Dr Rebecca WhittleLecturer
I’m a human geographer with apparently quite diverse interests in food, emotions, children & families, learning and failure(!) and sustainability. I also work part-time, so keeping my interests in check can be difficult!
However, at the heart of these different projects, I’m interested in relationality – put simply, in exploring the ways in which we come to connect with each other and the world around us...
As of August 2017 you can also find me on Twitter: @beccy_whittle
I’m currently attempting to work on 3 projects:
Baby on board: Exploring the impact of sling use on families’ experiences of space and place
Within the UK there is a growing interest in ‘babywearing’ (the practice of carrying babies and young children in slings). Today, many parents/carers are choosing slings as well as – or perhaps even instead of – prams and pushchairs as a means to transport and nurture their children. I first discovered slings when I had my son in 2014 and found them to be transformational for both of us. However, surprisingly little is known about the impact of sling use on parents/carers’ and children’s mobility practices and their experiences of space and place. This made me decide to start an action research project in partnership with Morecambe Bay Slings (Lancaster’s sling library) for whom I also volunteer regularly and Dr Rosie Knowles of the Sheffield Sling Surgery. I’m currently analysing the data and hope to have some results to share soon! For now, here’s a blog post that I wrote about the project: http://www.morecambebayslings.co.uk/index.php/2017/08/06/baby-on-board/ Suffice to say that it engages with a number of themes from previous work including on emotional geographies and work with children and families (the Hull Children’s Flood Project – see below)… I’m very grateful to LEC for the start up funding that they gave me for this work.
Failure to Learn, Failure to Grow: creating space to ‘fail’ in order to allow real learning to take place
This is another action research project supported by the Lancaster University Friends Programme which is funded by the generosity of alumni and friends of Lancaster University. It combines my research and teaching interests by focusing on the thorny topic of failure! It’s a collaboration with Liz Brewster (FHM), Hilary Simmons (SBS) and Will Medd, a professional coach. During the project, we’ll be working to develop and pilot a series of innovative, coaching-based resources for students, teaching staff and staff associated with Student Based Services. The resources will be designed to relieve students of the fear of failure and help them bring attention to their creative learning potential, thus delivering benefits for wellbeing, learning and employability. From a research perspective, I also hope to connect this to previous work that I conducted during the ‘Current’ project (see below) on emotions and relationality in the workplace.
Empowering Community Food Innovations: Developing experiemental knowledge-exchange spaces for AgriFood resilience in Todmorden
This pilot project, which is funded by the N8 AgriFood programme is being led by Katerina Psarikidou (Sociology) in collaboration with Dennis Touliatos (LEC) and Ben Campbell (Anthropology, Durham). The project explores community agrifood innovations – specifically, the Incredible Edible series of projects, in Todmorden – in order to understand more about what makes such initiatives resilient, and how they grow and spread. As part of the project, we are also going to pilot the development of a knowledge exchange hub which will bring researchers and community members together in a supportive context. This picks up on an interest in local and alternative food geographies that I developed during my PhD.
My PhD explored sustainability through an investigation of the relationship between alternative food networks and tourism in a UK context. This gave me an interest in food ethics and sustainability which continues today.
However, my interests in emotional geographies, resilience and sustainability have also developed from my work as a contract researcher on projects like 'Current' - a two-year EPSRC research project investigating sustainable energy use in an office environment http://current.lancs.ac.uk/, and the Hull Floods Projects. This involved participatory action research with adults and children to explore key dimensions of the longer term experience of flood recovery www.lec.lancs.ac.uk/cswm/hfp and www.lec.lancs.ac.uk/cswm/hcfp
I enjoy teaching and am particularly passionate about reflective learning and coaching-based approaches, which I’m trying to bring into the modules I’m involved in.
I’m also very happy to supervise students from undergrad through to PhD.
An assessment of the impacts of pesticide use on the environment and health of rice farmers in Sierra Leone
Sankoh, A.I., Whittle, R.K., Semple, K.T., Jones, K.C., Sweetman, A.J. 09/2016 In: Environment International. 94, p. 458-466. 9 p.
The flood recovery gap: a real-time study of local recovery following the floods of June 2007 in Hull, North East England
Medd, W., Deeming, H., Walker, G., Whittle, R., Mort, M., Twigger-Ross, C., Walker, M., Watson, N., Kashefi, E. 12/2015 In: Journal of Flood Risk Management. 8, 4, p. 315-328. 14 p.
From responsibility to accountability: working creatively with distributed agency in office energy metering and management
Whittle, R.K., Ellis, R.J., Marshall, I., Alcock, P., Hutchison, D., Mauthe, A.U. 11/2015 In: Energy Research and Social Science. 10, p. 240-249. 10 p.
Guilt and elation in the workplace: emotion and the governance of the environment at work
Whittle, R.K. 10/2015 In: Environmental Values. 24, 5, p. 581-601. 21 p.
A framework for profiling the characteristics of risk governance in natural hazard contexts
Walker, G., Tweed, F., Whittle, R. 30/01/2014 In: Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences. 14, 1, p. 155-164. 10 p.
Placing the flood recovery process
Whittle, R., Medd, W., Mort, M., Deeming, H., Walker, M., Twigger-Ross, C., Walker, G., Watson, N. 2014 In: Displaced heritage. Woodbridge : The Boydell Press p. 199-206. 8 p. ISBN: 9781843839637.
‘It came up to here’: learning from children’s flood narratives
Walker, M., Whittle, R., Medd, W., Burningham, K., Moran Ellis, J., Tapsell, S. 2014 In: Children and young people as knowledge producers. London : Routledge p. 135-150. 16 p. ISBN: 9780415740654.
Linking social capacities and risk communication in Europe: a gap between theory and practice?
Hoppner, C., Whittle, R., Brundl, M., Buchecker, M. 11/2012 In: Natural Hazards. 64, 2, p. 1753-1778. 26 p.
Investigating resilience through 'before' and 'after' perspectives on residual risk
Deeming, H., Whittle, R., Medd, W. 05/2012 In: Innovative thinking in risk, crisis and disaster management. Aldershot : Ashgate p. 173-200. 28 p. ISBN: 978-1-4094-1194-9.
It came up to here: learning from children's flood narratives
Walker, M., Whittle, R., Medd, W., Burningham, K., Moran-Ellis, J., Tapsell, S. 05/2012 In: Children's Geographies. 10, 2, p. 135-150. 16 p.
Flood of emotions: emotional work and long-term disaster recovery
Whittle, R., Walker, M., Medd, W., Mort, M. 02/2012 In: Emotion, Space and Society. 5, 1, p. 60-69. 10 p.
Suitcases, storyboards and Newsround: exploring impact and dissemination in Hull
Whittle, R., Walker, M., Medd, W. 12/2011 In: Area. 43, 4, p. 477-487. 11 p.
Perspectives on social capacity building for natural hazards: outlining an emerging field of research and practice in Europe
Kuhlicke, C., Steinfuehrer, A., Begg, C., Bianchizza, C., Bruendl, M., Buchecker, M., De Marchi, B., Di Masso Tarditti, M., Hoeppner, C., Komac, B., Lemkow, L., Luther, J., McCarthy, S., Pellizzoni, L., Renn, O., Scolobig, A., Supramaniam, M., Tapsell, S., Wachinger, G., Walker, G., Whittle, R., Zorn, M., Faulkner, H. 11/2011 In: Environmental Science and Policy. 14, 7, p. 804-814. 11 p.
Assembling the flood: producing spaces of bad water in the city of Hull
Walker, G., Whittle, R., Medd, W., Walker, M. 2011 In: Environment and Planning A. 43, 10, p. 2304-2320. 17 p.
Attendance and performance: correlations and motives in lecture-based modules
Clark, G., Gill, N., Walker, M., Whittle, R. 2011 In: Journal of Geography in Higher Education. 35, 2, p. 199-215. 17 p.
Living with Flood?: understanding residents' experiences of recovery
Whittle, R., Medd, W. 2011 In: Flood Hazards :. London : Taylor & Francis ISBN: 978-1439826256.
Recommendations for changes in UK National Recovery Guidance (NRG) and associated guidance from the perspective of Lancaster University's Hull Flood Studies
Deeming, H., Whittle, R., Medd, W. 2011 Lancaster University.
Risk governance and natural hazards
Walker, G., Whittle, R., Medd, W., Watson, N. 2011 CapHaz-Net.
Bridging the Recovery Gap
Whittle, R., Medd, W. 12/2010 In: Shaping urban infrastructures. London : Earthscan p. 192-208. 17 p. ISBN: 9781849710688 .
Children and Young People 'after the rain has gone' – learning lessons for flood recovery and resilience: Hull Children's Flood Project Final Report
Walker, M., Whittle, R., Medd, W., Burningham, K., Moran-Ellis, J., Tapsell, S. 16/08/2010 Lancaster : Lancaster University. 122 p.
Putting place on the menu: the negotiation of locality in UK food tourism, from production to consumption.
Sims, R. 04/2010 In: Journal of Rural Studies. 26, 2, p. 105-115. 11 p.
After the rain - learning the lessons from flood recovery in Hull. Final project report for 'Flood, Vulnerability and Urban Resilience: a real-time study of local recovery following the floods of June 2007 in Hull'.
Whittle, R., Medd, W., Deeming, H., Kashefi, E., Mort, M., Walker, G., Watson, N. 02/2010 Lancaster UK, 176 p.
When a "home" becomes a "house": care and caring in the flood recovery process.
Sims, R., Medd, W., Mort, M., Twigger-Ross, C. 08/2009 In: Space and Culture. 12, 3, p. 303-316. 14 p.
Food, place and authenticity: local food and the sustainable tourism experience.
Sims, R. 05/2009 In: Journal of Sustainable Tourism. 17, 3, p. 321-336. 16 p.
The Tourist G(r)aze: Understanding place and identity through holiday food and drink
Sims, R. 2008 Lancaster University. 396 p.
Failure to Learn, Failure to Grow: creating space to ‘fail’ in order to allow real learning to take place
01/03/2017 → 31/03/2018
Children, flood and urban resilience
01/03/2009 → …
Staff Prizes 2010
Prize (including medals and awards)
Member of Cabinet Office steering group for Community Resilience
Contribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups