PhD Candidate/Undergraduate Tutor
BSc Geography (Aberystwyth, 2012)
MA Regional and Environmental Policy (Aberystwyth, 2014)
Tel: +44 (0)1970 622 610
Agricultural shows: representing and driving rural change.
- Woods, Michael
- Dr Jesse Heley
Follow me on twitter: @GeographyGreg
Project website/blog: www.showingagriculture.co.uk
Greg undertook a degree in Geography (BSc) at Aberystwyth University and graduated in 2012. Throughout his undergraduate degree, Greg undertook interdisciplinary study in both physical and human geography components. His undergraduate dissertation, supervised by Dr Simon Cook, had a glaciology focus: it investigated the impact of diurnal temperature variations on the ice surface ablation rate and supraglacial discharge of Morteratsch Glacier, Switzerland.
Following the completion of his undergraduate studies, Greg remained at the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences to complete a taught Masters in Regional and Environmental Policy (MA). His MA research was part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF), though the European Union’s Convergence Programme administered by the Welsh Government. His thesis, supervised by Professor Rhys Jones, addressed linguistic and economic resilience in the recent (2008 – 2013) recession within the tourism sector.
In September 2013, Greg commenced his PhD research – again, in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University. Greg’s PhD research is funded by the Aberystwyth University Department of Geography and Earth Sciences Doctoral Career Development Scheme and examines the role of agricultural shows in driving and displaying rural change.
In the 2014/2015 academic year, Greg will be contributing to the following modules in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences:
- GG11910 – Level 1 Geography Tutorial.
- GG20130 – Research Skills in Geography.
- GG25030 – Research Skills In Human Geography.
Greg’s commitment to innovative teaching and learning at Aberystwyth University has recently been recognised: he was awarded the Aberystwyth University Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award for the academic year 2013/2014 and was Highly Commended in the Postgraduate Teacher Category at the 2014 Student Led Teaching Awards.
- Co-convenor, Aberystwyth University Dialogues in Human Geography Seminar Series 2014 – 2015.
- News Editor: Geography Directions Blog (with RGS-IBG/Wiley-Blackwell).
- RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum – Conference Session Organiser.
Using the main case study of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show, Greg’s research investigates the role that agricultural shows have in modern day Wales, the project also aims to establish how the changing structures of agricultural shows represent wider changes in the countryside. The agricultural show will also be examined as “a performance of the rural” and the perceived ‘authenticity’ of the agricultural show will be examined. His research also investigates the transformative effect that agricultural shows have upon rural communities and their role in knowledge transfer. It is thought that the coming-together of key rural figures at agricultural shows; the informal discussions and meetings that occur; first-hand inspection and questioning of exhibits and discussion on the latest developments in the industry all lead to the building of trust between farmers and policymakers. This leads to the sharing of knowledge and therefore encourages welcome innovation in the industry. Agricultural shows are vital to rural communities, but they are relatively ignored in the rural geography literature and Greg’s PhD hopes to address this gap in the literature and analyse the importance of the event in the increasingly globalised and connected countryside. In addition to his main research Greg is interested in all aspects of rural geography, youth geographies and social and cultural geography. Teaching is a great passion for Greg and alongside his main PhD research he is currently interested in and researching the development of new pedagogical approaches to delivering effective teaching and learning in higher education.
- Andrews, W. and Thomas, G. (2014), #OutInTheField: The use of Twitter in revitalising methods training, paper presented at Aberystwyth University Leaning and Teaching Conference 2014, Aberystwyth University, 18th September 2014.
- Thomas, G. (2014), The Royal Welsh Agricultural Show: A lens for rural change?, paper presented at Annual International Conference of The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), London, 29th August 2014.
- Andrews, W. and Thomas, G. (2014), #OutInTheField: The use of Twitter in revitalising methods training, paper presented at Annual International Conference of The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), London, 27th August 2014.
- Thomas, G. (2014), The Royal Welsh Agricultural Show: A Community of Practice?, paper presented at WISERD Annual Conference, Aberystwyth University, 3rd July 2014.
- Thomas, G. (2014), Agricultural Shows: Displaying and Driving Rural Change, paper presented at Royal Geographical Society Postgraduate Forum Midterm Conference, Loughborough University, 15th April 2014.
- Thomas, G. (2014), Agricultural Shows: Displaying and Driving Rural Change, paper presented at Welsh Human Geography Postgraduate Conference, Gregynog Hall, Newtown, 19th March 2014.
- Thomas, G. (2014), Rural Geography: A Whistle Stop Tour, Bangor University Sixth Form Conference, September 27th 2014.
- Thomas, G. (2014), Royal Welsh Agricultural Show – Trader Survey 2014, report to the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society.
- BBC Radio Wales, Wynne Evans’ Royal Welsh Wednesday, July 23rd 2014. Available at: http://bit.ly/1p2YuGu
- Farming Monthly, Agricultural Shows: What’s the impact? – New research investigates the role of agricultural shows in Wales today, July 10th 2014.
- Welsh Country, Agricultural Shows: What’s the impact?, July 14th 2014.
- Smallholder Magazine, ‘Agricultural Shows: What’s the impact?’ – Research Project to be launched at the Royal Welsh Show, 15th July 2014.
- Cambrian News, University researcher to investigate Royal Welsh, July 17th 2014.
- North Wales Daily Post, Agri shows in focus, July 17th 2014.
- Golwg, Gweld gwerth i’r sioe fawr, July 17th 2014.
I recently attended the RGS Social and Cultural Geography Research Group’s Reading and Writing Social and Cultural Geography. This weekend involved the reading and discussing of 14 papers addressing the themes of identity and interaction, mobility and migration, pedagogy and place, and food and sustainability. The discussions were highly stimulating with a wide range of ideas and techniques being shared.
I have recently set up an academic Twitter account (@GeographyGreg) and I hope to use this to share my research and my teaching interests.