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Dr Sophie Bowlby

Photograph of Sophie Bowlby

Sophie is a Hon Visiting Research Fellow at Reading University


Areas of interest

My research interests lie in feminist social and economic geography of urban areas and cross the divide between 'social' and 'economic' geography. I have longstanding interests in the relationships between home and paid work, and mobility and access. Over the last 20 years I have focussed on researching formal and informal caring relationships and friendship.

Research centres and groups

Human Geography Research Cluster

Research projects

Sophie is a Consultant on two current projects:

  • Healthier Working Lives and ageing for workers in the care sector: Developing careers, enhancing continuity, promoting wellbeing”(March 2021 – February 2024), funded by Innovate UK; led by Professor Linda McKie at Kings College London, partnering with Scottish Care, Creative Venue and CodeBase.
  • En Route to recovery: Diversity and Vulnerability in Care Work during and after the Covid-19 Pandemic” (May 2022 – Sept 2024) a 4 nation consortium (Finland, UK, South Africa, Canada) funded by the Trans-Atlantic Platform; led by Marjut Jyrkinen (Helsinki University).

Previously Sophie was a Consultant on:

  • Death in the family in urban Senegal: bereavement, care and family relations, funded by Leverhulme; led by Professor Ruth Evans (Reading University) and Professor Jane Ribbens McCarthy (Open University & Reading University) from February 2014 to February 2016.

She was awarded a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship for research on:

  • 'Changing spaces of support: friendship practices among women in their fifties' from February 2013 to February 2014.




Sophie is a Visiting Professor at Loughborough University and was previously a Senior Lecturer in Geography at Reading University.

She is a longstanding member of the RGS-IBG Gender and Feminist Geographies Research Group (formerly Women and Geography Study Group) and of the Social and Cultural Geography Research Group.

Sophie is a Director and Chairperson of ReadiBus, a bus service in Reading for people who cannot use ordinary buses.


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