Human Geography Research Cluster

Through a participatory engagement with socio-economic and environmental care, justice and transformation, we promote theoretical debate and 'real-world' progress.

Research by the Human Geography Research Cluster MaputoMarket2(HGRC) focuses on addressing critical 21st century challenges around human communities and their interactions with the environment within an increasingly globalised world. Stakeholder engagement and 'real world' relevance is critical to this and so we take a highly interdisciplinary and participatory approach, collaborating with a range of research centres, universities, NGOs, communities and institutions worldwide. We have rich experience in research that achieves important social impacts and is transformative for participants, communities, students and a range of other 'publics'. The cluster is part of the Global Development Research Division.

Our research is centred around three core themes:

1. Caring Societies: We focus on care, disability, responses to death, children, youth and family relations; enthusiasm in cultures of policy, professional science, citizen science and volunteering; food politics, humanitarianism and media; ethics and justice in alternative Fair Trade economies.

Ruth Evans and colleagues convened an excellent Symposium on Family Troubles: Care and Change in Diverse Contexts on 16 September 2015 at the University of Reading. For the programme, including slides of plenaries and paper presentations, click here and see the blog for presenters' reflections on the Symposium and further updates.

2.Environment, resilience and transformation: We examine resilience and adaptation in the face of climate change; transformational and transitional communities; the politics and governance of climate change; women's and young people's land rights and livelihoods.

3. Theory and practice of participation and social impact: We are researching with communities, using enabling and participatory methods that combine insights gained in the Global North and South; and on motivations in citizen science participation. The Participation Lab, led by core members of the Human Geography Research Cluster, Ruth Evans, Hilary Geoghegan and Sally Lloyd-Evans, provides a hub for this innovative work. It aims to co-produce knowledge with communities and practitioners, establish a research training programme designed with NGOs, communities and public bodies, and build capacity within and beyond the university.


In May 2016, we hosted an interactive, multidisciplinary workshop on Communities & Participation: thinking and doing collaborative research and our inaugural Participation Lab Mixer which brought together academics, researchers, community members and practitioners interested in participatory action research, citizen science and collaboration.

For more details, please visit The Participation Lab blog.


We have established a Human Geography Research Cluster Report Series which is intended to present our research results to as wide an audience as possible and may contain preliminary research findings or highlight results of relevance to policy and practice.

Read the first report by Ruth Evans and colleagues (2016), Responses to Death, Care and Family Relations in Urban Senegal and Executive Summary.

Current and recently completed research projects

Read about the research carried out by Human Geography Research Cluster postgraduate research students

Things to do now

Read about the group members:

News from HGRC

  • Professor Mike Goodman has had two new books published on alternative food networks and food transgressions
  • and Giuseppe Feola have been awarded British Council Researcher Links Travel Grants to conduct research in the Western Cape, South Africa and Michigan, USA respectively.
  • Leverhulme grant for £135,532 awarded to Ruth Evans with Sophie Bowlby and Jane Ribbens McCarthy (OU) on 'Death in the Family in Urban Senegal: bereavement, care and family relations'
  • NERC Impact Accelerator grant for £12,000 awarded to Hilary Geoghegan with Rob Jackson to examine the uptake of phages in the treatment of tree disease.
  • was awarded the UNFCCC Momentum for Change Award 2013 for her work in Maputo, Mozambique

See some of our postgraduate thesis titles

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See also

  • Postgraduate research opportunities


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