Ria’s research interests focus upon human-nature encounters in various contexts, which translates into several empirical projects. Firstly, Ria is particularly interested in how and why transitions towards sustainability are formed through environmental education (especially in informal, experiential environments) and community-led action (including through the practices of grassroots and artistic communities). Secondly, she examines how changing perceptions of nature influence the motivations of individuals and communities to participate in environmental sustainability-related initiatives. She is also interested in alternative means of knowledge creation and understanding, beyond scientific and how these influence the transmission and circulation of notions of environmental sustainability. These interests have led to a number of projects such as, Homing In: Sensing, Sense-Making and Sustainable Place-Making (an arts and social sciences collaborative network) (AHRC 2013-2014); a community action for climate change: learning review (Welsh Government 2012-13) and Building Bridges for Education for Sustainability (University of Warwick and Monash University 2012-2013). Ria’s recent publications address community involvement in environmental sustainability initiatives, as well as the effects of environmental learning experiences. She is also currently investigating the meaning of citizen science experiences to involved individuals and the role of participatory science in sustainable development.
Ria has also led research projects that assess the impact of environmental sustainability education and public engagement programmes, funded by the Department for Education, Welsh Government and the European Social Fund. This research has involved collaboration with a range of environmental organisations, including the Eden Project, Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and the Brecon Beacons National Park.
Ria is a Lecturer in Geography, Sustainability and Environment at the University of Glasgow within the School of Education. She is also a Senior Associate Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Teaching and Learning at the University of Warwick.
Prior to her current role, Ria developed her research into Environmental Education and Sustainable Communities through several positions, most recently as a Research Associate at the Sustainable Places Research Institute, at Cardiff University (2013-2017). She has also previously held a Research Fellowship in Education for Sustainability (2012-2013) at the University of Warwick. She was a Research Assistant at the ESRC Centre for Business, Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society (BRASS), at Cardiff University (2011-2012). From 2007-2009, Ria was a lecturer at Cardiff Metropolitan University. She gained her PhD and PgC-Teaching in Higher Education from the University of Wales in 2007.
Active research projects:
“National Coastal Change Assessment 2: Enhancing the evidence base and our ability to adapt”, Application for Research and Development Project for the Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW), PI: Professor Jim Hansom, Co-I: Dr Larissa Naylor; Dr Ria Dunkley; Dr Martin Hurst; Dr Richard Williams (£237,774.70, December 2017).
Dunkley, R. A. (2019) Monitoring ecological change in UK woodlands and rivers: An exploration of the relational geographies of citizen science. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 44(1), pp. 16-31. (doi:10.1111/tran.12258)
Dunkley, R. A. and Smith, T. A. (2019) Geocoaching: memories and habits of learning in practices of ecopedagogy. Geographical Journal, (doi:10.1111/geoj.12295) (Early Online Publication)
Dunkley, R. A. and Smith, T. A. (2019) By-standing memories of curious observations: children’s storied landscapes of ecological encounter. Cultural Geographies, 26(11), pp. 89-107. (doi:10.1177/1474474018792652)
Dunkley, R. , Baker, S., Constant, N. and Sanderson-Bellamy, A. (2018) Enabling the IPBES conceptual framework to work across knowledge boundaries. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, (Accepted for Publication)
Dunkley, R. (2018) Space-timeScapes as ecopedagogy. Journal of Environmental Education, 49(2), pp. 117-129. (doi:10.1080/00958964.2017.1417223)
Sageidet, B. M., Almeida, C. and Dunkley, R. (2018) Children’s access to urban gardens in Norway, India and the United Kingdom. International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 13(5), pp. 467-480.
Smith, T. A. and Dunkley, R. (2018) Technology-nonhuman-child assemblages: reconceptualising rural childhood roaming. Children’s Geographies, 16(3), pp. 304-318. (doi:10.1080/14733285.2017.1407406)