Prof Noel Castree

Professor of Geography

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Noel Castree

BA Oxford, MA, PhD British Columbia

I am a graduate of Oxford University (First Class Honours) and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. I came to Manchester University in 2000, when appointed as a Reader in Human Geography. Prior to that I spent 5 years as a Lecturer in Human Geography at Liverpool University, my first academic position. I was promoted to the rank of Professor in 2004. I spent  3 years at the University of Wollongong, in Australia, returning to Manchester in late 2017. Though ostensibly a human geographer, I am committed to the idea that geographic research and teaching should utilise the insights and tools of social science, the humanities and the physical sciences. This means that I take inspiration not only from geographers but also from philosophers, sociologists, geologists, historians and many others. In recent years my research and teaching interests have focussed on human impacts on the global environment and how they are framed in different bodies of expert discourse. As part of this I have joined the chorus of people writing at length about the Anthropocene.

Further information

Administrative experience

At the University of Manchester (2000-14)

  • Director of Postgraduate Studies (School of Geography), 2000-04.
  • Member of Faculty of Arts Graduate Committee, 2000-04.
  • Director of Postgraduate Research (School of Environment and Development), 2004-7.
  • Member of Faculty of Humanities PGRC, 2004-07.
  • Acting Head of Geography (2010); member of Senate and University Academic Misconduct Committee, 2010-12.
  • School Research Director (2010-12).

At the University of Wollongong, Australia (2015-17)

  • Vice Dean (Research), Faculty of Social Science
  • Director, Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research (AUSCCER)

At the University of Manchester (2017-20)

  • Director of Research, School of Environment, Education & Development (SEED)

Wider professional service (1998-)

  • Member of editorial advisory board of Environment and Planning A, 1998-2012.
  • Treasurer of the History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group, 1998-06.
  • Member of editorial board of Antipode, 1999-03.
  • Member of Research Committee of RGS-IBG, 1999-01.
  • Member of RGS-IBG Research Grants Committee, 1999-02.
  • External examiner for MA in Environmental Management, Nottingham University, 2000-03.
  • Editor, Antipode Book Series, Blackwell Publishers: London and New York, 2001-09.
  • Member of Geoforum editorial board, 1999-2012.
  • Editor of Antipode (2004-09) and Progress in Human Geography, 2003-.
  • External examiner for the MSc in Environment and Society, Oxford University, 2003-06.
  • External examiner of MA in Human Geography, Sheffield University; MSc in Environment, Science and Society, UCL, 2005-08.
  • Chair of the Annual RGS-IBG conference, 2008.
  • Member of  Professional Geographer editorial board, 2007-11; member of the AAAG ed. board 2007-12.
  • Editorial board member of Environment & Society, 2009- and the TIBG, 2013-16.
  • External examiner for BA in Human Geography, Queen Mary College, University of London, 2011-14; and for the MA in Globalisation & Development, Liverpool University 2010-14.
  • Member of the Research Evaluation Framework (REF) sub-panel 17, 2011-13.
  • Author of report on 'Society-environment research, 2000-10' for the ESRC-AHRC Benchmark Review of British human geography, 2012.
  • Human geography external reviewer of Bristol University School of Geographical Sciences, 2012.
  • External examiner for BA Geography programme, Loughborough University, 2017-19.
  • Member, Publications Committee, Association of American Geographers, 2017-19.
  • Coeditor, Key Ideas in Geography book series, Routledge (2016-22).
  • Member, editorial advisory board, AAAG, 2020-23, an associate editor AAG Review of Books (2020-23)
  • External examiner, BA Geography programme, Loughborough University (2017-21)
  • External assessor for School of Environment 10 year review, University of Auckland, 2021.
  • Founding editor, Environment and Planning F: Philosophy, Theory, Models, Methods & Practice (Sage publishers), 2022.

Awards and Distinctions

1993: Governor General of Canada's Gold Medal (for highest MA marks, any discipline), University of British Columbia.
1993-5: Isaak Walton Killam Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, University of British Columbia.
2001: Ashby Prize (for best published paper of 2000 in Environment and Planning A).
2005: Gill Memorial Award (awarded by the Royal Geographical Society for 'contributions to furthering the understanding of society-environment relationships').
2008: Chair (by nomination) of the annual conference of the RGS-IBG.
2012-: Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

2020: Taylor & Francis Lifetime Achievement Award for "producing a high quality and influential body of scholarship across two decades"

Recent presentations

2021: 'Who should speak for the Earth?', Andrew Jacubowicz Annual Lecture, University of Technology Sydney.

2019: 'The future of global environmental assessment'. Keynote given as annual Institute of Political Economy lecture, Sheffield University and as a research seminar at the University of Wollongong.

2018:  ‘Transforming expertise: global change science and the politics of knowledge’. Keynote lecture at the annual conference of German Geography, Heidelberg, January.

2017:   ‘Transforming expertise: global change science and the politics of knowledge’. Keynote lecture at the ‘Ecological challenges’ conference, Oslo February.

2016:   ‘Global change research and its ‘human dimensions’: from critique to action’. Lund University, Faculty of Social Science Lecture.

2015:   ‘The environmental humanities and global change research: actualities and possibilities’. Stockholm Archipelago Lecture KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory, Stockholm.

2015:   ‘Geography and the new social contract for global change research’. Transactions  of the Institute of British Geographers lecture, given at the RGS– IBG conference, Exeter.

2015:   Presenter in the Geography and global change science:new directions for the social sciences and humanities’ sessionand invited panellist in the ‘Critical physical geography’ session, AAG conference, Chicago.

2014:   ‘Unfree radicals? Geoscientists, critique and the politics of knowledge’. Presentation given at the ‘Constructing and confront environmental crisis’ conference, Dept. of Geography, University of Melbourne.

2014:   ‘Geographers and the Anthropocene: new narratives for new practices’.*Seminar given to the School of Environment and New Zealand Geographical Society as part of a 4 day visit to the University of Auckland as a Visiting Professor of Geography.

2013: 'Four thoughts on foresight'. Presentation in opening  plenary session of the RSG-IBG annual conference, London.

2013: 'Representing the Anthropocene: who will speak for everything, and how?'. Jonathan Murdoch Memorial Lecture, Cardiff University.

External positions

Professorial Research Fellow, University of Wollongong

1 Nov 201830 Oct 2021

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