Dr Sophie Katharine Yarker

BA (Hons) Sociology and Social Policy; Newcastle University, MA in Local and Regional Development Research, Newcastle University; PhD in Human Geography, Newcastle University

Dr Sophie Katharine Yarker

Postdoctoral Research Assistant (WISERD)

Contact Details


I have a background in both Human Geography and Sociology. I completed my BA (Hons) in Sociology and Social Policy at Newcastle University and, after working in market research for four years, returned to Newcastle University to complete a Research MA in Local and Regional Development at the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies where I then went on to complete an ESRC funded PhD in 2014. This was a qualitative study into the nature and extent of local belonging and attachment in the context of post-industrial communities.Whilst finishing my PhD I was appointed as a Teaching Fellow in Human Geography at Newcastle, a position I held for three years.

I joined the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University in September 2016 as a Post-doctoral research associate working on two projects led by Dr Jesse Heley and Professor Mike Woods within the WISERD Civil Society research theme.

Additional Information

Early Carer Researcher Representative RGS-IBG Urban Geography Research Group 2015- present

Visiting Fellow, Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS), Newcastle University 2016-2018

Chair of RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum 2012-13


My previous teaching experience includes module leadership and design of undergraduate and postgraduate modules in Local and Regional Development and Research Methods and Design, as well as contribution to student field trips and teaching in social, cultural and economic geography.

I have been an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2015.


I am involved in two projects within the WISERD/Civil Society research programme. WP4.3 Ageing, serious leisure and the contribution of the grey economy in led by Dr Jesse Heley and investigates the contributions of older people to the social and economy vibrancy and viability of rural localities through their varied voluntary participatory activities. I have a smaller role on a second project, WP1.2 Rethinking local civil society in an age of global connectivity which is led by Professor Mike WoodsMore broadly my research interests span social, cultural and economic geography, focusing in on the everyday experience of local communities.

This includes an interest in; • Local and regional identities • Community resilience, wellbeing and stewardship • The role and changing nature of the community and voluntary sector • Post-industrial landscapes • Critical understandings of local heritage

Research Groups


Tangential attachments: Towards a more nuanced understanding of the impacts of cultural urban regeneration on local identitiesYarker, S. 2018 In : Urban Studies.
Everyday economic geographiesYarker, S. 2017 In : Geography Compass.11, 8, e12324
More publications on the Research Portal