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Personal profile

Current Research Interests

My research interests fall into three categories: (i) human-nature relationships, (ii) sensory perception, and, (iii) pedagogy and continuing professional development.

 (i) Human-nature relationships

I am currently leading (in collaboration with Dr Kate Orton-Johnson, Sociology) research on contemporary camping cultures. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this has included unfunded research on the phenomenon of ‘camping at home’ and the ways in which it has enabled people to cope and be resilient during this stressful period. Individually, I am working on archival material looking specifically at the poetry written by campers in the early-mid 20th century but also scoping new areas for research.

I am part of an interdisciplinary team (led by Dr Catherine Baker, School of Art, Birmingham City University) working in collaboration with the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh, and Edinburgh Printmakers looking to creatively investigate the impact of diagnosis on the social welfare of young women with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS). This research is funded by the British Scoliosis Research Fund.

I am also co-leading an interdisciplinary team (led by Jenny Glen, University of Dundee) working with academic colleagues and partner organisations in Portugal, Brazil and Nepal funded by the Scottish Universities Insight Institute Programmes of Knowledge Exchange. The programme of workshops on ‘Community Gardens Beyond Communities’ will look at the role of local community activism in addressing climate change and related challenges faced by urban centres. We will focus, in particular, on how community gardens can mobilise local communities, create synergies, and provide a modelling for community action to addressenvironmental issues that affect local lives but connect to global issues.

 (ii) Sensory perception

I maintain a strong interest in sensory perception. I recently gave a paper at the Uncommon Senses III Conference (Concordia University, Montreal) on the sensory-embodied perception of stillness and motion during a spin class. I have also recently published a chapter on dancing in the dark in Rethinking Dakness (Routledge) edited by Nick Dunn and Tim Edensor.

(iii) Pedagogy and continuing professional development

My research (with Hazel Christie, Institute for Academic Development) on the use of assessed blogs in the undergraduate curriculum has received internal and external recognition. The use of assessed blogs is of growing interest to academics across a range of disciplines and the COVID-19 pandemic has further amplified the need for online assessment options. A set of adaptable GRMC for assessed blogs produced from this research is now available as an OpenEd resource.

I am currently Co-Investigator on the Teaching Matters PTAS-funded project (led by Jenny Scoles, Institute for Academic Development) designed to enhance and promote conversations around good teaching and learning practice within the UoE

Research Groups

Cultural and Historical Geography Research Group, University of Edinburgh

Historical Geography Research Group, Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers

Social and Cultural Geography Research Group, Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers


Personal website:

Twitter: @_NinaJM


I completed the Edinburgh Teaching Award (EdTA) (Level 3) (benchmarked against the UK Professional Standards Framework) in 2016 and was awarded Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy an appointment which provides national recognition of my commitment to professionalism and excellence in teaching and learning in Higher Education. In 2016 I was invited to join the University of Edinburgh Experienced Teacher Network the remit of which is to contribute to strategic thinking on learning and teaching at the University (e.g. providing feedback on the Exemplars of Excellence in Student Education, contributing to the Principles for Teaching and Academic Careers) becoming a Co-Convenor of the network in 2018. I have been an EdTA Mentor for Level 2 and 3 applicants since 2016 and a member of the EdTA Assessment Panel since 2019.

I am committed to delivering research-led, student-centred, innovative teaching and assessment. My Honours option Space, Place and Sensory Perception (SPSP) (18-33 students) takes an ‘experiential learning’ approach and, as such, the content, style of delivery, and assessment cater to a variety of individual student needs. The course encourages students to develop a critical understanding of sensory perception and the methodological implications of geographers’ theorization of the senses. In order to connect the curriculum content to the curriculum delivery, the course is as sensorially engaging as possible in its pedagogy. The teaching and learning methods (have) include(d) presentations from visiting scholars and artists, ‘immersive’ tutorials, practical experiments, film-screenings, mini-field excursions within Edinburgh, visits to relevant UoE facilities (e.g. School of Physics anechoic chamber, Talbot Rice Gallery) and non-UoE venues (e.g. Barney’s Brewery, Pickering’s Gin, Blair St. vaults), and collaboration with colleagues within the School of Geosciences (e.g. SCIFUN/FUSION team). Assessed partially by blog, the course also encourages the students to appreciate different styles of writing and think more carefully about their audience.

My University of Edinburgh Principal’s Teaching Award Scheme (PTAS) funded research on assessed blogs was recognised by the Higher Education Academy for it high pedagogic value and included in their 2017 Transforming Assessment in Higher Education case study series. I have presented on my pedagogy at national and international symposia and conferences and have published pedagogy-related papers in high profile, international, interdisciplinary and geography-related pedagogy journals.

I received nominations for Edinburgh University Students Association awards for 'Best Course' (2021), ‘Best Dissertation Supervisor’ (2015) and ‘Best Personal Tutor’ (2014).

Office Hours

09:00-10:30 on Wednesdays. Usual working hours 8.30-4.30 Monday-Thursday.

Administrative Roles

I will be the External Examiner for the MRes Critical Human Geographies, College of Life and Environmental Science, University of Exeter from the academic year 2021-22.

I am the School of GeoSciences Academic Misconduct Officer.

I am a member of the School of GeoSciences Research Ethics and Integrity Committee.

I am a Role Model and a listed Mentor (currently awaiting a match) for the Leadership Foundation Aurora Programme and a Mentor for the Edinburgh Teaching Award Levels 2 and 3.

I was Programme Director for the MSc Environment, Culture and Society programme, 2017-2020.


2016 Edinburgh Teaching Award Level 3

2003–2004 University of Edinburgh Professional Certificate in University Teaching Stages 1 and 2

1998–2001 Department of Geography, University of Hull, PhD: Feeling nature: naturism, camping, environment and the body in Britain, 1920-1960 supervised by Dr David Atkinson, Dr Suzanne Reimer and Professor David Sibley (submitted January 2003, awarded April 2003 - examined by Professor David Matless, University of Nottingham) 

1996–1997 Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London, MA Cultural Geography (Research): Exclusion and the rural geographies of disability supervised by Professor Rob Imrie. 

1993–1996 Department of Geography, University of Wales, Lampeter, BA (Honours) Geography, Upper Second Class

Education/Academic qualification

Human Geography, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Hull

Award Date: 30 Apr 2003

Cultural Geography, Master of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London

Award Date: 29 Aug 1997

Geography, Bachelor of Arts, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Award Date: 28 Jun 1996


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