Dr Kim Ward

Dr Kim Ward

Lecturer in Human Geography

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)


Lecturer in Human Geography 




Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP), Plymouth University

PhD Human Geography, University of Exeter

MSc Nature, Rurality and Society, University of Exeter

BSc Zoology (Hons), University of Nottingham 


Postdoctoral research:

Social Science Research Fellow. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. (2014-2015)

Research Fellow on the DEFRA-funded, multidisciplinary project: 'Identifying RiskFactors that Affect the Spread of Bovine Tuberculosis at the Endemic Front'. School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University. (2013-2014)


Associate Research Fellow on the ESRC-funded project: 'Biosecurity-Borderlands'. Geography, University of Exeter (2012) seewww.biosecurity-borderlands.org 

Professional membership

Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society with the Institute of British Geographers

Teaching interests

I teach across a variety of human geography modules including:

Module leader
Sustainable Futures (GEES1003PP)
Nature and Society (GGH2203)

Module teacher
Sustainable Futures (GEES1003PP)
Nature and Society (GGH2203)
Principles and Applications of Geography 1 (GGX2201)
Geography Matters (GGX1200)
Urban Coastal Regeneration (PLG508)
Ireland Fieldtrip (GGX2202)
Undergraduate Dissertations in Geography (GGX3200) 
Personal Tutor Stages 1, 2 and 4

Postgraduate supervision
Master Dissertations in Planning 
Master Dissertation in Human Geography 
PhD Human Geography 

Research interests

Broad Research themes

Nature and Society Relationships

Socio-politics of Risk and Biosecurity 

Geographies of Nature

Sustainable Food Systems 

Rural Geography 

Feminist Geography 


Broadly speaking my research explores relationships between societies and environments and seeks to identify and understand the values and meanings embedded within these relations. In particular my research has focused on two areas of interest: (1) exploring biosecurity, risk and the socio-politics of zoonotic disease within farming and conservation systems and (2) the socio-politics of nature conservation. 

My research on the former has explored approaches to biosecurity by examining how farmer behaviours are linked to environmental knowledge(s) and perceptions in relation to the emergence of zoonotic disease in agri-food systems. More broadly this research asks questions of the value(s) placed on human and non-human health within food systems, and examines public and animal health narratives which frame risk and biosecurity at an agricultural and institutional level. My research on the later theme has focused on exploring the socio-politics of the emerging conservation practice of rewilding, in particular by examining the cultural and political influences that frame rewilding approaches and the environmental knowledges that are (re)produced for and through such conservation narratives. 

Grants & contracts

(PI) £3,000 Small Research Grant, Royal Geographical Society (2018) 
‘Sowing the Seeds of Heritage: Examining bio-cultural knowledge and social memory of agricultural practices’

(PI) £15,000 Environment and Sustainability Research Grant (2018) 
‘Release of legacy fallout radionuclides from retreating glaciers: co-producing ‘risk maps’ with the Sami to inform adaptations to an emerging threat in Arctic Sweden’

(PI) £46,000 Social Science Fellowship (2015)
Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 

 £1000 Exeter Open Innovation Platform Link Fund, University of Exeter (2012)

£1500 Wellcome Trust Undergraduate Research Scholarship Award, Nottingham University (2006)

Journal Articles

Ward, K.J (2018) For Wilderness or Wildness? Decolonising Rewilding. In N Pettorelli, S Durant & JT DuToit (eds), Rewilding. British Ecological Society.

Prior J and Ward K.J (2016) Rethinking rewilding: A response to Jørgensen. Geoforum 69: 132-135. doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2015.12.003

Enticott, G., Maye., D., Carmody,. P., Naylor, R., Ward, K. J., Hinchliffe, S., Wint, W., Alexander, N., Eglin, R., Aston, A., Upton, P., Nicholson, R., Goodchild, T., Brunton, L., and Broughton J.  (2015). Farming on the Edge: farmer attitudes to bovine Tuberculosis in newly endemic areas. Veterinary Record 177(17), article number: 439. (10.1136/vr.103187

Brunton, L., Nicholson, R., Ashton, A., Alexander, N., Wint, W., Enticott, G., Ward K.J., Broughan J., Goodchild, A,V. (2015). A Novel Approach to Mapping and Calculating the Rate of Spread of Endemic Bovine Tuberculosis in England and Wales. Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology, 13, 41-50. 

Ward, K. J. (2015). Geographies of Exclusion: seaside towns and Houses in Multiple Occupancy. Journal of Rural Studies, 37, 98-107. 

Hinchliffe, S., & Ward, K. J. (2014). Geographies of folded life: How immunity reframes biosecurity. Geoforum, 53, 136-144. 

Ward, K. J. (2014). Biosocial Becomings: Integrating Social and Biological Anthropology. Ingold, Tim and Gisli Palsson (eds).[Book review]. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. Retrieved from http://societyandspace.com/reviews/reviews-archive/ingold/

Research Reports

Enticott G and Ward K (2014) Evaluating risk factors that affect the rate of spread of endemic areas for bovine tuberculosis. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Vasey H and Ward K (2010) Evaluation of the CARD-PORCH project. Final Report. Exeter Community Initiatives. 

Reports & invited lectures

Invited expert discussant, 'Gender and rewilding' workshop, University of Exeter, Dec 18, 2018.

Invited talk, ‘Understanding Risk Perceptions and the Social Impacts of Avian Influenza (AI)’. Social Research on Exotic Disease and Biosecurity workshop, Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, London. 6th June 2015.

Invited talk, ‘Managing the breakdown: forms and calculations in the administration of bovine Tuberculosis, a UK case study’. PAN Seminar series at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), Paris. 28th November 2013.

Invited expert discussant ‘Making Life Safe’. Animal Exchanges Workshop: Anthropologies Beyond Species, Institute for Science, Innovation and Society, University of Oxford. 24th May 2013. 



"Rewilding: Reintroduction extinct species back to Britain will be 'enormous' challenge". 

The Independent on Sunday features research conducted by social scientists,including Dr Kim Ward from the School of Geography, Earth and EnvironmentalSciences, on dwindling beaver populations in Britain. 

Read the full article in 'The Independent' -http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/rewilding-reintroduction-extinct-species-back-to-britain-will-be-enormous-challenge-study-finds-10478370.html


"First official mammal reintroduction to UK"  

Online news site TheCanary features research conducted by scientists, including Dr Kim Ward from the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, on dwindling beaver populations in Britain. The Eurasian beaver has been officially reintroduced to Scotland after being extinct in Britain for over 400years. This also makes them the first official mammal reintroduction in the UK. 

Read the full article in ‘The Canary’ – http://www.thecanary.co/2016/11/27/beaver-reintroduction-could-be-good-news-for-the-uks-natural-diversity/