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      Research Interests

      My expertise lies in interpreting historic landscapes, maps, and built environments, in particular using geospatial technologies (eg. GNSS/GIS/GPS).

      For more than a decade I have led cross-disciplinary research projects mapping and evaluating historic fabric and form of towns and cities in Britain and Ireland, collaborating with research organisations, non-academic partners and local communities through public engagement activities and the development of web-based resources (eg see;; I also have interests in the history of cartography and digital mapping, creating online map-based web-resources to help broaden access to and use of historic maps (eg. see

      I am currently chair of the Historic Towns Trust (HTT), a charitable organisation that oversees the production of the British Historic Towns Atlas series (see as part of the wider international European historic towns atlases project (see established in 1955.

      My books include:

      Urban Life in the Middle Ages: 1000-1450 (Palgrave, 2002) 
      City and Cosmos: The Medieval World in Urban Form (Reaktion, 2009)
      Mapping Medieval Geographies (Cambridge University Press, 2013)

      I am currently completing a new book, called Sovereign Spaces: Survey, Statecraft and Ruling the Realm under the Plantagenet Kings, which uses ‘rule’ as both power and measure to explore how medieval monarchs exercised sovereignty and governed their realms.

      My current funded research projects include:

      • ‘Living Legacies 1914-18: From Past Conflict to Shared Future’ – an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded public engagement centre based at Queen’s University Belfast to foster collaborations between academic and community researchers on heritage of World War 1 – for more information see 
      • ‘Mapping Lineages: Quantifying the Evolution of Maps of the British Isles’ – a Leverhulme Trust funded project in collaboration with University of Liverpool and National University of Ireland Maynooth, in partnership with the British Library, to result in a new interactive mapping platform allowing users to navigate the changing nature of cartography of Britain and Ireland.

      I am also developing new research projects, including:

      • ‘Behind the Lines: Navigating Landscapes of the Western Front using Geospatial Technologies’ – a project base upon collaboration between Queen’s University Belfast, University of Kent and The National Archive (TNA) of Great Britain, aiming to use GIS to analyse the geodetic accuracy of British mapping and survey work of the 1914-18 war, resulting in a new online mapping platform for wide public engagement. 
      • ‘Surveying Empires – Archaeologies of Colonial Cartography’ – a project exploring the material cultures of surveying and map-making through the mapping practices of the 19th and 20th centuries embedded in British imperialism – in Ireland during the 1830s and 1840s, for example – evaluating and interpreting the sites, locales and landscape legacies of ‘colonial cartography’ in a post-colonial world.

      Achievements and Distinctions

      Awards and Distinctions

      • Institute Fellow, Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities (ICRH), QUB, 2013
      • Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, UCLA, 2008
      • Leverhulme Research Fellowship, 2006-7
      • British Academy Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship, 1996-1999 

      Elected and appointed positions on external research bodies:

      • Chair, Historic Towns Trust/British Historic Towns Atlas, 2014-
      • Board Member, International Commission of the History of Towns (ICHT), 2011-
      • Chair, ‘Spatial Technologies and the Medieval City’ (STeMCity) research network, 2011-13
      • UK Co-representative, General Assembly of the International Commission of the History of Towns (ICHT), 2010-
      • Board member, British Historic Towns Atlas Committee, 2006-
      • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (FRHS), elected 2005.
      • Council Officer (Treasurer), 2005-2008, International Seminar on Urban Form (ISUF)
      • Conference officer, 1997-2000, Historical Geography Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society.
      • Committee member, 1998-2000, 2003-2006, Medieval Settlement Research Group. 



      Current Teaching:

      GGY2053Maps and Mappings: from the Stone Age to the Digital Age (Module Coordinator)


      Current Administrative Roles

      School of NBE, Director of Research ('Culture & Society')

      Frequent Journals

      • Urban History

        ISSNs: 0963-9268

        Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1469-8706

        Cambridge University Press

        Scopus rating (2016): CiteScore 0.56 SJR 0.222 SNIP 1.177


      • Landscape Research

        ISSNs: 0142-6397


        Scopus rating (2016): CiteScore 1.01 SJR 0.467 SNIP 0.713


      • Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

        ISSNs: 0263-7758

        Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1472-3433

        Pion Ltd.

        Scopus rating (2016): CiteScore 2.06 SJR 1.857 SNIP 1.354


      • Urban Morphology

        ISSNs: 1027-4278

        International Seminar on Urban Form

        Scopus rating (2016): CiteScore 0.34 SJR 0.191 SNIP 1.622


      • Planning Perspectives

        ISSNs: 0266-5433

        Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1466-4518


        Scopus rating (2016): CiteScore 0.54 SJR 0.47 SNIP 1.545


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      Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

      ID: 23677