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Dr Mags Adams

Senior Research Coordinator, Institute of Citizenship, Society and Change
School of Social Work, Care and Community
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Mags is a human geographer with a background in science and technology studies and a research interest in food geographies, everyday mobilities and sensory geographies. She is the Senior Research Co-ordinator of the interdisciplinary research Institute of Citizenship, Society and Change at UCLan. She chairs the Food Geographies Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), and the ‘Underlying Causes of Food Poverty’ subgroup of the Greater Manchester Food Poverty Alliance, and sits on the steering group of the FoodFutures Partnership. She is particularly concerned about justice and accessibility related to food poverty and the food system, transport provision and mobility, sensory conflict in the public realm, and environmental externalities. Mags is keen to supervise PhD students and Masters by Research students interested in pursuing research in any of these areas. Please email her directly.

Mags is the coordinator of the transdisciplinary Insitute of Citizenship, Society and Change at UCLan and oversees the development of research projects and research clusters the institute. She is a transdisciplinary social scientist and her own research focuses on sustainability and understanding the interconnections between people, places and social practices. Her most recent work is concerned with human relationships and local food systems, especially in terms of food sovereignty and justice. She is currently working on local food systems in relation to food procurement, food consumption and poverty, and local food production. Mags has published widely in the areas of food geographies, mobilities and sensory studies.

Mags has over twenty years’ interdisciplinary research experience, working as a social scientist investigating the environmental and social implications of a range of contemporary concerns. She has worked with geographers on an ESRC project investigating everyday mobility and the life course, with designers, engineers, acousticians, planners and architects on an EPSRC project on designing environmental quality into city centre living, and with transport planners, economic geographers, policy analysts and sociologists on an RCUK project about unlocking low carbon travel. Additionally, she was co-investigator on a £1M EPSRC-funded interdisciplinary project on urban soundscapes, The Positive Soundscapes Project, collaborating with engineers, acousticians, psychologists and artists from five institutions. She has also collaborated with STEM colleagues to provide a social science perspective on a number of Defra-funded projects related to noise and sound experience.

Mags obtained a prestigious ESRC interdisciplinary research seminar series award ‘Rethinking the urban experience: the sensory production of place’ which convened researchers from a broad spectrum of disciplines and practitioners working in urban planning, policy and health. She has also worked in New Zealand where she was the Sustainable Urban Settlements Team Leader and Senior Researcher at Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research where she led an interdisciplinary team of investigating social, environmental and economic aspects of urban sustainability.

Her most recent research focuses on food geographies, sensory experience and sustainability. Recent projects include mapping local food systems, and understanding the relevance of community wealth building and the ‘Preston Model’ to local food systems. She has previously received funding from: Pendleton Together, to lead a team of academics (including geographers, science communicators, environmental managers and GIS specialists) to conduct research into the ‘Sustainable regeneration and everyday landscapes of food acquisition’; Manchester City Council, as Co-I to conduct research into ‘High Tech Sustainable Food Growing Options’; and AECOM to conduct research into ‘Evaluating Perception of Environment within Construction’.

She chairs the Food Geographies Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), and the ‘Underlying Causes of Food Poverty’ subgroup of the Greater Manchester Food Poverty Alliance. She is particularly concerned about justice and accessibility related to food poverty and the food system, transport provision and mobility, sensory conflict in the public realm, and environmental externalities.
She is an active member of the Sustainable Food North West group, a collaboration between UCLan, Salford University, MMU and Edge Hill.

  • PGCAPPost-graduate Certificate in Academic Practice, University of Salford
  • PhDCentre for Science Studies, Department of Sociology, Lancaster University, ‘Deliberating precaution (and the precautionary principle) in the United Kingdom’.ESRC CASE Award.
  • MScEuropean Environmental Policy and Regulation, Department of Geography, Lancaster University
  • BA (Hons)Economics, Business School, University of North Wales, Bangor
  • Geographies of food
  • Urban sustainability
  • Geographies of transport and mobility
  • Food poverty
  • Food security
  • Wellbeing and resilience
  • Soundscapes and noise
  • 24-hour city living
  • Urban green space
  • Everyday mobility
  • Environmental policy
  • Decision-making
  • Sustainable communities
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Practice theory
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Chair of RGS-IBG Food Geographies Research Group (2015-present)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2014 – present)
  • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with The Institute of British Geographers) (2001 to present)
  • Committee member of RGS-IBG Urban Geographies Research Group (2005-2008)
  • Expert Member of ISO (International Organization for Standardization) Working Group on Perceptual assessment of soundscape quality ISO/TC 43/SC 1/WG 54 (2008-2009)
  • Member of the International Association of People-Environment Studies (to 2016)
  • Founding member of the EPSRC Noise Futures Network (2006-2009)
  • Full Member of ISO WG54: Soundscape assessment (2009) - a working group of the ISO tasked with determining a international standard method for assessing soundscapes