Dr Nichola Harmer

Dr Nichola Harmer

Lecturer in Human Geography

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

Lecturer in Human Geography


PhD Human Geography, Plymouth University, 2013.

MA Politics (International Relations), University of Exeter, 1993.
BA (Hons) American Studies (Literature), University of Sussex, 1989.
PGCAP Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, University of Plymouth 2017

Professional membership

Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society with IBG

Fellow of Advance HE

Teaching interests

I am currently Stage 2 tutor for Geography, International Exchanges Co-ordinator for Geography. I teach on a range of undergraduate Geography modules. At Stage One these include leading our Sustainable Futures module (GGX1206) and teaching about research methods in our Changing Places module (GGH1202). I co-teach on two new Stage Four modules: Citizenship, Territory, War (GGH3208) and Environmental Politics and Governance (GGH3210). I am a personal/academic tutor across the undergraduate stages for our Geography with International Relations students. I supervise undergraduate dissertations in Human Geography and supervise masters level dissertations in Sustainable Environmental Management. I also teach on the MRes Human Geography. I am currently Director of Studies for one PhD student researching identity narratives in river borderlands and I am second supervisor for a second PhD student who is examining the impacts of fracking on rural communities in the UK. 

Research interests

My research interest cover three main areas with some significant overlap: the relationship between the UK and the British Overseas Territories, sustainability and creative approaches to research in human geography, particularly literature and art. My PhD focused on perceptions of the contemporary relationship between the UK and the overseas territories, focusing on issues of power, identity and ethics. More recently I have researched UK Parliamentary debate on the overseas territories and am currently examining parliamentary discourse on marine and terrestrial environments in the overseas territories. I have also contributed to research and co-authored articles on a wide range of sustainability issues including eco-cities, climate change adaptation, and emissions trading schemes. Having studied American Literature for my undergraduate degree, I am also interested in literary geographies and have written on post-peak oil apocalyptic fiction. I am currently working on a collaboration with artist Naomi Hart on artistic representation of parliamentary debate on environmental issues in the UK overseas territories. 

Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

McGrath E, Harmer N & Yarwood R 2020 'Ferries as travelling landscapes: tourism and watery mobilities' International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research ahead-of-print, (ahead-of-print) , DOI Open access
Stokes AJ & Harmer N 2018 'The value of 'having a go': Trialling a project-based learning activity to inform curriculum design' Journal of Geoscience Education 66, (4) , DOI Open access
Harmer NA 2018 'Spaces of concern: Parliamentary discourse on Britain's overseas territories' Geographical Journal , DOI Open access
Holton MJW & Harmer N 2018 '“You don't want to peer over people's shoulders, it feels too rude!”: the moral geographies of using participants’ personal smartphones in research' Area 51, (1) 131-141 , DOI Open access
Inderberg THJ, Bailey I & Harmer N 2017 'Designing New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme' Global Environmental Politics 17, (3) 31-50 , DOI Open access
Harmer NA 2017 'Crude geopolitics: territory and governance in post-peak oil imaginaries' Territory, Politics, Governance , DOI Open access
Harmer NA & Stokes A 2016 '“Choice may not necessarily be a good thing”: student attitudes to autonomy in interdisciplinary project-based learning in GEES disciplines' Journal of Geography in Higher Education 40, (4) , DOI Open access
Harmer NA, Gaskarth J & Gibb R 2015 'Distant Relations: Identity and Materiality in Elite Discourse on Britain's Overseas Territories' Global Society 29, (4) 510-529 , DOI
Kelly CL, Ferrara A, Wilson GA, Ripullone F, Nolè A, Harmer N & Salvati L 2015 'Community resilience and land degradation in forest and shrubland socio-ecological systems: Evidence from Gorgoglione, Basilicata, Italy' Land Use Policy 46, 11-20 Publisher Site , DOI Open access
Caprotti F, Springer C & Harmer NA 2015 '‘ECO’ FOR WHOM? Envisioning Eco-urbanism in the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city, China' International Journal of Urban and Regional Research , DOI
Tyrrell N & Harmer NA 2015 'A good move? Young people’s comparisons of rural and urban living in Britain' Childhood , DOI
Harmer N & Rahman S 2014 'Climate change response at the farm-level: a review of farmers’ awareness and adaptation strategies in developing countries' Geography Compass 8, (11) 808-822 , DOI Open access
Harmer NA & Stokes A 2014 'The Benefits and Challenges of Project-Based Learning: a Review of the Literature' PedRIO Paper 6 Publisher Site
Harmer N 2021 'Working with literary texts' in Von Benzon N; Holton M; Wilkinson C; Wilkinson S Creative Methods for Human Geographers Sage 193-204
Harmer N 2020 'Territory, identity and the UK Overseas Territories' in Storey D A Research Agenda for Territory and Territoriality Edward Elgar Publishing 83-102 , DOI
CAPROTTI F & Harmer NA 2017 '‘Spatialising urban sustainability transitions: eco-cities, multilevel perspectives and the political ecology of scale in the Bohai Rim, China'' in Frantzeskaki N; Castan-Broto E; Coenen L; Loorbach D Urban Sustainability Transitions Routledge
Inderberg THJ, Bailey I & Harmer NA 2017 'Adopting and designing New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme' in Wettestad J; Gulbrandsen LH The Evolution of Carbon Markets: Design and Diffusion London and New York Routledge 105-123