Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr Nina Morris

Senior Lecturer

Profile photo

Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Office Hours

10:00-11:30 on Wednesdays. Usual working hours 8.30-4.30 Monday-Thursday.

Websites

Personal website: http://www.ninamorris.co.uk

Twitter: @_NinaJM

Current Research Interests

 

My thematic research interests fall into three interrelated areas: cultural geographies of landscape; sensory perception; and, human-nature relationships. As such, my work falls at the interface between cultural, urban and historical geography and is characterised by an emphasis on in-depth qualitative and innovative research methods.

My previous research has explored the ways in which art (e.g. sculpture and landscape installations) can mediate our understanding of familiar and unfamiliar landscapes. This has included collaborative research on the work of artists exhibiting on, and the experiences of visitors to, a sculpture trail in West Yorkshire, and solo work on a large-scale light and sound installation on the Isle of Skye. Whilst undertaking the Skye project I developed a particular interest in darkness and the uncritical way in which visibility features in many contemporary landscape accounts.

My commitment to the enhancement of teaching and learning in Higher Education is demonstrated by my research on pedagogy, in particular, the use of assessed blogs in the undergraduate curriculum. The use of assessed blogs is of growing interest to academics across a range of disciplines.

My commitment to enhancing academic integrity within the discipline of geography and cognate disciplines is likewise demonstrated by my research on research ethics. Research conducted on behalf of the Ecosystems Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) Directorate culminated in the development of an ethics form and related guidance notes for use by ESPA award holders. It brought together information and advice on doing collaborative research in developing countries (for social and natural science researchers) from a vast array of disparate sources. The research was especially beneficial because it encouraged the research participants (all ESPA or ESRC-DFID award holders) to reflect on their previous and current research practice in relation to research ethics, it uncovered examples of best practice which I was later able to incorporate into the School of GeoSciences research ethics and integrity procedures, and the resulting documentation was incorporated into the ESPA awards process significantly impacting on the way future grant holders conducted their research.

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

Teaching

On completion of the Edinburgh Teaching Award (Level 3) (benchmarked against the UK Professional Standards Framework) in 2016, I 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 (most recently providing feedback on the Exemplars of Excellence in Student Education) and to be an Edinburgh Teaching Award Mentor for Level 2 and 3 applicants.

I am an experienced teacher at both postgraduate and undergraduate level, including undergraduate and MSc dissertation supervision. I have (re)designed, taught, and assessed numerous courses (large and small) and I have a proven ability to take on board themes which, whilst not unfamiliar, are outside of my thematic research interests.

I am committed to delivering research-led, student-centred, and innovative teaching based on the principles of experiential (also known as ‘active’) learning. My Honours option course ‘Space, Place and Sensory Perception’ (2015-present) (SPSP) (c.33 students) is designed to be as sensorially engaging as possible in its pedagogy; real world examples are used whenever possible, the students’ personal experiences are foregrounded, every attempt is used to cultivate their curiosity, and they are encouraged to explore and question the world around them in playful and adventurous ways. To this end, the course employs a range of creative and participatory teaching and learning methods (e.g. ‘immersive’ tutorials, props, practical experiments, film screenings, mini-field excursions, experiential visits, an assessed essay ‘thinking hats’ workshop), draws upon the expertise of invited scholars, practitioners and artists, and uses innovative forms of assessment (e.g. assessed blogs).

I have been invited to speak about my pedagogy at national and international symposia and conferences and have been nominated for Edinburgh University Students Association awards for ‘Best Dissertation Supervisor’ (2015) and ‘Best Personal Tutor’ (2014).

Administrative Roles

I am currently Programme Director for the MSc Environment, Culture and Society programme.

I am also a member of the University of Edinburgh Academic Blogging Service Panel and 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.

Qualifications

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

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