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Dr Stuart Oliver

Senior Lecturer

About Research

Tel: 020 8240 4075


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 

  • Critical Thinking
  • London
  • Sustainability


Research profile

Stuart's main 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.

Bloomsbury Academic published Stuart's most recent book, Land Abandoned to the Sea, which examines the managing of sustainable landscapes at the coast.

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 (2023) 'Inventing the managed realignment of the coast: Trying "to live with nature not defeat her" The Geographical Journal, 00, 1–13. 
  • Oliver S (April 2021) Land abandoned to the sea: the managed retreat of coastal areas IB Tauris, London
  • Oliver S (in press) ‘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


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