PhD opportunity: (Tele)commuting, cities and weather conditions

ESRC funded PhD Studentship for DREAM CDT October 2016 Intake

This project aims to explore the relationship between (tele)commuting and weather. Researchers have spent significant effort in modelling the effects of weather conditions and also extreme weather events on commuting and transport infrastructure. Also, prior research has tried to understand the role that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can perform as an enabling platform for working remotely and avoiding or decreasing physical commuting. This PhD project will build upon these two streams of research and also incorporate a risk dimension which is related to extreme weather and climate change. For instance, changes to the daily commute can be made during extreme weather (e.g. floods, heatwaves, snow), allowing commuters to select the mode of transport which is most resilient for the conditions. At the extreme, telecommuting can be seen as a powerful tool to increase resilience.

Cities are organised in space as complex urban networks, which are connected together through various diverse layers of infrastructure (from transport to digital infrastructure). These infrastructural layers vary from city to city and will affect the capacity of individuals to commute. With respect to telecommuting, the complexity of the above argumentation increases if we consider labour and housing markets. For instance, not every industry can support and take advantage of telecommuting opportunities. Similarly, people whose occupation enables telecommuting may reside in close proximity or in areas of similar socio-economic profile. For instance, problems with Internet broadband connectivity in rural areas might still be a deteriorating factor for working from home and avoiding physical commuting. This PhD project will build upon the above narrative and answer research questions related with the capacity of places and individuals to telecommute, the relation of telecommuting with with weather and extreme weather events, and the link between infrastructure – both digital and transport infrastructure – with telecommuting.

A key partnership with Enable ID has already been secured, which will provide a wealth of stream data in regards to personal mobility. This PhD project will introduce a framework of diverse analytical methods which include statistical analysis such as multi-level modelling, data mining, network analysis, spatial analysis and visualisation.NWM-CONCESSIONARY-NOV01-1020PX.JPG

Supervisors: Dr Emmanouil Tranos and Dr Lee Chapman


With four leading universities: Cranfield, Birmingham, Cambridge and Newcastle – and over twenty informatics industry organisations collaborating to deliver leading edge research and training through the DREAM Centre for Doctoral Training, all you have to decide is where you want to make a difference.

The DREAM CDT programme offers an attractive stipend with a strong professional development ethos. The programme provides a research experience combining academic rigour with real world problem solving, ensuring you have the opportunities to progress your career in the global informatics sector. Researchers will study for a PhD, benefiting from expertise, events and courses run at all four of the partner universities.


If you are interested in joining us in DREAM to study for a PhD in Big Data, Risk and Environmental Analytical methods, the 2016 call for projects has now been opened for applications, closing on Friday, 26th February, 2016 at midnight. The application form is available here and needs to be sent by email to Dr Emmanouil Tranos.


*To be eligible for this funding, applicants must be a UK / EU national. We require that applicants are under no restrictions regarding how long they can stay in the UK i.e. have no visa restrictions or applicant has “settled status” and has been “ordinarily resident” in the UK for 3 years prior to start of studies and has not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education.

RGS IBG 2016 Cfp: Beyond and Across “Energy”: Addressing Nexus Challenges through Interdisciplinary, Integrative, and Inclusive Approaches

Call for papers for the 2016 RGS-IBG Annual Conference, 30th August – 2nd September 2016, London, UK.

Beyond and Across “Energy”: Addressing Nexus Challenges through Interdisciplinary, Integrative, and Inclusive Approaches

Sponsors: Transport Geography Research Group and the Energy Geographies Research Group

Organisers: Debbie Hopkins, Rebecca Ford, Ben Wooliscroft, Michelle Scott and Janet Stephenson (University of Otago, New Zealand) In order to ‘address the interdependencies, tensions and trade-offs between different environmental and social domains’, and transition to a more efficient, equitable and sustainable future, insights are required that go beyond traditional boundaries. In this session, we will explore interdisciplinary, integrative and inclusive approaches that provide novel and innovative ways of thinking about environmental and social problems. In particular, we are interested in the many roles of “energy” as a vector in social, economic and environmental outcomes. Energy underpins most daily activities and, in many forms, drives carbon emissions in both the global North and South through its sourcing, conversion, transmission, and residential (e.g. home lighting, heating, and transport), commercial, and industrial use. We call for papers that situate energy within the context of everyday human needs and activities (e.g. water, food, mobility, manufacturing) that step beyond interdisciplinary thinking, and that transcend the traditional sectoral silos.

In the last decade alone, a wide range of interventions, coming from a variety of theoretical perspectives and practical approaches, have been developed to bring about reductions in energy demand and carbon emissions. However these interventions are often embedded in a single academic tradition, and often overlook systemic interactions particularly between technical innovation and behaviour. The implications of these interventions on other challenges, such as water scarcity and food security, requires further consideration since the use of energy is deeply embedded within the physical and social contexts of daily life, and change will involve a wide variety of actors in all sectors of the economy and society.

In this session, we invite original, scholarly contributions, which can be empirical, theoretical or methodological in nature, and which may sit within one or more of the following themes (alternative themes are also welcomed):


*   Reviews of the value and limitations of disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary research for understanding nexus challenges

*   Theoretically, conceptually and/or empirically novel understandings of energy in a resource-constrained world

*   Integrative approaches that acknowledge discipline-based ontologies

*   Consideration of theories and methodologies that can aid understandings of transitions across varying geographical, political and cultural contexts

*   The value of radical versus incremental transitions in achieving long-term systemic change

*   Examinations of the justice and ethics of access to energy in a resource-constrained future

*   Research-informed learnings with relevance for policy and practice across spatial scales

*   Integrative and inclusive research within and beyond the academy


We are seeking abstracts (c.250 words) for oral presentations examining nexus challenges through interdisciplinary, integrative, and inclusive approaches. Abstracts and questions should be submitted to<> by Thursday 4th February. Notification of acceptance will be given by Tuesday 9th February.

For more details on the conference and registration details, please see:



RGS-IBG 2016 cfp: On demand: cultural economies of access and ownership

On demand: cultural economies of access and ownership

Paper session at the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2016, London, 30 August – 2 September, 2016. Organisers: Brendan Doody (University of Cambridge) and Lizzie Richardson (University of Cambridge). Sponsors: TGRG

The ways resources are consumed and used are being challenged, renegotiated and reworked across various sectors. In this ‘post-ownership’ story, citizen-consumers are increasingly paying to access goods and services ‘on-demand’, which may be ‘shared’ with other users. Within the transport sector there has been a growth of car-sharing schemes, where drivers pay for access to and short-term use of a shared vehicle (Shaheen & Cohen, 2013; Kent and Dowling 2013; Belk, 2014). The shifting materialities of media continue to alter the relationship between cultural products and identities through the growth of on-demand streaming sites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Spotify (Moore, 2013; Tryon 2013; Bailey, 2015). Meanwhile, commercial and domestic spaces are being renegotiated through configurations of access that encourage temporary usage of the site itself (e.g., networked hospitality; co-working spaces) and flexible demand for resources within it (e.g., energy) (Molz 2012; Powells et al., 2014; Guttenberg, 2015).

We are interested in critical approaches that question and complicate the narrative of ‘post-ownership’ to describe these trends. Firstly, to what extent does access query normative understandings of, and practices associated with, ownership? Secondly, what are the implications of access for the qualities and/or quantities of resource usage? Thirdly, how are emotional and ethical attachments realised through everyday negotiations of access and flexibilities of demand?

We welcome papers dealing with issues related (but not limited) to:

a) Changing mode(l)s of access and ownership, together with their (cultural/economic/political/environmental) implications;

b) Empirical studies of how these mode(l)s are being operationalised and negotiated in everyday life (e.g., transport; space (domestic/commercial); media; energy, tools, clothes);

c) Their potential to blur, challenge and disrupt existing imaginaries and practices of access/ownership;

d) The ways in which digital, location-based and smart technologies are integrated into and integral to these mode(l)s;

e) The emotional and ethical implications of access-based and on-demand usage.

Applicants should submit an abstract (~200 words), including a preliminary title, to Brendan Doody ( and Lizzie Richardson ( no later than Friday 12th February 2016. The convenors will notify all authors of whether their paper can be accommodated in the session by Tuesday 16th February. Final confirmation of the session will be provided by the RGS-IBG conference organisers following the deadline for session proposals on 19th February.

The TGRG has a small prize for the best postgraduate presentation in any TGRG session at the RGS-IBG 2016 Conference. If you wish to enter for the Postgraduate Prize a full paper should be submitted to the Chair and Secretary of TGRG, prior to the conference date for judging. For more information and to find out about entry criteria please contact TGRG postgraduate rep Joanna Elvy (


Bailey, E. (2015). New audiences, new markets: Accessing music, art, and writing at your leisure. In D. Sarver Coombs & S. Collister (Eds.), Debates for the digital age: The good, the bad, and the ugly of our online world (pp. 3-22).

Belk, R. (2014). You are what you can access: Sharing and collaborative consumption online. Journal of Business Research 67 (8): 1595–1600.

Guttentag, D. (2015). Airbnb: Disruptive innovation and the rise of an informal tourism accommodation sector. Current Issues in Tourism 18 (12): 1192–1217.

Kent, J L., & Dowling, R. (2013). “Puncturing automobility? Carsharing practices.” Journal of Transport Geography 32: 86–92.

Molz, J. (2012). CouchSurfing and network hospitality: ‘It’s not just about the furniture’. Hospitality & Society 1 (3): 215–25.

Moore, C. (2013). Distribution Is queen: LGBTQ media on demand. Cinema Journal 53 (1): 137–44.

Powells, G., Bulkeley, H., Bell, S., & Judson, E. (2014). Peak electricity demand and the flexibility of everyday life. Geoforum, 55, 43-52.

Shaheen, S. A., & Cohen, A. P. (2013). Carsharing and personal vehicle services: Worldwide market developments and emerging trends. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 7(1), 5-34.

Tryon, C. (2013). On-demand culture: Digital delivery and the future of msovies. New Brunswick, N.J: Rutgers University Press.

RGS-IBG 2016 cfp: Mobility, Transport and making Sustainable Places: a neglected Nexus

Call for Papers for TGRG-sponsored session: Mobility, Transport and making Sustainable Places: a neglected Nexus
Convenors: Dr Kate Pangbourne (Aberdeen) and Dr Angela Curl (NZ)
The next RGS-IBG Annual International conference will take place at the Royal Geographical Society in London from the 30th August- 2nd September 2016 and will be chaired by Professor Peter Jackson (University of Sheffield). The conference theme is Nexus Thinking.
Profound disconnections remain between urban planning and transport planning. For a time, the sustainable development discourse that rose to prominence in the 1990s looked as if it might bridge this deep gulf, with an opportunity for integrating ‘Triple Pillar’ sustainability into governance processes. Instead, it created a new silo for sustainable development as separate to other governance domains. Consequently environmental governance remains separated from the process of governing of urban space. It is time to look again at building the nexus between mobility, transport and the making of sustainable places. Could climate change be the issue that finally establishes a nexus, or are other issues driving partial collaborations between policy domains? For example, in Scotland a ‘place standard’ has recently been developed in partnership by Scottish Government Architecture & Place, NHS Health Scotland and Architecture & Design Scotland, a partnership that notably does not explicitly include transport, though policy aims include promoting designing for compact, well-connected low-carbon places and advocating street design that prioritises pedestrians.
This session invites contributions that critically engage with the session theme. For example, contributions could focus on the following:
• •Examples of non/cooperation between policy silos at all levels of governance that promote sustainable mobility in the context of sustainable place-making (or vice versa)
• • Examples of community–led place-making initiatives that dispense with artificial top-down structures that constrain thinking about development in sustainable place-making
• • Evaluations of activities that can be related to place-making (e.g. Smarter Choices)
• • Discussions of the relationships between places that generate unsustainable movement
Abstracts of 300 words are invited from those interested in presenting current or recent research at this session, including an indication of the TYPE of presentation proposed. The objective is for a lively debate, therefore one potential format for this session would be to have up to 10 x 20 slide pecha kucha presentations (each lasting 6 minutes and forty seconds) followed by a response from a distinguished discussant and a panel discussion between the presenters and the audience. A mix of formats will also be considered. If you have a viewpoint proposal rather than research, or wish to discuss a potential contribution, you are welcome to contact the convenor.
Please submit proposals to Kate Pangbourne ( by 10th February 2016.

RGS-IBG 2016 cfp: “current and emerging research in transport”

We are inviting abstract submissions from postgraduate students to a TGRG sponsored session at the 2016 RGS-IBG Annual International Conference entitled “current and emerging research in transport”. This session is aimed at postgraduate students conducting research in any aspect of transport geography and related topics. The session is open-themed but we particularly welcome papers which tackle the wider conference theme of ‘Nexus Thinking’. In recent years we have seen an increase in the number and range of presentations in what is always a well-attended and interesting event. The session provides a relaxed atmosphere for postgraduates at any stage of their research to present their work in progress. Oral presentations in this session may be shorter in this session than in the main sessions if demand warrants. Presenters are encouraged to submit a paper for the Postgraduate Prize and priority will be given to papers intending to enter for the Postgraduate Prize.*

* The TGRG has a small prize for the best postgraduate presentation in any TGRG session at the RGS-IBG 2016 Conference. If you wish to enter for the Postgraduate Prize a full paper should be submitted to the Chair and Secretary of TGRG, prior to the conference date for judging. For more information and to find out about entry criteria please contact TGRG postgraduate rep Joanna Elvy (

If you would like to present a paper in this session, please submit the following information to the session convenors Joanna Elvy ( and/or Clare Woroniuk ( by Friday 29th January 2016.

* Title
* Authors, affiliations and email addresses
* Presenter
* Abstract (up to 300 words)

The 2016 Annual International Conference will be held at the Royal Geographical Society in London, from Tuesday 30 August to Friday 2 September 2016.

RGS-IBG 2016 cfp:Queer Mobilities: LGBT Citizenship on the Move

Queer Mobilities: LGBT Citizenship on the Move
Panel: Call for Participants
Annual International Conference, London, 30 August-2 September 2016
Royal Geographical Society (RGS) with Institute of British Geographers (IBG)
Sponsored session by the Transport Geography Research Group (TGRG) and Space, Sexualities & Queer Research Group (SSQRG)
Conveners: Professor Karen Lucas (Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds) and Dr Martin Zebracki (School of Geography, University of Leeds)
This panel will explore the under-examined topic of mobility transitions of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) people as they experience and negotiate travel, migration and everyday living environments involving various modes of public and private transport from the local to the global and across physical, economic, sociocultural and virtual contexts.
Envisaging ‘queer’ as critical antipode of normative social practice, we especially welcome reflections on studies that introduce new, ‘queerying’ methodologies or ‘ways of looking’, and/or which seek to transform or transcend mobility environments in particular ways to become more sensitive to, inclusive of or critical towards citizenship identities, rights and responsibilities of LGBTs. This can be explored through reflexive practices or direct actions of the researcher and their participants at various geographical scales or communication of research messages to policymakers and practitioners.
Moreover, we would like to encourage contributors to ponder on the Nexus conference theme and to bring this to bear upon notions of place identity and ‘belonging in movement’ through and between explorations of (contra)normative experiences of LGBT performance in mobility.
Thus, we welcome critical accounts on LGBT citizenship ‘on the move’ as performed via mindset, behaviour, lifestyle, social interaction, etc. in multi-scalar transport contexts. Topics may include but are not limited to:
• Epistemologies of queer mobilities.
• Sexual differentialities within queer mobilities (e.g. ‘trans’mobility).
• More-than-human queer mobilities: human queers, queer artefacts and (e)motion.
• Queer mobilities and intersectionality (e.g. (dis)ability, intergenerationality, religion, ethnicity, class)
• Mobilities of queernormativity: (re)moving the queer norm.
• Queer travellers/migrants and the (il)legal body (cf. queer liberalism).
• Mobilities of the securitisation of the queer body (cf. homonationalism).
. Artistic queer mobilities.
• Policies of queer mobilities.
• Intra-urban queer mobilities.
• Digital vis-à-vis ‘offline’ queer mobilities / hybrid queer mobilities.

If you are interested in participating in this panel, please provide a max. 300-word statement and max. 100-word bio (including affiliation and e-mail address) to both of of us at K.Lucas AT and M.M.Zebracki AT by 12 February, 2015. Please contact us should you have any queries.