Personal profile

Personal profile

I have been at Royal Holloway since September 2003. Prior to that I was Lecturer in Human Geography at The University of Liverpool (1994-2003). I studied at Oxford University for eight years, gaining a BA in Geography, an MPhil in Latin American Studies and a DPhil in Geography. My MPhil and DPhil research was based in Oaxaca City, Mexico and focused on gender, class, employment and social networks. I was Head of Department from January 2015 to July 2018. I am currently the Undergraduate Education Lead in Geography.

Research Interests

(i) Gender, households and migration

I have long-standing research interests in the role of gender in migration and particularly in the implications of migration, both internationally and nationally, for gendered identities and spatial practices. This research has been mainly conducted in Latin America (especially Mexico) and East Asia (China). 

(ii) Young people, asylum and immigration regimes

Building on my engagement with migration theory and practice, since 2012 I have been working with Sue Clayton (Goldsmiths Media Arts) and Anna Gupta (RHUL Social Work) on understanding the experiences of unaccompanied and separated children (UASCs) seeking asylum. I am Principal Investigator on an ESRC funded Seminar Series entitled 'Uncertain Journeys: Exploring the Challenges Facing Separated Children Seeking Asylum'. See: for more details. 

(iii) The place of 'development'

As someone who has worked in many parts of the Global South with households from across the socio-economic spectrum, I have sought to challenge representations of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean as purely sites of 'development' constructed as poverty alleviation. This work has included collaborations with Glyn Williams and Paula Meth at the Univesity of Sheffield on the book Geographies of Developing Areas: The Global South in a Changing World. 


I enjoy teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I currently teach the optional modules 'Gender and Development'in Year 3 and 'Perspectives on Development' in Year 2. I also coordinate the Year 2 fieldcourses and have taught on the Malawi and New York trips in recent years.

At postgraduate level I convene the Key Concepts in Justice, Development and Sustainability module for the MSc Global Futures and MSc Sustainability and Management. I also contribute to the new University of London distance learning MSc in Project Management (Sustainability).

I have written two widely-used textbooks: 'Theories and Practices of Development' (3rd edition, 2021, Routledge) and 'Geographies of Developing Areas: The Global South in a Changing World' (with Glyn Williams and Paula Meth, 2009, Routledge. Second edition 2014).

PhD Supervision

I have supervised 27 students to successful completion and am currently supervising four students. I welcome applications from students seeking to research themes around gender and migration; gender and development; transnationalism; children & young people, migration & development.  I won the RHUL Doctoral Supervisor of the Year Award in 2021.

External Activities

I was Editor of Geoforum from 2005 to 2011 and was Co-Editor of International Development Planning Review (IDPR) from 2000-2010. I am currently on the Editorial Board/ International Advisory Board of Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography and IDPR, and a member of the Editorial Collective of the Geographical Association journal, Geography. I was Vice-President (Expeditions & Fieldwork) at the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) 2015-18.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or