Research PG


Contact Details

The University of Aberdeen G16 St. Mary's
Department of Geography & Environment
Elphinstone Road
University of Aberdeen
Web Links


  • Ph.D October 2009 - present, 'Return Migration and Belonging in Ireland' University of Aberdeen
  • Non-medical personal assistant to students with disabilities (Uni of Aberdeenn) Sept 2012 - present
  • Honorary Visiting Researcher at Swansea University June 2012
  • Research Assistant p/t (Visting Researcher) at James Hutton Institute (Aberdeen) April 2012 - present
  • MA (Hons) Geography, University of Aberdeen

Research Interests

Human Geography, Cultural Geography, Biographical Methods, Mobility/Mobilities, Return Migration, Irish Diaspora, Identity (Culture), Post-structuralism

Current Research

'Return Migration and Belonging in Ireland' October 2009- present

Supervisors: Dr Lorna Philip (Aberdeen), Prof. John Farrington (Aberdeen) and Dr. Sergei Shubin (Swansea)

Associated with the success of the ‘Celtic Tiger’ economy in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Ireland has seen a rapid demographic shift from large scale emigration to immigration. For the first time Irish-born migrants comprised the majority of this immigration flow but have received negligible attention from academic researchers. Significantly, many returnees were returning to the predominately rural counties along the west coast of Ireland which historically bore the largest emigrations. For the most part their return, which is most often equated to a return ‘home’, does not recognise that it can never be exactly the “same” place to which they return. The study will, through an exploration of material and immaterial elements of mobility established through life story interviews and video diaries, unpack return migrants’ sense of belonging(s) and not-belonging(s) and the role of memory in establishing the links between different times and places in their lives.

Research Grants

College of Physical Sciences Studentship Award 2009-2012

Principal's Excellence Fund (for fieldwork) £500 (May 2011)

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada $750 Attendance at the British American Canadian Rural Geography Conference (July 2011, Manitoba, CA)


Teaching Responsibilities

Centre for Lifelong Learning Tutor 

  • KL157Y Global Worlds, Local Challenges 
  • KL1507 Global Worlds, Global Challenges


Further Info

External Responsibilities

Research Assistant (part-time) at the James Hutton Institute April 2012- present

Royal Geographical Society with IBG – Postgraduate Fellow

Geographical Society of Ireland – Postgraduate Fellow

Scottish Geographical Society - Postgraduate Fellow

Recent Conferences and Papers Presented

  • Understanding the Migrant Experience PG Conference, Centre for Migration and Policy Research, Swansea University 25-26th June 2012. Paper presented titled 'You can go home, but you can't start from where you left. Return Migration and Belonging in Ireland.'
  • Countryside and Community Research Institute Winter School, Cheltenham, November 2011. Paper presented titled 'Return Migration and Belonging in Ireland.’
  • IBG-RGS Annual Conference, London August 2011. I presented a paper in the ‘New and Emerging Rural Researchers’ session titled ‘Invisible’ Return Migration and Belonging in Ireland’. 
  • Anglo-American-Canadian Quadrennial Rural Geography Conference, Winnipeg, MA, July 2012. Paper presented titled ‘Invisible Return Migration and Belonging in Rural Ireland’.

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