Si Teow

Si Teow

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



Ph.D. student in Human Geography 

Tits and Tats: geographical explorations of tattoos and their significance in experiences of breast cancer

This Ph.D. examines the tattooed geographies present within breast cancer experiences by focusing on the impacts that tattoos may have on emotional healing, well-being, identity, and memory. 

The examined breast cancer-related tattoos include: 

  • 3D nipple tattoos
  • Tattoos on scars resultant from breast cancer-related treatments (e.g.: chemotherapy, radiotherapy, mastectomy, etc.)
  • Commemorative tattoos (e.g.: pink ribbon tattoos)
  • Temporary tattoos (e.g.: stick on nipple tattoos, artistic temporary cover-ups, etc.)

To find out more about the research, please visit:


Director of Studies: Dr. Mark Holton

2nd Supervisor: Dr. Paul Simpson


2018 - 2021 Ph.D. in Human Geography. University of Plymouth.

2015- 2018 Undergraduate in BA Geography. University of Plymouth. First Class Honours 

Dissertation Title: Family, grief and its emotional geographies 



Research interests

  • Geographies of the body 
  • Participatory research methodologies 
  • Livingdying geographies 
  • Tattoo geographies 
  • Social and Cultural geographies 
  • Geographies of health and well-being 




Teow, P., Holton, M. (2021) 'Showcasing creative methods in your dissertation research' in von Benzon, N., Holton, M., Wilkinson, C., and Wilkinson, S. Creative methods for human geographers. SAGE: London.



Other academic activities


April 2019. Paper entitled: The fleshiness of belonging: an exploration of the body as a site of analysis. Royal Geographical Society Postgraduate Midterm Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University.

June 2019. Paper entitled: Tits and Tats: an exploration of tattoos, breast cancer, and wellbeing. Emerging and New Researchers in the Geographies of Health and Impairment, University of Exeter.

August 2019.  Paper entitled: Tattooed geographies: an exploration of breast cancer, ink and its relationship with healing, identity, and memory. Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference.

June 2021. Paper entitled: “If I pick up something, the muscle contracts in my boob, not my back”: Exploring the everyday geographies of living with, through and on from breast cancer. Emerging and New Researchers in the Geographies of Health and Impairment, University of Salford and the University of Groningen.