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, and the history and philosophy of modern geography. He is a leading scholar in mobility studies and mobility history, and has written widely on theoretical approaches to space and place, histories of the road and driving, and theories of nationalism and national identity.

Pete completed his BA and PhD degrees in the School of Geography at the University of Nottingham, and he was a Lecturer at The University of Reading from 2000 to 2005. Pete joined the Department as a Lecturer in July 2005, and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2008, Reader in 2012, and a Personal Chair in 2014. Pete is co-Director of the University's Centre for Transport and Mobility (CeTraM), a member of the AHRC Peer Review College and UKRI FLF Peer Review College, and has served on the international jury of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)'s 'doc-funds' schemes (2019 and 2021), several AHRC grants panels (since 2011), ESF's College of Expert Reviewers (2010-12, 2016-19), and the Management Group of the ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Centre (2014-16). He is Editor of the 'Routledge Research in Culture, Space and Identity' Book Series, and General Editor of Bloomsbury's forthcoming 6-volume collection on 'A Cultural History of Transport and Mobility' (due 2025). He sits on the editorial boards of the journals 'Cultural Geographies', 'Mobilities', 'Transfers', 'Applied Mobilities', and 'Mobility Humanities', and the boards of two book series. He has previously served as an Associate Editor of 'Transfers' and as Reviews Editor of 'Cultural Geographies'. He is also a Fellow of the RGS-IBG and the HEA.

Responsibilities: *Head of MA Programmes * Head of the Cultural and Historical Geography Research Group * Member of the DGES Research Committee * Member of DGES REF Reading Committee * Member of DGES REF Output Review Group


Module Coordinator

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

  • Cultural and historical geography
  • History and philosophy of geography
  • Mobility and transport
  • Cultural heritage
  • Port histories 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:

  • Lowri Ponsford
  • 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 from 2015 to 2017 I authored the annual progress reports on mobilities for 'Progress in Human Geography'. I have won grant funding from ESRC, AHRC and ERDF for work on this theme.

Theories of Space and Place

I have completed an advanced text-book on 'Space' for Routledge's 'Key ideas in Geography' Series (2022) which aims to be the first comprehensive 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. Prior to this I edited a four-volume major reference work on ‘Space’ in the ‘Critical Concepts in Geography Series (Routledge, 2016).

Port Heritage, Tourism and Place

I am AU Principal Investigator on the ERDF-funded 'Ports Past and Present' project (funded through the Ireland-Wales programme), working with Rhys A. Jones, the lead partner Claire Connolly and colleagues at University College Cork, and two other partners, UWTSD and Wexford County Council. This €3.2 million project will work with tourism stakeholders and local communities to make tourists aware of the deep history of 5 major Irish and Welsh ferry ports and the history of journeys through them. We are working with the film company Mother Goose and other creative practitioners to bring these histories to life, while digital technology will be deployed to engage new audiences in the heritage of these ports. Work with local authorities and tourism operators will seek to develop new tourism activities, while a joint Irish and Welsh tourism network will be established to assist in developing economic growth in these ports.


Merriman, P 2022, 'Book Reviews: Globalizing Automobilism: Exuberance and the Emergence of Layered Mobility, 1900–1980 by Mom Gijs', The Journal of Transport History, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 157-159. 10.1177/00225266211042230
Merriman, P 2022, Secret Submersibles in Fishguard Bay, 1943-45 | Llongau Ymsuddol Cudd ym Mae Abergwaun, 1943-45.. <>
Merriman, P 2022, Space. Key Ideas in Geography, Taylor & Francis.
Merriman, P 2021, 'Micro-mobilities in lockdown', Transfers, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 50-56. 10.3167/TRANS.2020.100106
Merriman, P, Adey, P, Holdsworth, C, Lorimer, H, Schwanen, T, Stratford, E & Bissell, D 2020, 'Book review forum: Transit Life: How Commuting is Transforming Our Cities', Cultural Geographies, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 163-174. 10.1177/1474474019871658
More publications on the Research Portal