Researcher honoured with Royal Geographical Society award

Dr Kimberley Peters, Reader in Human Geography in the University of Liverpool’s Department of Geography & Planning, is the 2020 recipient of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)  Gill Memorial Award.

Since 1832, the Royal Geographical Society’s prestigious Medals and Awards have recognised those who have made outstanding achievements within the sphere of geography through research and fieldwork, teaching and public engagement.

Dr Peters has been given the Gill Memorial Award in recognition of her ‘outstanding early career research in the field of maritime geographies’.

Her research focuses on the human geography of the seas and oceans and research interests include how power operates in the marine environment and how ocean governance works (and fails). Within these themes she has explored pirate radio ships, prison hulks, deep-sea mining and vessel traffic management.

Dr Peters has published seven books on the subject including Water Worlds: Human Geographies of the Ocean (Ashgate, 2014), The Mobilities of Ships (Routledge, 2015), Living with the Seas (Routledge, 2018) alongside a human geography textbook and several articles.

Dr Peters said: “Geography means ‘earth writing’, and the discipline has taken that earthliness seriously as a largely landlocked subject, especially in human geographical studies. My research has sought to critically consider water worlds and has called for a ‘maritime’ geography. Geography has provided me with a unique, spatial lens to think about and understand worlds at sea and has also been important for helping me make sense of my own place in the world. It means a great deal, then, to be awarded this prize’.

Professor Andy Plater, Head of the Department of Geography & Planning, said: “I am absolutely delighted at Kim’s success. This is a hugely prestigious award – and much deserved recognition of her research innovation, contribution and unparalleled drive. Kim’s work on the framing of maritime space and values is truly world-leading – and is something we have been incredibly proud to be associated with as a Department of Geography and Planning in a world-leading maritime city.”

The Gill Memorial Award will be presented to Dr Peters by the Royal Geographical Society’s President, Baroness Chalker, at their Medals and Awards celebration which will take place later this year.

Dr Peters will be taking up a new post at the Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity (HIFMB) a research centre in collaboration with the Alfred Wegener Institute and University of Oldenburg in Germany, building geographically informed social science approaches to understanding the marine environment. She will retain an honorary research position here at the University of Liverpool, continuing ties with the Department of Geography and Planning.