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:

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 modules within the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science (SoGEES) and am Senior Tutor for Geography. More specifically I lead and teach on the following modules:

Module lead
Nature and Society (GGH2203)
Environmental Knowledge, From Field to Stakeholder (GEES519)

Module teacher
Principles and Applications of Geography 1 (GGX2201)
Urban Coastal Regeneration (PLG508)
Principles and Applications of Geography 2 (GGX2202)
Undergraduate Dissertations in Geography (GGX3200) 
Personal Tutor Stages 1, 2 and 4

Postgraduate supervision
Master Dissertations in Planning 
Masters Dissertations in Sustainable Environmental Management
Master Dissertation in Human Geography 
PhD Human Geography 



Research interests

Broad Research themes

  • Nature-society relationships
  • Animal management and governance
  • The socio-politics of biosecurity 
  • Environmental-knowledge systems 
  • Farming and agricultural change 
  • Sustainable food  


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. 

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

Completed PhD students

Cara Clancy. 'Wild entanglements: exploring the visions and dilemmas of ‘renaturing’ urban Britain'. 2019.  (DoS)

Current PhD students

Carlotta Molfese. Project title: 'The Back-To-The-Land movement and nature in the Anthropocene: a personal journey through anarchist geographies'. /staff/carlotta-molfese Funded by the ESRC (DoS)

Dylan Beard. Project title: 'Glaciers as secondary sources of anthropogenic pollutants: an emerging socio-environmental challenge'. Funded by SoGEES (2nd supervisor)

Grants & contracts

Funded Research 

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

Research Fellowship Providing Evidence and Analysis to Inform Policy Development on Key Elements of Biosecurity. DEFRA. (Project number SD0511)

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

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



Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Beard DB, Clason CC, Rangecroft S, Poniecka E, Ward KJ & Blake WH (2022) 'Anthropogenic contaminants in glacial environments II: Release and downstream consequences' Progress in Physical Geography: Earth and Environment ,
Beard DB, Clason CC, Rangecroft S, Poniecka E, Ward KJ & Blake WH (2022) 'Anthropogenic contaminants in glacial environments I: Inputs and accumulation' Progress in Physical Geography: Earth and Environment 46, (4) 630-648 ,
Enticott G, Ward K, Ashton A, Brunton L & Broughan J (2021) 'Mapping the geography of disease: A comparison of epidemiologists' and field-level experts' disease maps' Applied Geography 126, 102356-102356 ,
Clancy C & Ward K (2020) 'Auto-rewilding in post-industrial cities: the case of inland cormorants in urban Britain' Conservation and Society ,
Ward K & Prior J (2020) 'The Reintroduction of Beavers to Scotland: Rewilding, Biopolitics, and the Affordance of Non-human Autonomy' Conservation and Society ,
Wynne-Jones S, Clancy C, Holmes G, O’Mahony K & Ward K (2020) 'Feral Political Ecologies?: The Biopolitics, Temporalities and Spatialities of Rewilding' Conservation and Society 18, (2) 71-71 ,
Enticott G & Ward K (2019) 'Mapping Careful Epidemiology: Spatialities, Materialities and Subjectivities in the Management of Animal Disease' The Geographical Journal ,
Broughan JM, Maye D, Carmody P, Brunton LA, Ashton A, Wint W, Alexander N, Naylor R, Ward K & Goodchild AV (2016) 'Farm characteristics and farmer perceptions associated with bovine tuberculosis incidents in areas of emerging endemic spread' Preventive Veterinary Medicine 129, 88-98 ,
Prior J & Ward KJ (2016) 'Rethinking rewilding: A response to Jørgensen' Geoforum 69, 132-135 ,
Enticott G, Maye D, Carmody P, Naylor R, Ward K, Hinchliffe S, Wint W, Alexander N, Elgin R & Ashton A (2015) 'Farming on the edge: farmer attitudes to bovine tuberculosis in newly endemic areas' Veterinary Record 177, (17) 439-439 ,
Brunton, L, Nicholson, R, Ashton, A, Alexander, N, Wint, W, Enticott, G, Ward KJ, Brougham, 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 KJ (2015) 'Geographies of Exclusion: seaside towns and Houses in Multiple Occupancy' Journal of Rural Studies 37, 98-107 ,
Hinchliffe S & Ward KJ (2014) 'Geographies of folded life: How immunity reframes biosecurity' Geoforum 53, 136-144 ,
Ward KJ (2014) 'Biosocial Becomings: Integrating Social and Biological Anthropology. Ingold, Tim and Gisli Palsson (eds).[Book review]' Environment and Planning D: Society and Space
Ward K (2019) 'For Wilderness or Wildness? Decolonising Rewilding' Rewilding 34-54 ,


Reports & invited lectures

Invited expert discussant, 'How wild is wild? Rewilding the island of Ireland', British Ecological Society (BES) with the Irish Ecological Society (IES), Belfast, November 2019. 

Invited talk, 'An environmental ethic for rewilding'. The Zoological Society of London, September, 2019.

'Invited expert discussant, 'Gender and rewilding' workshop, University of Exeter, December, 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. 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. November, 2013.

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