Personal profile

Personal profile

My work lies at the intersection between space, security and mobility, and Cultural and Political Geography. I am former Chair of the Social and Cultural Geography Research Group, one of the largest research groups of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). In 2011 I was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize for my contributions to Human Geography.



Much of my research has revolved around the putative ‘new mobilities paradigm’, mobility futures and infrastructures– especially in the context of airports and aeromobilities. I published my first books Mobility ( 2009; 2017 2nd edition), Aerial Life: spaces, mobilities, affects (2010) and Air (2014) on the topics. I am a co-editor of the journal Mobilities, one of the leading journals for research on mobility, migration and transport, as well as a co-editor of the Handbook of Mobilities (2014), The Handbook of Displacement (2020), From Above: war, violence and verticality (2013), and with Monika Büscher (Lancaster) I am co-editor of the Changing Mobilities book series.

My main research interests orbit around several intertwined empirical and conceptual sites of enquiry:

Air-travel and the matter of air itself;

The climate emergency and just transitions to decarbonisation and low-carbon mobility;

and a climate of emergency, examining the affects, aesthetics and mobilities of emergency governance in times of crisis.  

With Tim Cresswell, Jane Jeonjae Lee, Andre Novoa, Anna Nikolaeva and Cristina Temenos, our book Moving Towards Transition: commoning mobility for a low carbon future came out with Zed Books in 2021. Our mobility transitions research builds on a 3 year research programme which was led by Tim Cresswell and funded by the Mobile Lives Forum. I have continued these interests on transition within a British Academy funded project Just Transitions in Australia (2021-22) which led in partnership with Sarah Pink and Rob Raven at Monash University and a large team of researchers. 

I am also the co-I of the Music, Migration and Mobility project led by the Royal College of Music ( which has featured an array of storymaps, created by Michael Holden, on the migrations and mobilities of musicians who fled persecution to Britain from Nazi occupied Europe during the Second World War. 

I am currently finishing my long-term book project The Way We Evacuate with Duke University Press. Also in development is an Encyclopedia of Mobilities co-edited with Kaya Barry and Weiqiang Lin and contracted with Edward Elgar. 

I am involved in several international collaborations as co-investigator, chair of advisory board, and as a project advisory board member,  regarding research on aeromobilities and Covid 19 in China; automation in the air-travel industry in Asia; migration policy and emergency mobility governance in Poland and Lithuania. 


Key books include:

  • Adey, P. (forthcoming) The Way We Evacuate: emergency politics and the aesthetics of mobility, Duke University Press, Durham, NC.
  • Adey, P. (2017) Mobility (2nd edition),Routledge, London. Recently translated into Korean by the Academy of Mobility Humanities.
  • Adey, P. (2017) Levitation: the science, myth and magic of levity, Reaktion, London; Chicago University Press, Chicago
  • Adey, P., Godfrey, B. and Cox, D. (2016) Crime, Regulation and Control during the Blitz, Bloomsbury, London.
  • Adey, P. (2014) Air. Reaktion, London; Chicago University Press, Chicago.
  • Adey, P. (2010) Aerial Life: spaces, mobilities, affects. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.
  • Adey, P. (2009) Mobility. Routledge, London.

Edited volumes

  • Adey, P., Bowstead, J., Brickell, K., Dalton, M., Desai, V., Pinkerton, A., Siddiqi, A., (2020) The Handbook of Displacement, Palgrave, Basingstoke.
  • Adey, P., Whitehead, M. and Williams, A. (2013) From Above: war, violence and verticality. Hurst; Oxford University Press: London.
  • Adey, P., Bissell, D., Hannam, K., Merriman, P. and Sheller, M. (2013) Handbook of Mobilities, Routledge, London.

Teaching and Supervision

I love teaching mobilities (!) and I have co-taught or taught undergraduate courses on the topic since 2006. I am lead for the Geopolitics and Security strand of the MSc in Global Futures.

I am on the steering group and am co-investigator of the EPSRC funded Royal Holloway Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security and the Everyday.

I have supervised a range of extraordinary PhD students. Their work ranges from airports and artistic practice to the geopolitics of video games, from the politics of the search algorithm to the mobilities of run-commuting. I would be interested to hear from prospective students interested in projects that relate to:

-       Verticality and the volumetric; airpower; aerial and subterranean spatialities

-       Mobilities governance; borders; biopolitics of security; airports and port security

-       Affect and materiality; intimacy, sensation and touch, atmospheres

-       Futures, emergencies and crisis management; civil contingencies; evacuation mobilities; disaster and development; autonomy


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 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • 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