A very warm welcome to our two new Centre PGR representatives for 2021-22, Maia Brons and Laura Mitchell, who will take on the role jointly and serve to represent our PGR interests, and to further SECP’s PGR voices and involvement in activities, events, public engagement and dissemination.

Both Maia and Laura are also based in the School of Humanities and Social Science, although their research is interdisciplinary and cross-cutting with several of the Centre’s core research themes.

Maia’s research builds on her background in international development. She uses a trans-urban perspective on how climate-induced (dis)placement unfolds in both London and Dhaka. She hopes to provide new insights into how climate change transforms experiences and explanations of space across north-south, centre-periphery and developed-developing axes. Her aim to not only provide an inquiry of the water-related challenges of two urban communities, but especially an inquiry with the waterfronts and -bodies that shape and spill into community livelihoods, creating a deeply environmental perspective. A main objective of her research is to highlight the historical, political and cultural nature of what is contemporarily and widely framed as “climate change”, as it intertwines with fundamental cultural, ecological and ethnic injustices and inequalities. She is looking forward to creating and sustaining meaningful connections amongst SECP’s postgraduate researchers.

Laura’s research explores and politicises access to green space/nature in the UK. Her interests align with the centre’s, including around conceptualising nature, nature and race, spatial inequalities, colonial land histories, and radically imagining future nature-based healthcare. Her background is in Environmental Psychology, and she will bring her rich experience of organising events from her work with the Climate Psychology Alliance (CPA). She is looking forward to creating a stronger postgraduate research community, and to facilitate the collective creation of group events and research –whether that be online, in person or hybrid. This might also involve field trips into the South Downs with a research or community building purpose.