Prof Peter Merriman

BA and PhD degrees, School of Geography at the University of Nottingham

Certificate in Further Professional Studies in Higher Education, The University of Reading

Prof Peter Merriman

Professor in Human Geography

Department of Geography and Earth Sciences

Contact Details


Peter Merriman is a human geographer specialising in cultural and historical geography, mobility studies, spatial theory, ands cultural heritage. He has written widely on geographies of mobility, roads and driving, and theoretical approaches to space and place. Until 2023 he led a major project on ports, coastal communities and trans-oceanic social and cultural connectivity.

Pete joined Aberystwyth as a lecturer in 2005 and was awarded a personal chair in 2014. He completed his BA and PhD degrees at the University of Nottingham, and was a Lecturer at The University of Reading from 2000 to 2005. He is co-Director of the University's Centre for Transport and Mobility (CeTraM).

Pete is an Honorary Member of the Centre for Advanced Studies in Mobility and the Humanities at the University of Padua (Italy), a member of the AHRC Peer Review College and UKRI Talent Peer Review College, and has served on a range of national and international grant awarding panels, including the Austrian Science Council's ‘doc.funds’ scheme. He is Editor of the 'Routledge Research in Culture, Space and Identity' Book Series, and sits on the editorial boards of 'Cultural Geographies', 'Mobilities', 'Transfers', 'Applied Mobilities', and ‘Mobility Humanities’. Pete is the External Examiner for Human Geography for Parts IA/IB of the Geographical Tripos at the University of Cambridge (2023-26). He was conferred as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2022, and is also a Fellow of the RGS-IBG and the Higher Education Academy.

Responsibilities: * Head of the Cultural and Historical Geography Research Group



Areas of Ph.D. and D.Prof. supervision:

  • Cultural and historical geography
  • History and philosophy of geography
  • Mobility and transport
  • Cultural heritage
  • Port history and heritage
  • Theoretical approaches to Space and Place
  • Cultures of landscape
  • National Identity and Nationalism
  • Twentieth century Britain
  • Welsh cultural history

Current PhD and DProf Students:

  • Anna Pennington (from Sept. 2024)
  • Lowri Ponsford
  • Kirsty Usher
  • Vaughan Williams



My first main research interest is in social science and humanities approaches to mobility and transport. I am co-Director of Aberystwyth University's Centre for Transport and Mobility (CeTraM), and have published two monographs in this area ('Driving spaces: a cultural-historical geography of England's M1 motorway' (Blackwell Publishing, 2007) and 'Mobility, Space and Culture' (Routledge, 2012)), and co-edited four agenda-setting books: 'Geographies of Mobilities: Practices, Spaces, Subjects' (Ashgate, 2011), 'The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities' (2014), 'Mobility and the humanities' (Routledge, 2018, Korean translation 2019), and 'Empire and Mobility in the Long Nineteenth Century' (MUP 'Studies in imperialism' series, 2020). I am a member of the editorial boards of 'Mobilities', 'Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies', ‘Applied Mobilities’ and 'Mobility Humanities'. From 2012 to 2020 I served as Associate Editor of 'Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies', and I am currently General Editor of Bloomsbury's forthcoming 6-volume collection on 'A Cultural History of Transport and Mobility' (due 2025). I have received grant funding from ESRC, AHRC and ERDF for work on this theme, including a UK-South Korea networking grant with colleagues in Lancaster, Royal Holloway and Konkuk.

Theories of Space and Place

I authored an advanced text-book on 'Space' for Routledge's 'Key ideas in Geography' Series (2022) which provided the first comprehensive and accessible examination of approaches that have crossed between such diverse fields as philosophy, physics, architecture, sociology, anthropology, and geography. The text examines the influence of geometry, arithmetic, natural philosophy, empiricism, and positivism to the development of spatial thinking, as well as focusing on the contributions of phenomenologists, existentialists, psychologists, Marxists, and post-structuralists to how we occupy, live, structure, and perform spaces and practices of spacing. The book emphasises the multiple and partial construction of spaces through the embodied practices of diverse subjects, highlighting the contributions of feminists, queer theorists, anthropologists, sociologists, and post-colonial scholars to academic debates. In contrast to contemporary studies which draw a clear line between scientific and particularly quantitative approaches to space and spatiality and more ‘lived’ human enactments and performances, this book highlights the continual influence of different mathematical and philosophical understandings of space and spatiality on everyday western spatial imaginations and registers in the twenty-first century. The book was reviewed by a panel in the AAG Review of Books in 2024. Prior to this I edited a four-volume major reference work on ‘Space’ in the ‘Critical Concepts in Geography Series (Routledge, 2016). I am currently writing on theoretical approaches to place.

Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Place

I was AU Principal Investigator on the €3.2 million project 'Ports, Past and Present' project (2019-23) and AU co-investigator on the €3 million ‘Coastal Uplands, Heritage and Tourism’ (CUPHAT) project (2021-23), both funded by ERDF through the Ireland-Wales programme. These projects involved working with tourism and heritage stakeholders and local communities to make tourists aware of the deep history of Irish and Welsh ferry ports, and coastal uplands in Ireland and Wales. The major outputs for 'Ports, Past and Present' were 9 films produced with Mother Goose Films.


Merriman, P 2024, 'Crystallising places: Towards geographies of ontogenesis and individuation', Progress in Human Geography, vol. 48, no. 2, pp. 172-189. 10.1177/03091325231224042
Merriman, P 2024, Tim Cresswell. in M Gilmartin, P Hubbard, R Kitchin & S Roberts (eds), Key Thinkers on Space and Place. 3rd edn, SAGE Publishing, London, pp. 91-98.
Merriman, P 2023, Afterword: Theory and methods in mobilities research. in L Biasiori, F Mazzini & C Rabbiosi (eds), Reimagining Mobilities across the Humanities: Volume 1: Theories, Methods and Ideas. Taylor & Francis, pp. 117-123.
Merriman, P 2023, 'Mobility/Fixity: Rethinking Binaries in Mobility Studies', Mobility Humanities, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 6-21. 10.23090/MH.2023.
Singer, R, Merriman, P & Jones, R (eds) 2023, Ports, Past and Present: Stories of the Irish Sea. Prifysgol Aberystwyth | Aberystwyth University. 10.7486/DRI.qz216k63t
More publications on the Research Portal