I am a Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at UWTSD and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2014 I won a UN Gold Star Award for my work in Kenya with a reforestation initiative. In addition, in 2015 I won a Green Gown Award for the work on sustainability I achieved with the students. I am very concerned with inspiring people to recognise that it is worth acting to make sustainable changes in practice - including advocating for the planet and other species. I am currently engaged in work that explores the role water plays in shaping people's lives in rural Kenya. Theoretically I lean towards the New Materialities Move and take inspiration from relational ontologies and the work of the Multispecies Approach. Collectively, these methods promote inclusivity in knowledge production and challenge a human exceptionalist perspective by asking how materials, nonhuman animals and others co-produce human worlds. Consequently, my work demonstrates not only how water lies at the heart of what it means to be human, but also reveals how 'the cultures of water' must be understood if human relationships with water are to be sustainable.
Approaching water as a connective material through which social, economic and ecological relationships are formed and played out, the central objective of my PhD research is to examine the consequences of regular piped water flowing into a community that has until 2015 relied exclusively on a climatically governed water supply. In focusing on water, my broader purpose is to elucidate water's material role in transforming lives through mapping how individuals perform and experience their relationships with water in a context where access to water is rapidly changing. My research is geographically situated in an outlying rural location in the Eastern Coastal Province of Kenya where an emergent tourist industry (and the modernisation it brings) is still, overall, in nascent stages of establishment, but where creeping desertification is increasingly troubling subsistence for a group of Giriama horticultural-pastoralists. In the light of these coalescing and precipitating alterations, my research will consider how the physical materiality of ‘new’ water interplays co-creatively to shape experience, aspirations and possibilities. As such, I will both unpack the scales of discourse circulating water meanings and usage, and consider the social frameworks in which this 'new' water plays a key role in the shaping ideas of the future. In rejection of an exclusively human exceptionalist perspective, my aim is to foreground water so as to determine the manners in which water availability and security act to produce opportunities that in turn govern, regulate and manage human and other bodies.
2016 $15, 486 Fieldwork Grant, to aid research on ‘The role of ‘new’ water in shaping and regulating futures in rural Kenya’. Awarding body: The Wenner-Gren Foundation
2015 winner Staff Sustainability Champion Green Gown Award
2015 finalist in 2 categories for Green Gown Awards (Teaching and Skills; Staff Champion)
2015 Recognised as Senior Fellow by the Higher Education Academy
2015 £15,000 from the Welsh Government’s Hub Cymru Africa Grant Scheme
2015 £11,500 from the Size of Wales tropical reforestation charity to implement a reforestation initiative – Half a Million Trees for Schools - project. The scheme will work in partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Education, the Kenya Forest Service and Aberystwyth University.
2014 Winner of UN Gold Star Award in Environmental Impact Category for work in Bore, Kenya.
2014 Awarded £30,000 grant under the Welsh government GwirVol International Volunteer Scheme to mount a Wales/Kenya Volunteer Expedition. (£2,200 for fieldwork)
2014 Finalist ‘Best Lecturer’ category in Student Led Awards
2013 The CCL Awarded £10,000 by Welsh Government Clean Energy Grant scheme to continue monitoring climate change and the implementation of a women’s forestry project in rural Kenya. (£1420 for fieldwork).
2012 Highly commended for contribution to the environment at United Nations Gold Star Awards
2011 Awarded £13,700 through Welsh Government Clean Energy Grant scheme to monitor climate change and the implementation of a clean water system in rural Kenya. (£1250 for fieldwork).
2010 Awarded £3000 through Welsh government’s Wales/Africa Community Links (£1500 for fieldwork)
2010 Highly recommended by NIACE as inspirational HE tutor