team, Cologne, Germany.

September 2019. Flows of Entanglement: how rivers shape identities, University of Plymouth, Co-organised conference: https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/whats-on/flows-of-entanglement-how-rivers-shape-identities

April 2019. International Society for Ethnology and Folklore, Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Paper entitled “Speaking rivers: the lyrical, the literary and the literal narratives of rivers in South West England” in the “Social Lives of Rivers and Canals” panel 

September 2018. Royal Geographical Society Conference, Cardiff University. Paper entitled: “Shall we cross the river?” Exploring narratives of tourists taking to the water in the South West” in the “Travelling Landscapes” panel.

July 2018: Mobilities and Migration, University of Plymouth. Paper entitled: ‘Across the River: the role of river ferries in fluctuating, connecting, and leaving waiting bankside communities’.

June 2018. Liquidscapes: tales and tellings of watery worlds and fluid states, Dartington. Paper entitled: ‘Fluid River Borders: ferry crossing narratives and the experience of being between’ in the “Spaces Between” panel.

December 2017. Cornerstone Heritage Symposium, Saltram House. Paper entitled: ‘Traces across the Water: ferries, horses, borders and watercourses of the Tamar River 1700 – 2017’

September 2017. Royal Geographic Society Conference, Imperial College London

July 2017. Sea as Archive, Plymouth University.

June 2017. Looking for Melville, British Library. Chaired a discussion with artists Caroline Hack, Michael Hall and producer Dr. Shelley Piasecka. The audience comprised of members of the public and specialised, international Melville academics.

June 2017. Territories: Land/Water Symposium, Plymouth University.

June 2017: On the Moors: Performance Experience, Dartmoor.

April 2017. Mobilities, Literature and Culture, Lancaster University. Paper entitled: 'Movement through the waters: Sound, Song and Symphony in Herman Melville's Moby Dick' in the “Music and Soundscapes” panel. 

April 2017. NNCN Water, Leeds Trinity. Paper entitled: 'Crossing the River into freedom: borders, form and maternal connection in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin' in the “Slavery and Liberation” panel. 

September 2016. Postcolonial Seas Research Seminar Series, University of London. 

September 2015. Underwater Worlds: Aquatic Visions in Art, Science and Literature, University of Oxford.