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 Sophia Buchanan Barlow

Sophia Buchanan Barlow

PhD Researcher

 Amory c360


Amory Building, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4RJ , UK


In 2022, I started my ESRC funded PhD in Sustainable Futures at the University of Exeter. The research is titled ‘A Sea of Relationships: Investigating Relational Wellbeing in a Growing Blue Economy’.

I am interested in how marine governance in the growing blue economy shapes how different stakeholders (unevely) access marine resources, decision-making and related wellbeing and the implications of this for 'blue justice'. Specifically, my research will focus on relational wellbeing – the significance of people’s multi-scalar relationships with other people at local levels, up to governing bodies and with the environment. My research examines these relationships in the context of coastal social-ecological systems in the South West, which are on the frontline of rapid environmental change.

I completed my BA Geography degree at the University of Exeter from 2018-21, developing a strong interest in environmental and social sustainability and achieving a First class honours degree. In my final year, I received MRes and PhD (1+3) funding through the ESRC South West Doctoral Training Partnership.

I studied for my MRes in Sustainable Futures from 2021-22, achieving a Distinction. My dissertation focused on how wellbeing was mobilised and perceived across different levels of marine environmental governance in the UK. This involved thematic analysis of national marine policy documents alongside interviews with policymakers and environmental managers.

Supervisors: Professor Louisa Evans, Dr Catherine Butler, Dr Hannah Parrott


BA Geography – University of Exeter

MRes Sustainable Futures – University of Exeter

Research group links


Research interests

Blue justice and the blue economy

Coastal social-ecological systems

Environmental Geography

Environmental governance

Human wellbeing

Resource access



Supervision / Group

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