• Room 02.009 - Geography Building

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Gemma is an experienced PhD supervisor, and is currently first or second supervisor of seven PhD researchers. Gemma is open to PhD applications in the fields of:
-The geographies of ethnic diversity
-Residential segregation
-Internal migration
-Ethnic and racial inequalities


Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Dr Gemma Catney is a Population and Social Geographer with research interests in ethnic residential segregation and diversity, ethnic inequalities, and internal migration. She is fascinated by how neighbourhoods both shape, and are shaped by, the experiences of those who live in them.

Gemma is the Principal Investigator of Geographies of Ethnic Diversity and Inequalities (GEDI). GEDI is a £1million project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. The project aims to examine, analyse and explain the UK's changing ethnic geographies through a novel integration of research strands on ethnic diversity, residential segregation, socio-spatial inequalities, and migration. GEDI is a timely and innovative programme of research which aims to use the latest Census data to provide a comprehensive picture of the small area (neighbourhood) ethnic landscape of the UK, and how this has changed over time (1991-2021/22). GEDI is a major collaboration with colleagues in universities across the UK and US, and with project partners the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and the Runnymede Trust. Gemma is also Co-Investigator on the Nuffield Foundation project Trajectories of Deprivation in the UK

In 2019, Dr Gemma Catney was the recipient of the prestigious Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers Gill Memorial Award, which recognises outstanding contributions to Geography by an early career researcher (within ten years of their PhD). From 2012 to 2014, Gemma held a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship, to explore the ‘Geographies of ethnic and social segregation in England and Wales, 1991-2011'. 

Gemma's main research focuses include (i) the changing residential geographies of ethnic and racial diversity, mixing and segregation; (ii) socio-spatial inequalities between ethnic groups; and (iii) the multiple scales of neighbourhood identity and belonging. Gemma has expertise in the analysis of individual and area level Census data, including the use of longitudinal and advanced spatial methods. She is mostly, although not exclusively, a quantitative Social Scientist. Thinking critically about numbers is central to her research approach.

Prior to joining Queen's University Belfast in 2019, Gemma was Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Liverpool. She has held research positions at the University of Manchester and Queen's University Belfast, where she gained her PhD in Geography. Gemma was on maternity leave in 2018.

Gemma has published widely in leading international journals including Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Urban Studies, and Population, Space and Place. Her research has attracted funding from the Leverhulme Trust, Economic and Social Research Council, British Academy, Nuffield Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers, and the Health and Social Care Board. Gemma's research has been used as evidence in government reviews, cited in numerous policy reports, and featured in the national (The Guardian, BBC, The Economist) and local media, on TV, radio, and in print.

Gemma serves on the Editorial Boards of The Geographical Journal and Population, Space and Place, and previously Urban Geography. She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (FRGS), and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). Gemma is a member of the ESRC Peer Review College, and of the Office for National Statistics Ethnic Group and Religious Assurance Panel. 


In 2021, Gemma was the recipient of a QUB Teaching Award, in recognition of her creation of a highly supportive learning environment that develops the confidence of her students to become engaged and independent learners and researchers.

Gemma is External Examiner for Social Statistics (undergraduate) at the University of Manchester.

Key teaching responsibilities at QUB Geography include:

GGY3088 Geographies of Ethnicity

GGY3081 Dissertation

GGY2055 Geographical Research Skills

GGY1012 Human Geography: Society, Economy and Population

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities


Dive into the research topics where Gemma Catney is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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