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Meet the team

Dr Michael Leyshon

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography

Michael Leyshon is a social geographer and his research explores how third sector agencies and small businesses innovate to produce social change. In particular his work seeks to ground place-based person-centred approaches in a variety of locations, practices and performances, by focusing on issues relating to care in the countryside, young people and rurality, and business adaptation to climate change.

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Prof Catherine Leyshon

Associate Professor of Human Geography

Catherine is a human geographer interested in place, identity, volunteering and social innovation. Her research asks how social innovation is linked to the particular configurations of people, energy, resources, agencies, and organisations in place. She also looks at the role of volunteers in social innovation. She is co-director of the Social Innovation Group (SIG), with Michael Leyshon. Catherine is a keen runner and cook.

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Dr Timothy Walker

Research Associate

Tim has particular expertise in conducting participatory action research. This type of research is about collaboration, reflection, and social change. Since completing his Doctorate Tim has been working on a number of research and impact facing projects with Cornwall’s voluntary, healthcare, and digital sectors. Tim is currently a Research Fellow on the, ERDF funded, Smartline project. An innovation project aimed at supporting the growth of the eHealth and eWellbeing small and medium enterprise (SME) sector in Cornwall. Tim’s role is to research ways to improve voluntary sector activity along with identifying gaps in management systems leading SME’s to develop new digital products.

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Dr Laura Colebrooke

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Human Geography 

Laura is a cultural geographer who researches the everyday experiences of wellbeing in contexts of inequality. She has extensive experience with VCSOs and community organisations as well as leading or contributing to interdisciplinary academic projects and multi-stakeholder collaborations.

Her research specialisms centre on three main areas: care and wellbeing, food and consumption studies and social innovation. She specialises in the use of qualitative methods, particularly visual and sensory methods, and has experience of mixed methods research and designing and delivering project evaluations.

Laura is currently working on two ESF projects which bring together a range of community organisations across Cornwall to help unemployed and economically inactive people move into work. Her PhD from Cardiff University looked at food insecurity in Bristol using ideas of taste to understand the lived experiences of those affected and she continues to study issues of access to food, working in collaboration with arts practitioners

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Matthew Rogers

Lecturer in Citizen Journalism 

Matthew is an innovative, multi-skilled and socially-minded thinker who enjoys communicating a passion for sub-cultures and equal forms of representation through participation. His personal interests include: triathlon, avant-garde music, co-housing and current affairs. Matthew has set up a community radio station and food buying co-operative in Falmouth.

Matthew developed the Citizen Journalism News Network (CJNN) as an attempt to create the news differently. Based on an innovative collaboration between the University of Exeter and a network of Cornish community radio stations the CJNN project has been devised to test whether Internet technologies can allow cash-strapped community media organisations to research and produce serious investigative journalism through collaborative practices via a bespoke social media app whilst also separated by geographic distances.

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Dr Shukru Esmene

Research Fellow 

Shuks’ research with SIG uses qualitative methods to explore how existing academic research can be adapted for implementation in specific places and communities. The approaches he uses focuses on building a detailed understanding of contextual influences, these include political, cultural and socio-economic factors, that need to be at the centre of any activity and/or solution stemming from the research. His previous work has involved working with voluntary sector organisations, primary healthcare providers, small-medium sized enterprises, non-governmental organisations and local / national government bodies.