Who We Are

Working with children and young people to develop equitable, resilient treescapes for future generations.

Manchester Metropolitan University

Kate Pahl

Kate Pahl is the PI of the Voices of the Future Project. Her work has been concerned with literacy and language in communities and co-production. She is the author, with Jennifer Rowsell, on ‘Living Literacies: Literacy for Social Change’ (MIT press 2020) and ‘Collaborative Research in Theory and Practice’ with Lalitha Vasudevan and Richard Steadman-Jones (Bristol 2023).

Caitlin Nunn

Caitlin Nunn is a Reader in Migration and Youth Studies in the Department of Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University and an Honorary Research Fellow in Sociology at La Trobe University, Australia. She is also a founding convenor of Manchester Met’s Migration and Interdisciplinary Global Studies research network.

Khawla Badwan

Khawla Badwan is an Applied Linguist with experience working with diverse young people, including migrant children and international students. She is co-I on an EU project (MiCREATE) exploring migrant children and communities in transforming Europe. Her contribution focuses on place-building through and beyond language, developing a new materialist understanding of how diversity in treescapes can be used to discuss linguistic and cultural diversity in liquid societies.

Samyia Ambreen

Samyia Ambreen is a Research Associate at the Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research lies in the field of Childhood and Education studies. Samyia looks into children’s encounters in educational and other social settings with a focus on ethnicity and culture She is interested in exploring the role of hope and spirituality in supporting children’s knowledge and developing care towards the wider natural worlds.

David Cooper

David Cooper is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at Manchester Metropolitan University where he is also the founding co-director of the Centre for Place Writing. He has published widely in the interdisciplinary field of literary geographies and is currently working on two major projects: a critical monograph on the immersiveness of contemporary place writing for Liverpool University Press; and a co-edited Handbook of Literary Geographies for Routledge. 

Chris Hanley

Chris Hanley is an Educationalist who has extensive experience of working with secondary school English teachers to create innovative pedagogic tools that help learners to think independently and creatively. Hanley brings expertise in re-thinking cultures of place and identity in English classrooms, particularly in relation to the statutory English curriculum.

Nobila Bano

Nobila Bano is an early-career researcher, with a background working as a lecturer in post-16 education. At present, she is pursuing a full-time PhD at Manchester Metropolitan University, within the wider ‘Voices of the Future’ (UK Treescapes) project.

Using participatory outdoor methods with families of South Asian heritage, and located in Northwest England context, her research aims to explore the role of intergenerational knowledge transfer, in mediating migrant-background young peoples’ relations with/in the natural environment. 

University of Aberdeen

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Jo Vergunst

Jo Vergunst is an Anthropologist who has led 6 projects including 3 funded by AHRC exploring the relationship between the arts and humanities and people’s relationships with their environments. He focuses particularly on the intersection between everyday experience and wider political circumstances. Vergunst has worked on a wide range of themes – from walking in rural and urban areas, to landscape history and heritage, and wood as a craft material and landscape. 

Liz Curtis

Liz Curtis ss an Environmental Educator at the University of Aberdeen. She brings expertise in place based experiential learning in educational and family settings which emphasises temporal and ecological perspectives. She has led and been part of interdisciplinary AHRC-funded Community History projects around Scotland. Curtis has international experience of leading CPD with teachers in relation to education for citizenship and sustainability. Co-production of knowledge is at the heart of her work and she is committed to facilitating young people to be leaders of learning. 

Ed Schofield 

Ed Schofield is currently pursuing interests that connect directly with the University of Aberdeen’s strategic theme of The North. His core research activities continue to focus upon the impacts of Norse settlement on the vegetation and landscapes of southwest Greenland. The colonisation (landnám) of Greenland by people of Scandinavian origin – the Norse, or ‘Vikings’ of popular culture – took place around AD 985 following the arrival of settlers from Iceland led by Erik the Red. 

University of Birmingham

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Peter Kraftl

Peter Kraftl is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Birmingham, UK. He is a Co-Investigator for the Voices of the Future project. Although a geographer, he is an interdisciplinary scholar of childhood and youth, with a particular interest in the emotions, affect, materialities and embodied practices that constitute children’s lives.

University of Cambridge

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Emily Lines

Emily Lines is an Associate Professor in Physical Geography at the University of Cambridge, a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow and a Turing Fellow. She is interested in understanding the state, function and future of forests, with a focus on data-intensive approaches including remote sensing combined with traditional field technique

University of Cumbria

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Simon Carr

Simon Carr is a Geographer based at the University of Cumbria, in Ambleside, right at the heart of the Lake District National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Simon’s research builds from the scientific understanding of how structure conditions functional behaviour of different environments, particularly using 3D imaging methods to explore glacial, coastal, peatland and urban environments. Within his roles as lead Co-I in Voices of the Future, and PI in the linked Digital Voices of the Future, Simon has focused on thinking about ways in which science can underpin, inform and be enriched by transdisciplinary approaches.

Ian Davenport portrait

Ian Davenport

Ian Davenport has a doctorate in Astronomy, and has worked since 1994 in remote sensing of the natural environment. His early work was in the use of LiDAR and interferometric SAR in the study of coastal morphology on the beaches of The Wash and Morecambe Bay. He has since then worked on characterising soil moisture content using passive microwave satellites, soil and vegetation structure using LiDAR and passive microwave satellites, and snow mass using satellite radar.

Peter Lawrence

Peter Lawrence is a Lecturer of Geography at Cumbria University. He is an early career researcher with a particular focus upon digital data acquisition, analysis, and communication. He is very passionate about #DyselxicThinking and using this ‘superpower’ (often also called a learning difficulty) in creative (sometimes disruptive) scientific practice.

Middlesex University

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Johan Siebers

Johan Siebers is a Philosopher who has worked with communities to explore the utopian theories of Ernst Bloch. He brings to the project a focus on theories of the ‘not yet’ and will ground the actions of the project in utopian theory. He was PI of ‘Communicating Wisdom’ an AHRC Connected Communities programme-funded project in which an interdisciplinary approach was taken with young people to explore how fishing makes life better.

University of Plymouth

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Jennifer Rowntree

Jennifer Rowntree is an ecological geneticist and plant ecologist who studies biodiversity. She is fascinated by the many ways that species interact with each other and is interested in how we engage and enthuse people about science. Within Voices of the Future, Jennifer is working with primary school pupils in Greater Manchester to understand what they like about, and want from, trees, now and in the future.

Sheffield & Sheffield Hallam Universities

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Clare Rishbeth

Clare Rishbeth is a Senior Lecturer in Landscape Architecture who combines a research focus on migration histories and experiential qualities of place with the professional remit of Landscape Architecture practice and education. She has been a PI on many RCUK projects: ESRC (Viewfinder 2004, Walking Voices 2006), AHRC (The Bench Project, 2015 and #RefugeesWelcome in Parks, 2017) and GCRF (Included Outside, 2021-2022). 

Ambika Kapoor

Ambika Kapoor is an Early Career Researcher who was associated with the Voices of the Future project, focusing on young people’s environment action and activism in the UK. Her doctoral ethnographic research explored indigenous children’s experiences with agency in India. She draws from the works of Indian and Indigenous scholars with the aim to move beyond the Eurocentric frames of theorisation within childhood studies.

Abigail Hackett

Abi Hackett is a Professor of Childhood and Education at the Sheffield Institute of Education, Sheffield Hallam University. She is interested in the role of place, materiality and bodies in young children’s lives. She researches mostly in community spaces, in collaboration with children and families, employing ethnographic and post-qualitative methods. Her book More-Than-Human Literacies in Early Childhood, was published by Bloomsbury in 2021.