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Dr Stuart Oliver

Senior Lecturer

Tel: 020 8240 4075

About Research Media


Stuart joined St Mary's in 1992 having worked previously as a journalist, visiting lecturer and Open University tutor. He had also worked as a researcher for the Municipality of Grassano in southern Italy.

His current teaching interests lie in the area of cultural geography and, in particular, in the cultural geography of nature. He contributes to the Politics and International Business Management programmes.

Teaching modules 

  • British Politics
  • Applied Research Skills
  • Managing for Sustainability


Stuart's research interests are in cultural geography. His MPhil (Econ) examined the political ecology of landslides in the Basilicata region of Italy, his PhD (Surrey) examined the making of nature in the regulation of the Thames and the Thames embankments. He has published widely on the political ecology of nature.

Stuart is currently working on a second book on the abandonment of the coast throug hmanaged realignment. His work examines the role played by people in changing natural features such as rivers and marshes.

PhD supervision 

Stuart welcome’s PhD enquiries in the following areas:

  • Cultures of nature
  • Political ecology

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society

Honours and awards 

  • Open Scholar in Geography, Hertford College, Oxford, 1982-1985
  • Joint proxime accessit, Gibb's Prize, 1984


  • Oliver S (in press 2020) ‘The “hidden geography” of power on the River Thames: the mills and navigation, from the Medieval to the nineteenth century, in Llinares S and Le Bouëdec G eds De la mer à la ville: continuités et ruptures de la navigation fluviomaritime sur les fleuves courts, dans les deltas et dans les estuaires Europe de l’Ouest — XVe-XVIIIesiècles’ Presses Universitaires de Rennes, Rennes
  • Oliver S (2014) ‘Marshlands as in-between landscapes: Norman Angell, Tom Driberg, and the Blackwater Estuary’ Cultural Geographies, 21, 189-206
  • Oliver S (2013) ‘Liquid materialities in the landscape of the Thames: mills and weirs from the eighth century to the nineteenth century’ Area 45, 223-9
  • Oliver S (2010) ‘Navigability and the improvement of the river Thames, 1605-1815’ The Geographical Journal 176, 164-77
  • Oliver S (2007) ‘Fantasies in granite: the Thames embankments as a boundary to the river’ Literary London 5(1) ( Accessed 14 June 2012
  • Oliver S (2006) ‘The desire to metabolize nature: Edward Loveden, William Vanderstegen, and the imposition of order on the river Thames’ in Heynen N, Kaika M and Swyngedouw E (eds) In the nature of cities: urban political ecology and the politics of urban metabolism (Routledge, Abingdon) 93-109
  • Oliver S (2003) ‘Geography’s difficult engagement with the psychological therapies’ Social and Cultural Geography 4, 313-21 
  • Oliver S (2002)a ‘“Chains on the River”: the Thames embankments and the construction of nature’ Historical Geography Research Group 
  • Oliver S (2002)b ‘“Rich earth below the sand” and the origins of the Thames Embankments’ Reconstruction 2(3) ( Accessed 14 June 2012
  • Oliver S (2000) ‘The Thames Embankment and the disciplining of nature in modernity’ The Geographical Journal 166, 227-38 
  • Oliver S (1999) ‘The causes of erosive land degradation in the Basilicata region of Italy’ Geography 84, 331-44 
  • Guyer C, Hedges P, Oliver S and Watson N (1997) Environmental hazards (University of Leicester, Leicester)
  • Oliver S (1994) ‘The political ecology of deforestation: the case of the Basilicata region of Italy’ Environmental Conservation 21, 72-5
  • Oliver S (1993) ‘Twentieth century urban landslides in the Basilicata region of Italy’ Environmental Management 17, 433-44


In the news

St Mary's Appoints Renowned Geography Academic

The BSc Geography Programme at St Mary’s University, Twickenham has appointed renowned academic Dr Jacqueline Tivers as Visiting Senior Fellow. Find out more...

St Mary's Academics Respond to Papal Encylical on Environment

St Mary’s University has formed an interdisciplinary group to study the ‘Laudato Si’ encyclical and to prepare for a conference at the end of the year. Find out more...

St Mary’s Geography Programme Director Attains PhD

Dr Stuart Oliver, Geography Programme Director at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, recently attained his PhD exploring the cultural geography of nature. Find out more...

St Mary’s Lecturer Shortlisted for Research Award

A Geography lecturer at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, was recently shortlisted for an award for his work on geographical research. Find out more...

Media enquiries

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