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Joe Herbert

Joe Herbert

Postgraduate Research Student.

I joined Newcastle University in 2013 to study for a bachelor's degree in Geography (BA). I then continued in the department as a postgraduate on a 1 plus 3 scholarship from the ESRC. In the first year of the scholarship I completed a master's degree in Human Geography Research (MA), and I am now studying as a doctoral researcher. 

My research interests centre around movements for and imaginaries of socio-ecological transformation towards just and sustainable futures, across scales of the everyday, collective action, and wider political structures. Specific areas of interest include: degrowth; environmental/climate/multispecies justice; radical imaginations; social ecology.


My PhD research explores narratives of socio-ecological crisis and transformation amongst young environmental activists in North East England. I analyse the ways in which young activists understand and experience contemporary crisis, and how crisis – conceived as both a discursive and material reality - impacts upon their agency as individuals seeking social and political change. I also investigate what kind of futures these young activists see themselves as working towards, and their hopes, fears and expectations around unfolding socio-ecological change. Methodologically, my research is based on semi-structured interviews and participant observation with young activists involved in a wide range of environmental campaigns and movements in the North East of England. Analysing the narratives of these young activists, I draw on theoretical perspectives from the burgeoning academic-activist discourse of degrowth.



GEO2103 Globalisation and Development - Seminar leader


GEO3134 Geographies of Sustainability - Seminar leader and lecturer

GEO2123 Copenhagen field course


GEO3158: Geographies of Sustainable Production and Consumption - Seminar leader


  • Herbert J. The socio‐ecological imagination: young environmental activists constructing transformation in an era of crisisArea 2021. In Press.
  • Barlow N, Hepp C, Herbert J, Rilovic A, Saey-Volckrick J, Smessaert J, von Andrian N. A degrowth perspective on the coronavirus crisisVisions for Sustainability 2020, (14), 5280.
  • Hopkins P, Newcastle Social Geographies Collective, Pain R, Shaw R, Gao Q, Bonnett A, Jones C, Richardson M, Rzedzian S, Benwell MC, Lin W, McAreavey R, Stenning A, Blazek M, Pande R, Najib K, Finlay R, Nayak A, Ridley G, Mearns G, Bonner-Thompson C, McLaughlin J, Boussalem A, Iqbal N, Heslop J, Jarvis H, Burrows R, Bambra C, Copeland A, Tate S, Campbell E, Thompson M, James A, Raynor R, Cunningham N, Powells G, Herbert J, Hocknell S, ed. Social Geographies: An Introduction. London, UK: Rowman and Littlefield, 2020.