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In memoriam

We are grateful to those members of the Department who came before us; for the contributions they made, for the ways they have shaped our Department throughout its long history, and for simply having the opportunity to learn from and alongside them. We celebrate their lives below.

Allan Straw

We are very sad to report that Allan Straw, Emeritus Professor of Geography, died at the age of 93 on the 26th June 2024 with his family close by.  A graduate of Nottingham University who then gained his Ph.D. from Sheffield University, Allan came to take up a Chair in the Geography Department at Exeter in 1971 and stayed until his retirement in 1994.  He became Head of Department in July 1983, on the retirement of Bill Ravenhill, and remained in that post for ten years, during which time he was highly regarded for his fair leadership and his interest in, and support of, his colleagues.  He was an excellent and popular teacher and particularly enjoyed instructing students in the field.

Allan was a Quaternary scientist, and he made many significant contributions, particularly in the field of glacial sedimentology and geomorphology.  Although much of his research focussed on Eastern England – he wrote a seminal book with Keith Clayton on the geomorphology of eastern and central England - he also published significant work on Southwest England, including a synthesis of the geomorphology of Exmoor and papers on Kents Cavern in Torquay.

In retirement, he keenly maintained his academic interests and, for example, contributed valuable critiques of recent hypotheses about the glaciation of Exmoor and Dartmoor, based on his substantial knowledge of their landscapes.  In 2023, he synthesised his understanding of the evolution of the Taw and Torridge rivers in central Devon for the Mercian Geologist, and in the month of his death, his article entitled ‘Last thoughts on the Glaciated Lincolnshire Clay Vales and the Trent’ was published in the Quaternary Newsletter.

During a substantial proportion of his long and productive life, Allan Straw made very many positive contributions to the Geography Department at Exeter for which we shall always be very grateful.

Henry Buller

It is with deep sadness that we share news that our dear friend and colleague, Prof. Henry Buller, died at home with his family, on 2nd May 2023. His intellectual curiosity, warmth, love of transdisciplinary and international connection, means he will be missed by many. Henry worked extensively on projects around farm animal welfare, the use of antimicrobials in animal care, and agricultural policy change. He edited the Routledge Human-Animal Studies Series and Sociologia Ruralis supporting scholars to shape more-than human studies.

Henry’s exceptional generosity, compassion,  and sense of fun, means many will feel his loss very deeply. The Department of Geography at Exeter has lost a much loved recent Head of Department - Henry had been with us since 2003 and was a central pillar of our community.

Henry was always seeming to have fun with his funny email photos and quips. I enjoyed working with him and for him. Trevor

It was such a shock to learn of Henry’s passing today. In the short time I’ve known him, almost exactly a year, I came to love Henry’s presence in the department – his always happy demeanour in staff meetings, the positive energy and the wisdom that he brought. Henry was on the hiring committee when I applied for my current post, and his assured and affable presence in the interview (and the time he took to talk to me afterwards) really helped me confirm my decision to take the job. I was also delighted to learn at this point that Henry lived locally to me in Bristol, and now feel very fortunate to have bumped into him on one occasion there (when I was able to thank him for offering me my post and he was typically enthusiastic about the prospect of working together). More recently, I spotted a board up in the department communicating some of Henry’s animal geographies research. Even in its brief summary of some of his work, I found this board so enlightening, and wish I’d taken the chance to talk to Henry more about his thought-leading research interests and ideas. I’m so sorry there won’t be further opportunities to interact and socialise with Henry, and learn more from his career in academia and deep work in the discipline. I am, however, so grateful for the few opportunities I did have. I would like to send my sincere condolences to Henry’s family at this very sad time – he was clearly a very special person and his upbeat presence in the department will be sorely missed. Alasdair Jones

I remember Henry as having boundless energy, he always found a time to respond and to support people. He was exceptionally kind and always saw the good in people. I will still never know how he managed to do so much and commit so much to others, even when as not well himself. Something that also sticks in my mind always was how fondly he described his daughter and grandchild to me, when chatting to me about my kids. You will always be loved as a hugely valuable member of our department, thank you so much for everything you did for us. X. Lucy Rowland

My time with Henry was brief, but I always remember his kindness and thoughtfulness standing out. This is a very sad loss. My condolences go out to his family, friends, and colleagues. Taylor Butler-Eldridge

My memories of Henry date back to over 40 years ago when we were both doing PhDs and were both members of the Rural Economy & Society Study Group, the brainchild of the late Philip Lowe. This was a lively and youthful group and somewhat iconoclastic, taking on the orthodoxies of Agricultural Economics and the behaviourism that dominated Human Geography at the time. Henry revelled in this new thinking and came to play an important role in the way Human Geography has so fundamentally changed since. We kept in touch when Henry went to France and I played a part in luring him back to these shores in the late 1990s when he joined me at what was then the Gloucester College of HE. What fun it was to be working directly with Henry on research projects. Always enthusiastic and taking great joy in his research and teaching, he was a great colleague. I resolved when I left for Exeter in 2021 that if I possibly could I would find a way for Henry to come west too. And so a couple of years later, for a second time I enthusiastically welcomed him as a colleague. And what a wonderful appointment it proved to be – Henry threw himself into Exeter Geography heart and soul, caring and creative, energetic and endearing. This was his niche - he was right for Exeter and Exeter was right for him. As for me I ended up in the Exeter Politics and then Sociology departments until, that is, nearly a year ago when Henry helped facilitate my return to Geography for the finale to my career for which I am so very grateful. Henry was a born academic and scholar, alongside that he was a decent, caring and fun colleague. So I finish with a story that typifies that sense of fun. When my son Ben, now 30, was 9 or 10 years old, he managed to leave a much loved teddy bear on a train and it ended up in lost property at Bristol Temple Meads. To save a trip to Bristol, I asked Henry if he would kindly collect the bear and bring him to Exeter on his next trip. He did so but not only that, the bear was returned to Ben with an accompanying set of holiday snaps – the bear on Clifton Suspension Bridge, at the station, etc. A delightful twist to the story of the missing bear that was ‘so Henry’ – thoughtful and kind. Michael Winter

A few minutes ago, I just learned from my good friend Jo Hockenhull that one of our life mentors has passed away. I am in shock and profoundly saddened to learn this. So here I would like to extend my condolences to you, Henry's dear family and friends. Henry showed me the ropes and the wonderful world of geography and qualitative research. He keep us (Jo and I) sane and happy in troubled times while working at Bristol Uni. For that, I will always be in debt. While working on the SWHILI - Bodmin project, que used the quote "Licence to communicate" he told us we were witnessing a James Bond project that created a bubble to communicate between Vets and Farmers. I went on to work in other places, always trying to find those phrases that capture the results as Henry did. One could only hope he realised how much he meant to distant collaborators like me. So here, very grateful you had allowed us to share this with you and all the positive ripples his life had… although I am sure you have witnessed this first-hand. He was a great mystery man, full of wisdom, joy and care for others, with an immense passion for life geographies where furry and feather creatures had their space. I know many will miss him to the bone, myself included. I hope he is now pain-free, playing music and having great conversations with the most exciting folks up there in the universe. All this while keeping an eye on his loved ones. Thanks for taking the time to read. May you rest in peace, Dearest Henry! - Thanks for believing in the AMUVP project and us! Gabriela Olmos Antillón

Henry’s boundless curiosity and enduring friendship will be his greatest legacy. With a smiling face and passionate interest in others he made academic collaborations an absolute pleasure. There has never been a greater advocate and example to others in demonstrating the power of transdisciplinary working. Professor David Main

I was so very sad to hear the news of Henry's passing. Henry was without doubt one of the kindest and most supportive of people I have worked with over the past 25+ years in academia. Always ready to listen and share thoughts and advise, it was a huge pleasure to have worked closely with him in different roles at Exeter. His sense of fairness and his ability to deal calmly with pretty much everthing that came our way in various Dept management roles was amazing. Henry - your warm and ready smile will be very much missed here. Rest in peace. Chris

I simply want to express my deep sadness about Henry's death and send my condolences to those who cared about him. I was lucky to have many conversations with Henry (principally at the British Animal Studies Network) and will always remember his insight, humour and collegiality. Bob McKay (ShARC)

Really sorry to hear this sad news about Henry. I first met Henry in the late 1980s and we worked together in the 1990s on agricultural pollution and European environmental policy. Henry was infectiously enthusiastic to work with and we roved around Europe learning about slurry and silage effluent, sewage and shellfish. It was always a joy to visit Henry when he worked in Paris, he knew great places to eat. He was always upbeat and full of energy. I had a nice hour with him last year picking his brains on the subject of horses. He made a real mark on animal geographies/more-than-human geography and will be sorely missed. Neil Ward

How unbelievably lucky we were to have Henry at the University of Exeter. An inspiring mind and a generous mentor. He was my Second Supervisor and I always looked forward to our meetings because I knew that I would leave feeling more assured of my writing and more confident in myself, along with a smile on my face. His passing is such a loss- and such a shock. The world of animal welfare, animal geographies and the social sciences more generally has lost a brilliant thinker and I can only imagine the sorrow his family must be experiencing at his untimely passing. I send my deepest condolences to his family, friends, colleagues and students at Exeter. Henry was blessed with a charm and wit that I hope all who knew him can now remember fondly and find solace in the kindhearted smiling Henry we were lucky to know. May he rest in peace. Eimear Mc Loughlin

I am so very sorry to hear that Henry has passed away. Henry has been an ongoing beacon of light throughout my academic career, starting with him writing a chapter for a book I co-edited with Lynda Birke while I was doing my PhD. I had the privilege of working more closely with him alongside my friend and colleague Gaby in my first postdoctoral role at Bristol Vet School on the SWHLI Knowledge Exchange project. It was here that Henry initiated us into the ways of the social sciences, a path both of us are continuing to follow in our research today. He was a mentor and a friend through what was a challenging time. A few years after that, I worked with Henry again on a short defra AMR project and then more recently, with both Henry and Gaby on Gaby’s AMR project. Our little team back together. Henry was always an absolute pleasure to work with full of enthusiasm, warmth and passion. He inspired us and believed in us. I hope he realised just how big an impact he had on the lives he touched. He will be greatly missed as a mentor and a friend. Sending love and deepest sympathies. Jo Hockenhull

Very sorry to hear this news. Henry was a fantastic colleague, friend and fellow scholar. He was so generous with his time and opinions. A reliable source of a good idea or sage advice and a superb mentor to younger colleagues. I have fond memories of long discussions around the margins of conferences about animals of all shapes and sizes. He will be sorely missed by geographers from many backgrounds. I wish all strength to his family and close friends. Jamie Lorimer

Henry was on the selection committee when I interviewed for a lectureship at the University of Exeter in 2012. I remember being struck by his genuine interest in and curiosity about my work, both during the selection process, and in the ensuing years. To me, Henry was one of those rare academics who are able to think beyond and outside of their existing positions and standpoints. Someone who was not only comfortable, but also welcomed being challenged. Someone who was always gentle in how he challenged others. We stayed in touch after I left Exeter, and he remained an extremely supportive mentor. I was really keen on inviting him to be the external examiner for one of my best PhD students, and did contact him about this, but sadly, that is not be. I will miss him - as a person, and as one of the best minds in animal geographies. Krithika Srinivasan

Henry was a wonderful fixture at all the BASN conferences—- he was a rare combination of intellectually formidable but warm and approachable. He was a generous, thoughtful chair and question-asker, especially to a nervous ECR. We will all remember him with huge fondness, and miss him dreadfully. ALG

As an undergraduate I was absolutely ecstatic that I could study animal geographies, I can remember absolutely loving every lecture and feeling like so many of my thoughts about more-than-human relationality were being validated, it was wonderful. I also remember the exam paper and having the opportunity to write about a man who ended up in hospital after eating a slug as a dare and what that says about bodily boundaries - I don't think I recall any of my other exam answers but I loved writing that one! I was then lucky enough to work with Henry as a post doc on the Hennovation Project. Henry was seriously fun to work with, hyper-interesting, but probably more importantly than any of that, I never felt that overwhelming imposter syndrome when working with him. As I began my university life later than most and as a single parent this is not just some throw away comment - it meant something real and tangible to me. He made academia exciting, relevant, and accessible. I learned so much working on Hennovation and it has shaped the rest of my career; I know I am just one of so many whose career paths will have been forged by working with Henry. My very deepest condolences to all his loved ones. Louise MacAllister

Henry's work on the British in rural France from the 1990s was some of the first academic research I ever engaged with. I was hooked, and it helped inspire a PhD and early career research. Years later I had the privilege of working with Henry at Exeter and even more inspiration followed. I am forever indebted. Thank you Henry.

I am so very sorry to read about Henry's passing. Henry was a bright and engaging scholar and lecturer, whose contributions to research and teaching alike were foundational and formative to many in (and beyond) the geography community. Working with and learning from Henry on fieldtrips (to Paignton zoo, and to New York) was joyful, special and informative to my teaching that followed. Henry was of course also a really kind and funny person. I remember fondly Henry accidentally ordering far too much spaghetti at a New York restaurant, and telling me the top tips he had learned from a family member about how to take a portrait photo with a movie-star grin. I'd like to send my heartfelt condolences and care to Henry's family, friends and everyone at Exeter geography during this difficult time. Anna Jackman

I am deeply saddened to learn of Henry's passing. He was a true inspiration, combining intellectual acumen and originality with a warm, collegiate and generous approach to academia life. We will miss him greatly. Beth Greenhough, University of Oxford

Such a loss. Those of us at the Department of Environment and Health and others at the Swedish University of Agricultural Science will miss a wonderful collaborator and friend. We got to know Henry through the large EU research project ‘Welfare Quality’. For many of us, he was our first contact with the world of human geography and how it links to animal welfare. But it was enough for us to establish a collaboration that has extended over almost 20 years. There have been many collaborations over these years and the two large ongoing projects will be all the poorer without his creative contributions. He visited us in Uppsala on numerous occasions and in 2016 lived here for several months, renting an apartment. His ‘out of the box’ thinking stimulated scientific debate and his cheerful presence was always appreciated. He also enlightened us on everything from how to identify affordable champagne and the subtleties of Beaufort d’Alpage cheese, to details of locations in Uppsala for the filming of Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander. He was fun to be around and an inspiration on many levels, not only work. We have benefited tremendously by his intelligence, generous sharing of knowledge and enjoyed his friendly smiling face and his kindness. We will miss him. Colleagues from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Henry at several human-animal studies events over the past decade or so, which led to his contributing chapters to the academic volumes that I co-edited with Garry Marvin. I greatly enjoyed every opportunity to learn from Henry, and appreciated especially his warm sense of humor. In my work now as Editor in Chief of the journal Society & Animals, I see all the more clearly how many more will continue to benefit from his vibrant and visionary contributions to bridging cultural geography with human-animal studies. My heart goes out to all of you who were so much closer to him.

Henry was the most fantastically supportive and positive colleague. In the range of senior roles Henry fulfilled within the department, he always demonstrated a deep care for the well-being, development, and career progression of all his colleagues. He once said to me: “I think all my colleagues are brilliant, and I want them all to be professors”. He basically tried to make things better for us all. A recent example of Henry’s leadership and compassion came as Head of Department and during the Covid outbreak. Without his leadership, and more importantly his personality, I don’t know how we’d have managed to react to the incredible challenges we faced. I was meeting (virtually) with Henry very regularly during this time, and the amazing energy, care and understanding he showed throughout was a huge source of support; I will always be grateful for this. Henry will be terribly missed in the University by so many people. Iain Hartley

I never met Prof Buller, but I am saddened to read this. I came across his work some years back and thought it was of interest, I used to read his papers for enjoyment and interest. Zoe

Dear Henry. May you rest in peace. With a smile on your face. I never saw you without one. Kindest of thoughts and regards to you and your family. Katie Parr

Henry was one of the first Study Abroad Coordinators I worked with when I joined the university 16 years ago. He was so welcoming and talked with such passion about study abroad, he was a great advocate for students and encouraged everyone to take up the study abroad experiences available to them. I would love bumping into Henry on campus as he strode about with purpose, he’d always stop for a chat even if it was tipping it down. Thank you Henry for your tutelage over the years, your kind words and encouragement, you will be sadly missed. Anna Moscrop

I am very sad to hear of Henry's passing. I was lucky to be head of department for Psychology at the same time when he was head of department for Geography and we bonded over the labyrinths of this experience. Henry was always kind and generous, diplomatic but firm, willing to share his experiences, but also his uncertainties and hesitations. He softened the edges we all encountered everyday as Heads of Department and so often brought empathy and kindness to my day. Meeting Henry accidentally on campus was always a joy. I will miss you dear Henry. Thank you for being there. Manuela Barreto

I extend my deepest sympathies to Henry’s family, friends, and colleagues. This, I know will be many, since his life and work had such significant impact. He was the very first person I met at Exeter, 11 years ago when he interviewed me for my first role at Exeter. Since then, I benefited from his mentorship and leadership as recent head of department. He approached his work with a contagious enthusiasm and a deep sense of curiosity that inspired countless students and colleagues alike. He was a really great colleague who approached every challenge and difficult task with a smile. Henry will be sadly missed. Damien

I am so very sorry to learn of Henry’s passing. A truly engaging and thoughtful man, I was fortunate to have Henry as one of my PhD supervisors. I will remember Henry with great fondness. In conversation, he was always empathetic, curious and engaging. He has greatly influenced how I approach research and he will be greatly missed in Amory.

I will always remember Henry as a wonderfully intelligent, kind and supportive colleague who was always captivating and inspiring. I am truly saddened by the fact that he is no longer with us. Julien Dugnoille

Having only known Henry briefly as Head of Discipline all I can say is that he was a sincere, lovely man, who had the Students, new and old, Staff and family at the centre of his Universe. You could not of had a more caring and genuine person which shone through in the way he interacted with people. He will be a very sad loss to his immediate family but also to his University family of staff and students. He was a breath of fresh air in a very hectic world. He remembered what was important. Alastair Crocker

Henry was the best. Such a kind soul with much joyfulness and passion. I loved his wisdom to not worry about the little annoying things, knowing there were bigger things out there to think about. We worked closely for 5 years of laughter, and stories and ‘oh gosh’s. I can’t believe I won’t get a ‘Ye Gods!’ email again, or one starting with a black and white photo. Even his use of punction was expressive! Not having known a huge amount about his research, last year I attended an online seminar he gave, it was fantastic to see further into that world which brought him so much interest, which so many in the department knew well. I’m so very glad I attended. He had many old friends in the department and new friends too, who will miss him greatly. The world is the worse for the loss of Henry. Isabel Castle

Henry was genuinely one of the most patient, kind, positive, respectful and easy to get along with people I have ever, not only worked with, but every known. Bev

I am so very sorry to hear about Henry. His thoughtfulness and kindness as Head of Department shone through, even when shepherding his colleagues through things like REF. My thoughts are with his family, friends and Geography colleagues for such a sad loss. Sumi

Henry was a fantastically generous, supportive, challenging, and kind external examiner for my PhD back in December 2020. We stayed in touch afterwards as I built my fledgling career and he would invite me to participate in things he was organising, and would agree to participate in things I was organising, always with great positive spirit. Henry was an examplar human and academic, someone who I aspired to emulate especially in my interactions with junior colleagues in higher education. My sincerest condolences go to Henry's family, and to his colleagues at Exeter, for their great loss. Alistair Anderson

Dear Henry, When thinking about how on earth I was going to write this, I typed your name into my Whatsapp to see what I had said about you over the years to people like my other-half or my mum. Spattered amongst comments of successful meetings, experiences of comfort and alleviation of worries are messages like: I am sooooooo lucky. Oh my goodness I love him. CS, 9th Nov 2022. And I guess really that sums it up. As over the last three years, despite having only ever actually met you in-person once, you have become one of the most important guiding figures in my life. Meeting with you and Kristen every week has been nothing less than therapeutic. By the end of our meetings, my weekly crises feel manageable and often even opportunities for further investigation. You effortlessly turn my jumbled up thoughts and worries into ‘social science speak’ and somehow everything I do is interesting. I just found an email where I’ve sent some fairly mundane work to which you reply: Will read them with joy. HB, 23rd March 2022. So I guess it is natural to feel very lost while I start the part where I feel like I need you the most, and I know you deeply wanted to be a part of. Kristen and I will do our best to go on without you, in your name and memory, but we will miss you and think of you at every step. I will always be so grateful for the incredible mentorship you have given me, I hope I can do you justice. Claire Scot

It was a privilege to have Henry supervised my PhD project. I was astound and appreciated by his word-for-word comments on new PhD student’s monthly writing, which gives me great encouragement. It is my pity that I cannot learn more from him. Henry was erudite, patient, humorous and great. Special thanks for his supervision and he will be deeply missed.

Such a loss. Henry was a super geographer in every way and a lovely colleague to boot. Karen Bickerstaff

Henry was one of the most wonderful colleagues anyone could hope for. Friendly, supportive and open. Henry always gave generously, both in terms of his time and his positive ideas. He was always 'on your side', but in a manner where one always felt encouraged to contribute. He was a great colleague for many years at Exeter, and a treasured friend. We will all miss him massively. David Harvey

I remember Henry and his support as a new lecturer in the department fondly and only recently was in a Zoom breakout room with him in a department meeting talking about office space. He was cheekily telling me how he used to camp out in his office sometimes to avoid too much back and forth travel from Bristol. I was shocked and saddened to hear of his passing and will miss my interactions with him in Exeter Geography. I send my deepest condolences to his loved ones. Georgie Bennett

We have truly lost a giant among us, upon whose shoulders so many of us have learned to stand - one who would gently pick us up whenever we stumbled, with so much grace and humour and kindness and style. Henry implausibly believed that a quantitatively trained veterinarian could understand the vocabulary - let alone the intricacies - of social science methodologies and research and patiently took me along for an amazing and life-changing ride which has altered my career and life in such remarkable ways. The wonder with which he saw the world – from tuk-tuk rides across Bangkok to insights about UK smallholding farmers to the experiences of the crew in ‘Below Deck’ – was always uplifting and so inspiring to behold and engage with. He could cut through the dross of my verbiage when trying to answer a student’s question and come right to the heart of the matter, even if (as a Geographer!) he also led a group of us in a very large circle one night in Thailand trying to find a restaurant which ended up being right across the street from our hotel! Henry taught me about responsibilisation (which I did not believe was a word at first reckoning) and always took kindly to my editing out of extraneous commas in his brilliantly crafted sentences … I always thought I wrote long sentences before we began writing together! He was fascinated by what goes on inside the head of a veterinarian and was so proud that he could pronounce ‘fluoroquinolone’ without a hitch when presenting our findings to colleagues in DEFRA. His distinct love of life, music and his family - whom he talked of often and always so fondly – was complemented by his love of asking in-depth questions and finding out the answers, of seeing the joy on a student’s face when they finally ‘got it’ and of unpacking difficult concepts in a way only he could. He was still teaching and exploring until the very end, and he has given us so very much to remember him by. Henry poured himself into so many of us, and we will continue to carry the torch he lit in us, his light shining so brightly through us and our work that his flame will not go out. I know that would make him smile. Kristen Reyher

My deepest sympathies are with Henry’s family. He was an incredibly special man who has made a significant and lasting impact on the Geography department. His kindness, brilliance and sense of fun made doing a PhD with him a unique and wonderful experience. His passion for his work was so strong but he put people front and centre, which is why he was an important Head of Department. He brought enormous energy into the department which from my perspective centred on ensuring people were well treated, supporting people with less conventional career paths and putting kindness and collegiality at the heart of the department. He supported success in us in many ways including supporting those who have taken a range of meandering paths. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to work with him. I have really fond memories of chats with him at staff events and being in awe of his stories of his colourful and interesting past. I will so miss his joyful, twinkling eyes, his sense of fun and hearing about his latest exciting projects. My thoughts are with everyone who misses him. Rebecca Sandover

We are saddened to hear that Henry has passed away. We remember him with fondness whilst working in the Department of Geography. He always took the time to engage in conversation and provided support when needed. Our heartfelt condolences to all of Henry’s family at this sad time. Tracy and Barry

Henry, you will be sorely missed. A gentleman always, with a ready smile and a knowing gleam in your eye. A huge sense of loss at your untimely passing. Patrick Devine-Wright

When the British Animal Studies Network has its annual meeting at the University of Strathclyde next week, there will be a massive gap. Henry was always one of the people I was most pleased to see there. He brought with him an intellectual generosity and serious engagement with other people’s work and ideas, and was the model of a senior academic for younger scholars in attendance. His work in more-than-human-geography likewise exemplified what the field might be: engaged with pressing everyday concerns while utilising sophisticated philosophical ideas with clarity. This year’s BASN meeting is titled ‘The State of the Field’ and, to my mind, the field of human-animal studies is where it is today in no small part because of his contribution. On a personal note, I will miss Henry’s sense of humour, his complaints about the vegan food, and hatred of institutional coffee (he was known to lead small packs of academics to the nearest Costa during breaks). For these and so many other reasons, I will miss him at BASN meetings and beyond. He was a mainstay, a teacher, a much loved friend. RIP Henry. Erica Fudge

Henry was the inspiration for me to get into social sciences and human geography. Such a humble and gentle soul, he would patiently and thoughtfully listen to us vets babble on and then come out with the most spot on and intellectually stimulating comments and ideas. The twinkle in his eye and gentle supervision encouraged me to think further and harder. He inspired the kind of rebellious questioning that gets you into trouble! Henry was pivotal in helping me get a PhD. I am proud to sit alongside his name on papers and will be forever grateful for the chance to work with and get to know such a wonderful person. Lisa Morgans

Henry took over as Head of Department when I was the Physical Geography External Examiner at Exeter. It was such a pleasure to work with him (and the wider teaching team). He had a quiet leadership style that allowed us as externals to be critical friends, and to enjoy excellent relations and hospitality when visiting the University. As a group of heads of geography departments meeting up at the Royal Geographical Society each year it was always a pleasure to see Henry in attendance. Helen Walkington

You have travelled with me in my thoughts so much recently Henry. You inspired so many of the people I have met up with, and so many of the people I have been in contact with over email. I have been reminded again of the depth of connections and breadth of networks that your enthusiasm and intellectual energy built and through which you will live on. I feel so privileged to have been a part of these. I will treasure the always astute contributions you made to workshops and seminars, the always enjoyable drinks and dinners, the sometimes ironic exchanges about ‘Life Geographies’, where we often talked about animal killing, and the intersecting conversations about obscure music in all of these. You were an irrepressible and amazing colleague and friend. My heart goes out to everyone, to family, friends, and everyone you worked with, who is trying to make sense of the loss of someone who was always so fully alive. Gail Davies

Henry was just the best colleague and head of department. Always cheerful, always supportive. Thanks Henry, you'll be sorely missed. Nick Gill

So clever, so kind, so talented. Henry was a generous soul, and taken way too soon. Steve Hinchliffe

Henry was always a caring and supportive figure. It all started in July 2017 when I got a phone call from Henry to offer me the job and welcomed me to to join his ‘DIAL’ team. Whenever he noticed that I faced challenges in my research, career, or personal life, he always asked if I wanted to have a chat. He always showed his care and support, even asked me to text him to make sure I returned home safe after field work. All these made me feel the warmth and care from Henry. Henry was a inspirational, patient, and generous leader. Working with Henry, I could feel his satiable curiosity which kept him learning, he always shared what he read, showed his eagerness to learn from others by listening carefully and jotting down other people’s thoughts. He was always generous to lend his books or send me the references that were helpful for me. He showed me the way to be humble, respectful, and patient to others. Henry was strict to himself but lenient to others. Henry always gave me room to write my own journal papers, to develop my research projects and he encouraged me to join any training programmes which were beneficial to my career. He did not only guide me to write fellowship applications but also provided massive support in my Wellcome Trust fellowship application. Without his help, I cannot not be where I am today. He showed his commitment and strong sense of responsibilities by leading the research team to achieve those milestones, and actively involving in research design, paper writing and data collection. He was accountable and obligate to his colleagues, and always fulfilled what he promised. Henry was passionate with perseverance in his work. Henry’s erudite works are like awe-inspiring firework which always give impressive insights and drive readers to wow. His passion in research and writing always attracted people to work with him whole-heartedly. Henry did face different challenges at work, yet I rarely heard from Henry any complaint, judgement or blame. Rather he put himself in other people’s shoes to consider others’ needs first, a very exceptional leader who was like a candle consuming himself to illuminate others. I heard Henry sharing his stories about his time with his grandchildren, with his daughter in Bristol and siblings in California, which I know he cherished and loved his family very much. It has been very hard to accept that Henry is no longer with us and I cannot hold my tears writing about my memory with Henry and I miss his impressive characters, smile, and virtues a lot, but I am sure Henry is now resting in peace and he will always be in our heart. Henry, part of the Red River Valley lyric expressed my missing of you: “From this valley they say you are going, We will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile. For they say you are taking the sunshine That has brightened our pathway a while.” May peace and comfort be with Henry’s family. Ray Chan

Professor Henry Buller made a great contribution to the University of Exeter Grand Challenges programme in his role as an academic lead for the Food for Thought Challenge in the period 2015-2016. We were very lucky to have Henry in the team of academic and professional services colleagues developing and delivering this programme and to this day we consider Henry as part of the Grand Challenges family. Henry was an inspirational leader of an interdisciplinary team, always open to new ways of working and bringing arts and sciences together for the benefit of students. Speaking on behalf of the Grand Challenges team, we are sad that we have lost a friend and a colleague who will be greatly missed. Personally, I will always remember Henry for the image of a large teddy rabbit which he used for his profile photo on the website. Anka Djordjevic, Grand Challenges 

I was very sorry to learn of Henry's passingHe was a huge inspiration to me and I knew his kindness and generosity first-handMy deepest condolences to his family and colleagues. Julie Urbanik 

 My deepest condolences to the family. I didn’t know Dr. Buller personally, however his professional career had a deep impact on my own. Coming across Dr. Buller’s work always brought me these “ah ha” moments. I am so grateful for his work, as are many others (both human and non). May he rest in peace. Carley MacKay 

I am so very sorry to hear this news. Henry was an inspiration in so many ways. I always looked forward to bumping into him at conferences and meetings, where he would lift spirits, flatten hierarchies and inspire thinking. He was always generous with his time, supportive and entirely without pretence – a true model for senior academics. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. Chris Bear 

RIP Henry. Your wit and wisdom will be sorely missed in the various academic and policy circles in which we mixed. Always good company, I count myself lucky to have been one of many beneficiaries of Henry’s peerless knowledge of Parisian eateries and English punk. My condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. Sarah Whatmore 

So sorry to hear of Henry’s passing. He was a brilliant academic and a very caring person. Henry was on the research team for the first project I worked on (October 2000). I was the RA and Henry was one of the Co-Is. I can still see him now joining the first meeting we held at The Countryside Agency in Cheltenham – crazy hair and a big smile, and full of amazing ideas and creative things we could do for the project. Henry was working then at what was called ‘CCRU’, which is where I work now (but called ‘CCRI’). Carol Morris was also on the CCRU team, and with Brian Ilbery, Moya Kneafsey and myself on the Coventry University team. It was a fantastic project to work on, and Henry would often send us papers with new ideas late at night. He was such a bright and imaginative thinker. Needless to say, we wrote a bunch of great papers from the project (as well as the contract report!). I learnt so much from that first project. We remained friends ever since and he always gave me great advice and encouragement in my work, especially in the early years. Such a star, gone far too soon. Damian Maye

I am genuinely saddened to learn of the untimely passing of Henry. I had the good fortunate to work with him on a number of different projects when we were employed at the CCRI, University of Gloucestershire and subsequently at the University of Exeter. Henry facilitated my move into human-animal studies and introduced me to many different ways of thinking. He was infinitely wise and great fun and his love of food was legendary. Thank you Henry for helping me along the way in my working life. You will be much missed. Carol Morris, University of Nottingham

Henry was the most wonderful colleague.  We joined the Geography Department at Exeter within six months of each other almost twenty years ago.  Henry arrived first, and one of the reasons I was attracted to work in the department was because Henry had just joined it.  Our paths had crossed at conferences and workshops and we knew each other in the way that academics who work on similar topics do.  He always seemed a great person to be around, but it wasn’t until I arrived at Exeter that I fully realised just how kind, supportive, and generous Henry was, with his wonderful sense of humour and huge stock of knowledge and stories.  The word collegiate could have been invented for Henry, and he was a brilliant colleague to travel with.  I particularly remember a fieldtrip to Bordeaux, with Henry and Jo, where his unrivalled knowledge of French culture, French agriculture and French viticulture came in especially handy. Henry of course used this knowledge to make a huge contribution to geographical scholarship, and he was always looking to explore new avenues in new ways.  He was one of a small group who revolutionised the study of rural economies and societies, and he was constantly pushing at the boundaries of these areas. I feel lucky to have worked with him, and my thoughts and condolences are with his family. Mark Goodwin

It is with great sadness that I learnt of Henry’s premature death. My sympathies go out to his family and colleagues. I first met Henry as an undergraduate at UCL in 1979. In fact, he was the first student I spoke too as we entered the geography department at the same time on the first day. He had a huge mass of black hair and was wearing his trademark black duffle coat, with a dodgy pocket, some months afterwards to be accessorised with string for a belt. I thought now here is someone worth getting to know. I was absolutely right. He was a good friend to me during this period. Every time we would meet there was something new that he had developed an interest in since we last met. Even if we had spoken the previous day. Not just geography but philosophy, film, art; he had something worth discussing on most topics. He was Wikipedia before Wikipedia.  He knew where all the obscure events were in London and made the most of his undergraduate years. He once went to a “music for socialism” seminar given by Brian Eno, Brain Eno probably learnt a lot that night, along with the other five attendees. He was a great guitar player and went with me to buy a guitar after graduating and made me an instructional tape which I still have. He also developed an interest in photography which came in handy when I got married. I appointed him as the wedding photographer and again he did a great job.  He was always kind and generous with his time and visited us “up north” a few times. We took him on a daytrip to Blackpool, this was probably his catalyst to moving to Paris a year or so later.  With Henry it wasn’t just the intellectual highbrow stuff, he was pretty good at lowbrow stuff too. On a visit to London, we had to make sure that we were back in time for “Dallas” his favourite show at the time. It was fascinating to watch him watching it, he was absolutely invested in the show. His impersonation of Sue Ellen was a wonder to behold. It is no surprise to me that he went on to have a successful academic career; nor that he will be missed by his colleagues and students alike. There will be a lot of people, like me, who met him on the way who will miss him too and the difference he made to our lives. Nigel

I only knew Henry for what feels like a very short time, during the spring term of 2021 at the height of the COVID pandemic. I was reasonably fresh out of completing my PhD at the time and had held a few brief teaching posts elsewhere, but nothing so significant as the opportunity of working with him in the Department – albeit from my childhood bedroom during the pandemic. As my first Head of Department in a teaching post, he continues to have a lasting influence on how I approach collaboration and my own teaching and pedagogic practice. He always had an unlimited energy and enthusiasm whenever we spoke, whenever I went to him for advice no matter on how big or small a problem he always had time. He was always there to listen and offer his wise and kindly advice, thoughts and reflections to even the most junior of colleagues (and no matter how daft my ideas may have been in our regular meetings), unwaveringly generous with his time. That, I think, is what I will remember the most about him. I was very saddened to hear of his passing, and I wish to send my heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and everyone who had the pleasure and the privilege of knowing him for however short or long a time. To Henry, you will be sorely missed. Thank you for inspiring and continuing to inspire. Geoff Main

I am saddened to hear of Henry's passing, and moved to read these tributes. Henry was a singular figure in rural studies, someone who could cross disciplines and cultures with ease. His intellect was sharp and not afraid of critique, but he always practised it with courtesy and support for younger colleagues and students. Most of all, Henry was great company, with interest in others, wry humour, and an enthusiasm for good food. Rest in Peace Henry. Michael Woods

I am not at Henry’s funeral, but today I will pause everything to remember him, and his work. Wherever I look for work on humans and animals, I see his footprints. When starting out on any project, it was always a relief to know that he had written on a topic. So many people will follow your ideas and your example, Henry. The ripples will go on and on…. Pru Hobson-West, University of Nottingham 

 Generosity and excellent geographer.  Angel Paniagua 

It felt impossible to leave a conversation with Henry without smiling. His irrepressible enthusiasm for interdisciplinary understanding of the world around us was what struck me first. One of the first projects I remember was the study of the relationship between cattle and sheep welfare, biodiversity of pasture and the quality and taste of meat produced. It seemed very Henry – academic, rigorous, important, with clear implications for land use policy and it was clear that Henry loved the study. To leadership he brought a great combination of fairness, concern for colleagues and students and ambition for improvement. No matter what the context of my interactions with Henry, he was always such a joy to work with and spend time with. Henry has contributed so much to his field, our department and University, it is difficult to imagine Geography and Exeter without him. My deepest condolences to his family and friends. Thanks Henry. Tim Quine 

“Hi Tom… you’ve done it - we’d like to offer you the job!” – I will always remember the phone call I got from Henry to tell me I’d been successful in my application to become a permanent member of staff at Exeter. Not just because of the relief I felt, but also the warmth of that conversation – Henry was so pleased for me. I shouldn’t have been surprised, Henry cared deeply for his colleagues and offered support and guidance to everyone, regardless of career stage. He wanted everyone to do well and did such a great job of acknowledging the hard work everyone put in. We are lucky at Exeter – our department is cohesive, collegiate and exceptionally supportive. Henry’s contributions to this cannot be understated – particularly during his time as Head of Department, through which he navigated some of the most challenging circumstances possible, always with good humour and a warm smile. I never worked with Henry to teach or undertake research, but he helped make this a ‘good place to work’ and for that we will always be thankful. I regret not talking with Henry more about his love and knowledge of music. I used to enjoy the musical suggestions that periodically came with his departmental emails – I offered my own favourites in return once or twice, and of course he knew them all already! I really wish I’d taken the time to ask him for more recommendations. A fantastic geographer and more importantly a kind and gentle human being. We will miss you so much, Henry. Tom Roland 

It's taken me a long time to be able to write this. At the end of the week in which Henry died, Nicola (HOD in Geography) put it well when she said it was a week in which every day had been walked with Henry alongside. Feels like I can say the same thing in relation to my career – Henry walked alongside – from being PhD students at the same time through middle career angst and decisions around moving jobs and institutions to the later stages of our careers and the 20 years in Exeter. I am immensely grateful that I’ve had a career in which Henry’s ideas, intellect, enthusiasm and sense of fun were a constant. I realise only now how much I relied on his support and encouragement for my own work – indeed I took those things for granted, as I did his ability to make work seem not like work at all. Henry’s sheer joy of working with academic ideas was so inspirational – many times, even in the middle of some sort of ridiculous University politics, he would say that he could never get over that this was his job and that he was allowed to do what he loved, with people he enjoyed being with and get paid for it. He really did see himself as very lucky – whereas we all saw ourselves as lucky to have him there. Perhaps my strongest memories of working with Henry were from the Exeter Geography New York fieldtrip. It was such a privilege to do that for 9-10 years (and so sad that we never managed that final trip in 2020). On those fieldtrips Henry was quite simply in his element – making use of his impressive knowledge of the Geography of NYC. But it was his infectious enthusiasm for the city, its culture and history that I’m sure those who were lucky enough to join him on (what was certainly HIS trip) will remember best. Of course his enthusiasm had a tendency to go off in all directions – especially in his reference to obscure 70s rock bands (much to the increasing bemusement of students) or to films watched mainly by teenage girls. It was a delight discovering all those places with Henry over the years and of course we developed our favourites - Manhattan Portage, Collet Pond, The Ellis Island ferry. But the favourite of all has to be Bennies – the Mexican student restaurant that we always seemed to take half the evening to find – famed for its frozen Margaritas. For Henry that became the sort of emblem of the fieldtrip. I’m sorry we never got to share a final Margarita, Henry, my dear friend. Thanks so so much for walking those streets of NY with me, as well as all the others. I miss you so much. Jo 

Paul Cloke

It is with a profound sadness that we share the devastating news that our dearly loved colleague Paul Cloke died unexpectedly on Wednesday 25th May 2022. Emeritus Professor at Exeter Geography, Paul joined our Department in 2005. He was an internationally respected and leading figure in geography, having recently been awarded the Royal Geographical Society’s Victoria Medal, and was an inspirational teacher, colleague, mentor, and friend at Exeter. We will miss him enormously.

Tributes and messages can be left here

If the link above does not work, please email Nicola Thomas for the weblink to enable you to share your tribute:

Every time I saw Paul, he would greet me with a smile and would stop for a chat and a catch up. He always made time to ask about work, of course, but also how I was and how things were in life. I will miss his thoughtful and considerate manner, the generosity of just a few minutes sometimes, which made a difference to how I felt and how my day then went. In this way he set a great example of how to be, a kind and generous colleague who I will remember fondly.
Rich Brazier

I was shocked and deeply saddened to learn of Paul's passing. He was a wonderful scholar and human being. I had the great honour of working with Paul when he served as External Examiner of our geography degree programmes here at Edinburgh from 2012-2015. I was the Chair of the exam board during this time, and I was so impressed and inspired by many qualities Paul brought to his role - huge integrity, astonishing attention to detail, and above all, a genuine ethic of care towards students and colleagues. He was great company too - even during stressful moments he was always calm and full of good humour. We bonded over mutual agreement that Iain Duncan-Smith's welfare reforms were utterly despicable, and needed to be resisted in the strongest possible terms! An intellectual giant of human geography, he was one of those rare individuals in academia who spent as much time mentoring and supporting others as he spent on his own research. We disagreed strongly on the importance of certain theoretical approaches to urban geography, but he would always listen closely to what I had to say with an open mind, and a willingness to debate in a caring and respectful manner. He will be greatly missed by the discipline (and well beyond it), and he leaves a shining example of how to make human geography a subject characterised by respect, care, and compassion.
Tom Slater

I was so very sad to hear this devastating news through a former fellow researcher in the 'glory days' of the School of Geography at SDUC, Lampeter.

I arrived at SDUC, Lampeter at the same time that Paul did at the start of the 1977-78 academic year, him fresh from PhD success at Wye College, and me a fresh-faced and impressionable undergraduate. Paul is responsible for provoking my interest in Rural Geography / Planning, and his options were first on my list in my second and third years. He even made the compulsory 'Statistics in Geography' course interesting, which is a testament to his teaching skills! His influence on the SDUC Geography School was immeasurable, and he contributed significantly to its prowess as a centre of excellence for the discipline during what were truly the 'golden years'!

Paul went on to become my PhD tutor, encouraging and motivating me to complete it in (just over) three years, where many others failed to do so! Indeed, non-completion was not an option to maintain his 'bragging rights' over his academic colleagues! He was an inspiration, a mentor, and not least a friend. When I finally left Lampeter after 6 years, he and Viv took my girlfriend of the time under their wings, and kept her sane during her final year. She spent many happy hours in their welcoming family home, enjoying family life with (the very young) Elizabeth and William.

I have since continued my interest in planning that Paul nurtured, first as a planning officer in Local Government, before transitioning to consultancy and a director level position with a national practice, and latterly setting up my own business. During my career I have had the opportunity to work on some exciting and prestigious projects, including leading the planning process for awarding-winning redevelopment of Princesshay in Exeter, and The Forum Project for the University.

I am indebted to Paul for setting me on the track that he did, and for the privilege of being guided by him during the early stages of his academic career which has gone on to reach such apogean heights. Although I haven't been in contact with him for some years, I feel a very great loss to learn of his untimely passing. I am truly humbled to have known him and have been under the tutelage of not only a great academic, but a top human being.

My thoughts and prayers are with Viv, Elizabeth and William at this most difficult time, and also with the academic community at the University of Exeter where his light clearly shone so brightly in the latter stages of his illustrious career.
Tom Rocke

Paul was my PhD supervisor (2006-2010) and really nurtured me through the experience. He was kind but challenging, critical yet supportive and struck a good balance between guidance and letting me go my own way (“Are you sure you want to do four case studies? Well, it’s your PhD…” For the record, he was probably right). He helped build my confidence in writing and develop my own voice in my work, something which I’d struggled with, and even after I graduated, he was always there for some encouragement and support. I’ll try to take his practice of a responsive, enthusiastic and hot-drink-fuelled supervisory relationship forward but I feel the gap that is left both personally and within the discipline. Thank you Paul, for everything.

Incredibly sad news. I only met Paul a couple of times, but he was incredibly generous, kind and present, which meant a lot, when he spoke to me as a PhD student. Mine and my family's thoughts are with Paul's friends and family.
Dr Andrew S. Maclaren

I am so sorry to hear this sad news. Paul was the first person I met on my first working day as a Geographer in 2001. He welcomed me to the Bristol Geography Department as HoD and I was a bit awestruck. Paul was so friendly and supportive, especially in Department seminars and workshops. Paul organised some memorable social events too. The wine tasting evenings were legendary, as was the annual staff-postgraduate football game, played for the ‘golden spade’. It was such a pleasure to work with Paul and to see him at conferences over the years since. He will be missed by so many people around the world.
Steve Musson

Paul came to St David’s University College, Lampeter, in 1977, and it was immediately apparent to all of us that we had appointed a geographer of outstanding ability. He rapidly established his school of rural geography, and proved an inspirational teacher, supervisor and mentor. Above all, however, he was a rock solid and reliable colleague. Paul and I enjoyed a friendly and healthy rivalry on the squash court and five-a-aside football pitch, and he was a terrific middle-order batsman and wicket keeper in our Senior Common Room Cricket Team. I have many happy memories of Paul on field trips, in seminars and, inevitably, in the pub. Although we had not been in touch for some years now, the news of his passing came as a terrible shock. He is gone far too soon, and my deepest sympathy goes to Viv and the family. It’s an old saying, but in Paul’s case it is entirely appropriate: we shall indeed never look on his like again.
Professor Mike Walker

I owe so much of my academic journey to Paul. He inspired me the very first time I saw him, when he delivered an open lecture at my undergraduate institution. The way he spoke about his research with homeless people, his methodologies and his overall approach to working on an area of geography I did not know existed at the time, ignited a passion in me. Even though he was from a different institution, he met with me several weeks later to advise me about researching homelessness for my undergraduate dissertation. His advice was golden, the project went well and I loved doing the research. So much so that I came back for more, applying for PhD funding where Paul would be my supervisor. Paul was a great supervisor: a fountain of knowledge and full of connections. He was also a great mentor, supporting me through some really tough times, and letting me cry in his office more often than I'd care to admit. I looked up to him so much, and always felt so incredibly lucky to have him on my team. Every time I read a paper or book he wrote, I feel so proud that I have had his input on my work. As I type this, I'm looking at the report I wrote for a homeless charity that he proof read for me; I see my book that he cried when reading; I can see my first publication that I sent him and I can see a messy pile of notes that will form a thesis that will cite his incredible work throughout. I'm devastated to hear of his passing and it will be a great loss to the world of Geography.

Such sad news. Paul was an outstanding academic – his contributions to human geography, and rural geography in particular, were immense and will continue to be hugely influential. Above all, he was a really kind, caring and fun person. My sincere condolences to Paul’s family, friends and colleagues at Exeter University and beyond. He will be greatly missed, and long remembered.
Damian Maye x

So saddened to hear of Paul's sudden death. Incredibly, it's just over 40 years since we last met. It was July 1981, on a rare warm sunny day at SDUC Lampeter, where I'd just graduated with a 2:1 BA Honours degree in Geography. And it was Paul's infectious and passionate love for his academic subject which played such a large part in making my three years in mid-Wales such a happy time. My abiding memory of Paul is that he always seemed to have a big smile on his face... whether he was lecturing, leading a tutorial or playing 5-a-side football. With Paul's support, I remember choosing a rural geography topic for my dissertation. He encouraged me to consider going on to do a Masters degree in Canada. But my heart was set on a broadcasting career in sports journalism instead ... and sadly, we lost touch after our paths went in separate ways. But I know from my own experience, that Paul touched the lives of thousands of students over the years. And his memory lives on. RIP
Ian Winter

Paul was a wonderful teacher, mentor and human being. He was my first year tutor in Lampete and steered me through quite a traumatic year and made me realise what a wonderful place Lampeter was for learning. After graduating, Paul gave me my first 'proper' job as a researcher despite my clear unsuitability for professional responsibility at the time. The fact that so many people from those Lampeter days have gone on to become academics, or worked in the rural studies and planning field is a testament to Paul's wonderful capacities and, as a legacy, is very hard to beat.
Shaun Fielding

Paul taught me as an undergraduate in the 90's at Bristol and encouraged me to pursue postgraduate study. His engaging teaching style and passionate enthusiasm for the discipline was foundational. I have a lot to thank him for and am so very sorry to hear of his passing.
Dr Hannah Macpherson

It is with deep sadness that I write in memory of Paul, whose death has come far too early. Paul had the most profound influence on my career and, indeed, had it not been for his mentorship, guidance and collaboration, I would not have had the academic career that I have had. Paul taught me as a student – I was one of his first undergraduates and he arrived at Lampeter like a breath of fresh air, quickly becoming one of the most popular and well-respected members of staff. I still remember very fondly his module in ‘rural geography’ in the days when around 8 students could still sit around in a seminar room discussing articles and ideas, chatting, laughing and sharing stories. It was in those classes that I realised that I wanted to continue in academic life and Paul encouraged and supported my applications for a PhD place. It was also Paul’s teaching that gave me my early interest in rural geography. Then, after my PhD it was Paul who offered me my first job as a research assistant and who helped me develop the next steps towards becoming a lecturer.

I loved working with him – he was incredibly generous in the way he included me in the project and in associated writing and it was with Paul’s help that I was able to use those experiences to develop my own interests and approaches. While he generally drove ideas and projects, he never pulled rank or made me feel as if I was the ‘junior partner’. I was really happy when I found out he was to move to Exeter in the early 2000s. We never worked on another research project (although there were a couple of unsuccessful ESRC applications!) but we did write together, supervise and teach together in more recent years and its hard to contemplate research and teaching in a world of Geography without Paul in it.

Beyond my own personal career, I am also very grateful for what Paul contributed to the discipline as a scholar. As one of the leading academics of his time, Paul truly shaped the way Geography has developed with his innovative ideas and constant quest for new and interesting ways of looking at the world. Generations of undergraduate and PhD students have benefitted massively from his input. I once questioned Paul about the shelves and shelves of PhD theses in his office – it turned out they were all written by students he had supervised and he could talk about any one of them.

As well as his academic inspiration and support, perhaps even more important to me was Paul’s kindness and sense of fun. Returning to Lampeter had its challenges for me and Paul understood and helped me though them. He was always welcoming me into his family for meals, chats, dog walks and to just hang out when I needed to. His kindness in those days and then again since was so special.

The Geography corridor in the Amory Building has seemed strangely quiet since Covid without Paul’s laughing and whistling and now even more so. I shall miss him hugely.
Jo Little

I was so very sad to hear this news. Paul was the internal examiner for my PhD. I worked as his research assistant for two years. We co-authored numerous publications together. Paul and Viv were so welcoming and supportive to Kath and I during our time in Bristol – and great company. To this day, I think he’s the only person to ever get me dancing at a ceilidh. I’ll remember Paul as he appeared in his profile photos. Never too serious or self-important. Always beaming, open, welcoming.
Nick Clarke

I’m so sorry to hear that Paul Cloke has passed away. Paul was always warm, friendly, and supportive in his interactions with others, generous with his time, and profound in the depth of his knowledge and insights into geography. I was always fascinated by his presentations and writing about religion, spirituality, postsecularism, and homelessness (to name a few), touched that he took the time to take me for coffee every year I was external examiner at Exeter, and aware of the care and attention he gave to younger scholars at PhD vivas and conferences. Paul’s intellectual insights have enriched our understanding of so many things; geography as a discipline has lost one of its most profound thinkers. More than this, we have lost a kind, warm, generous, supportive, and insightful person; we will really miss him.
Peter Hopkins

I was totally devastated to hear about Paul’s sudden and untimely death. He has been a constant source of support to me for the past 20 years, from when I was a PhD student and then new faculty member at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand – where Paul spent time as a visitor – and in my current job at the University of Edinburgh – where for several years, when our school was a much more unhappy place that it is now, Paul was our external examiner. I can honestly say that in both places, he really made things better for me and other colleagues – through a combination of saying the right thing in the right place to the right people, intervening in subtle ways to try and address the destructive side of our working lives, and giving the most amazing advice. All of it was driven by his integrity, his kindness, his insight and ability to pick up on what the problem was, and his belief in doing geography ethically. In fact, I had just communicated with him over email in the week before he died, and his brief reply came with another little nugget of wisdom, his last one to me. Thanks for everything Paul, RIP.
Julie Cupples

Paul Cloke was a exceptional geographer. Almost single-handedly in the 1980s-1990s, he brought a critical edge to rural geography/rural studies, as well as going on to undertake wonderfully insightful and committed work on geographies of homelessness and much more, while innovating with respect to matters of ethics, belief and postsecularity. He also co-authored many crucial pieces and textbooks on geographical theory and methods. Personally for me, he was instrumental in my first lecturing appointment, Lampeter, and immediately became a friend, mentor, confidant, co-researcher, co-author and, in sum, trusted back-stop whenever needed. His humour, kindness, imagination and readiness to engage were second-to-none. I owe debts to Paul on many different levels - intellectual, emotional, ethical - and I wish now that I had maybe said this more to him down the years, but I was so sure that there would always be another occasion to do so. That such an occasion is not now to be is an immeasurable sadness. Thanks for everything, Paul.
Chris Philo

I first met Paul in the mid 1970s when he was conducting his PhD at Wye College and I was an undergraduate. Our paths crossed many times in the years that followed and I had the utmost respect for the depth of his scholarship, his compassion and concern for others and how he related his deep Christian faith to his work. Always a friendly smile when I saw him on campus and time for a few words however busy he might be. A great loss to academia but much more so to the family and friends whose lives he touched so deeply.
Michael Winter

Paul was responsible for me deciding to read geography at Lampeter. He took the time to phone me, and his enthusiasm and passion just shone though. He was an inspirational teacher; approachable, kind and tolerant. What a legacy he leaves us! I hope his family will take comfort in the many lives he touched.
Simon Rowland

- I knew Paul for over 40 years, meeting him first when we were both PhD students. I watched his career blossom and saw his idea for a journal focused on rural studies develop into a highly successful major international journal. His work was inspirational and he influenced successive generations of rural scholars. His writing was incisive, innovative and always very readable - it was always a pleasure to see his latest work in print, much of which influenced both my own teaching and research. I shall miss you old friend.
Guy Robinson

Paul was a frequent visitor at the University of Canterbury, which is where I met him as a new lecturer many years ago. His most recent visit was 2020, and he left early before New Zealand went into COVID-19 lockdown. Paul always cheerily contributed to our department when he was here, teaching students, mentoring PhD students and staff, and even memorably singing a song he had learned in te reo Māori in the staff room at full volume! Paul invited me to be part of revising the Introducing Human Geographies textbook, which we have been working on with a wider team over the last two years. During that time, he has been my referee on a number of fellowships, grant applications, job applications and promotions applications. His generosity was legendary and genuine, and I greatly appreciated the way he lived out his faith in his everyday life without making it weird. He will be hugely missed by myself and my colleagues, and remembered for his kindness and cheerfulness.
Kelly Dombroski

Paul was not only a great source of inspiration for my research but also a great friend, and indeed a mentor. He not only involved me as a co-editor of the newest edition of a widely known and used textbook, but provided me with priceless suggestions about my career development. His passing is a tremendous loss to the geography community, and literally drove me into tears!
Junxi Qian

Over the years Paul was a regular visitor to the Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha University of Canterbury in Ōtautahi Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand. Through these visits I got to know Paul. Not through shared research interests, but as friends. This was partly due to our shared Christian faith, something that clearly showed itself in Paul’s character and personality. Paul was a man of great integrity, kindness and generosity. What he also had was a great sense of humour and fun. A person I enjoyed spending time with when he visited us here in Christchurch.
Simon Kingham

I am deeply saddened to hear of Paul’s passing. What a shock! I first met Paul at the University of Bristol when I started as an administrator in the Geography Office. Paul and his wife Viv were so lovely and welcoming. Having studied Geography at University I was overwhelmed to meet and work with the author of several of my course text books! Paul was unassuming, kind and always ready to listen. He was a much-respected teacher (all of the students wanted to do his modules) a great supervisor and a much-loved colleague. Then when I moved to the University of Exeter, it was lovely to find Paul’s familiar face in the Amory corridors. Thinking of Viv and all of Paul’s family and friends – my heartfelt condolences to you all. Much Love Lizzie xxx
Lizzie Hustwayte

I really saddened to hear that Professor Paul Cloke has passed away. He was an inspirational lecturer, a friend to all, and had a great sense of humour.

A memory I have is from early in my first year at Lampeter, when he went to give a Geog.soc lecture at Aberystwyth. At that point, he didn’t know I had an identical twin sister studying geography at Aberystwyth, and he was confused why ‘I’ was sitting in the audience. Plus his OHP had failed (he did love his ohp’s). My sister vividly remembers when he spoke to her and found out the truth. He came into the lecture the next day, highly amused by the incident.

I also remember when one our geography students (Stephen) died. We were all naturally very upset. I remember talking to him afterwards, and he said some very comforting words. Although I don’t recall exactly what was said, I still appreciate that conversation all these years later.

Writing this, I’m picturing my geography lectures back at Lampeter, and what happy memories they were and Paul was very much an integral part of that. Put simply, he was a Lampeter legend.
Hazel Piper

I had the pleasure and privilege of being taught by Paul as an undergraduate at St David's, Lampeter '79-82. I wish I'd paid more attention to him and others such as Mick Griffiths as I've come to realise just how progressive Paul and his Geography department peers at Lampeter were for that time.

He always was' bright eyed and bushy tailed' at lectures (not something you could say for us students!), challenging but full of fun and banter. It might sound an obvious thing to remark, but I was always in awe of just how intelligent but grounded he was.

His teaching and example led me to seeing the 'big picture' in all aspects of life which has stood me in great stead. Hopefully, my little company in its masterplaning, regeneration and transport work is doing things in a way that Paul would approve of, forward-looking , socially responsible, engaging and fun!

Thank you Dr Paul Cloke, thank you. Life wouldn't have been so rewarding and fun without you.
John Emslie

Paul was incredibly generous to me during the nine years I knew him at Exeter. He was always open with and supportive of me as a younger scholar, and taught me lots about positive PhD supervision, navigating institutional processes, asking awkward questions, querying orthodoxy, and more. He wore his brilliance lightly, and never stood on ceremony or pulled rank. He was funny, kind, and lived out his trust in people. He often talked about his family and was evidently very proud of them. I know that he admired senior scholars who didn’t abuse their power and who created opportunities for others, and he himself was a shining light in those regards. I will miss him very much, and I’ll continue to consider him an example of how to be a humane, principled, good-humoured (but grumpy when appropriate!) presence within the university. I know that I will be only one of many people who have been inspired by Paul to make every day count. I’m so sorry and sad that he didn’t get more time to do all the things he was looking forward to.
Susannah Cornwall

Paul interviewed me for a place to study Geography at St David’s University College (Lampeter) back in 1984. He brought the subject alive, made it relevant and fun but never once made me feel indebted for his decision to accept me on to the course. But I did feel indebted - my academic profile was not compelling at first sight but Paul took what I hope was an insightful gamble and allowed me to become a graduate, the first in my family. I am proud to have shared a lecture theatre with Paul, he was the ‘rock star geographer’ of his day with his ideas shared at A level; he did it all with seamless ease . He was a gentle egalitarian man whose sharp sense of humour never reduced anyone in terms of stature - he always built students up despite our many inadequacies. I have often thought of Paul in the intervening years and regret not having thanked him for granting me that place in Lampeter - I am the person I am today because of that vote of trust. With condolences to his friends and family.
Séan PF Harris

Paul Cloke was one of my lecturers when I was at Lampeter SDUC 1981-84. He was an inspirational and enthusiastic teacher and helped to cement my love of geography. I still have some of his books on rural planning. I am so very sad to hear this news and would like to pass on my sincere condolences to all his family and friends.
Fiona Freeman (née Maynard)

I have just learned of the news of Paul's passing. It is a shock. Paul was my associate supervisor for my PhD at the University of Bristol and he was an important influence on my life (as I know he was to many other people). He is an important figure in geography and in rural studies more generally, but above all he was somebody who acted with integrity and helped others. Greatly missed.
Phil McManus

I met Paul once, only briefly, but he made a deep and abiding impression. I was a little nervous in the circumstances, but Paul was so disarming, warm and fizzing with energy that I immediately felt at ease with him (since then I have been told that my impressions were far from unique). I regret that our paths didn't cross again and his passing is such a tremendous loss. An outstanding geographer and a lovely man, my thoughts are with his family, colleagues and friends at this time.
David Nally

Paul taught me during my first year as an undergraduate, but even before that had an unknown influence on what would go on to be a life in geography. My A-level teacher had a PhD in Rural Geography, and was always singing the praises of his work, and this inspired me to apply to Lampeter in the early 90s. Always encouraging, and open to undergraduates ideas, Paul in no small measure set this ethos for all the staff in that small but vibrant department, something I have tried to take with me as lecturer. He will be greatly missed.
Lloyd Jenkins

I was very sad to hear of Paul's passing. My first academic job was covering his teaching while he was conducting research in New Zealand, so In a way I owe that opportunity to him. He was away while I was working at Bristol, but I saw him a fair bit over the years and he was always helpful, supportive and - dare I say this - refreshingly normal for such an accomplished academic. He always seemed entirely enthusiastic about both his work and the rest of his life, and when I think of him now it's that big grin that stays with me. Thinking of all of his family, colleagues and friends who knew him so much better than I did and will be missing him terribly.
James Kneale

Paul Cloke has been a part of my journey through human geography since the outset. As an undergraduate, his writing opened my eyes to new ways of thinking about and doing geography. When a PhD student, he provided inspiration for early work in animal geographies; as a researcher, he involved me in conversations about the intersection of ethics and art collaborations; and as a departmental colleague he enlivened discussions around work on participation and responsibility. It is wonderful that Paul’s work will continue as part of the intellectual landscape in which I am and others working, but so sad and strange not to have his energy and enthusiasm joining us in these explorations. We were very lucky that he chose geography as his field, and he will be hugely missed by those who continue to work within it. My deepest sympathies to his family and friends as they navigate this most difficult time.
Gail Davies

I first met Paul when I enrolled to the MSc. in Society and Space in Bristol in 1994. As new students we went on a tour of the area around the department whereupon Paul approached me and said, ‘I believe you liked to be called Bon’. I’ve had that nickname since a child and was thinking of dropping it when I moved to Bristol. However, Paul’s grin whilst saying this made me stick with it - I never knew how he found out. This was my first interaction with Paul, and it cemented our friendship and of course, our professional relationship.

I worked with Paul over the ensuing years in many ways, principally in the geography of religion. He was kind enough ask me to contribute chapters to different collections he was editing, and in more recent times I examined several his PhD students. He was also my internal examiner for my PhD thesis.

Paul was a formidable thinker: I remember many conversations with him about the intersections between theology and geography where I felt I was barely holding my own. His passion for the topic and his desire for social justice, driven my his faith, was unparalleled in my experience of academia. He is a regular contributor by proxy in my lectures on the rural idyll and other topics, and I always urge my students to read his work. When I next quote him I will look heavenwards.

More importantly than his academic credentials was Paul the person – extremely kind, generous, and genuinely funny. He was always a delight to bump into at a conference and we often shared a laugh about the ‘industry’ we work in. Paul was one of the rare breed of academics who could turn it off when a pint was in front of him - and I remember many a pint with him in Bristol and elsewhere.

His generosity was exemplified on one of the last occasions I saw him: after being an external examiner for Paul in Exeter he gave me a lift back to the airport. He told me about his lovely home and the views he enjoyed from the house. We talked about music (my obsession), and I told him of my budding ‘new’ career as a studio engineer. I offered to record him and told him to bring his guitar up to Manchester and we’d have a session. He seemed genuinely interested. I’m gutted this will never happen.

I’ve never found the urge to write anything about another geographer passing. This is how much Paul meant to me. I was utterly devastated to hear the news and will remain so for some time. I can only hope that his close friends and family can find comfort in how highly he was regarded by all those that worked with him and got to know him. He was an incredible person.
Julian (Bon) Holloway

Paul was such a great colleague, mentor and friend. I learnt so much from being with Paul and he gave me such valuable advice. Most of all I remember his joyful laughter brightening up the corridors. He will be sorely missed.
Nick Gill

Paul was my PhD supervisor from 2012-2016, we worked together and remained in touch until his untimely passing. From our first encounter – some time before commencing my PhD – my experience of him was as a surprisingly open and caring presence. His disregard for unnecessary propriety or pretence in favour of meeting people’s needs and forming heartfelt solidarities made him a comforting yet inspirational mentor and friend.

We have lost a great creator and encourager; someone who was able to envisage, fight for, and make-real a better world for those they loved both directly and indirectly. It is tempting to talk about how exceptional Paul was. And yet, I think if he was able to edit the tributes to him somehow, he would discourage us from this, and in a way, it would be another thing he got right. If there was anything exceptional about Paul, it was his ability not to have his vision clouded by his own formidable abilities, instead seeking always to develop a harmony and amplification of-and-with the best qualities of those around him. There are so many qualities and memories of Paul that we all must cherish. But his joyful humility in the service of beauty and justice is probably the one he would have us remember most vibrantly and emulate in his honour.
Callum Sutherland

Paul was the best kind of intellectual, teacher and no doubt colleague and friend. He was an external reviewer of our Dept when I began in Galway 20 years ago - he was so attentive, thoughtful and wonderfully supportive. It was an early and important signalling for me as a young lecturer of how to be kind in academia, whilst being critical and incisive in a productive manner. Paul was a gentle and brilliant man. My heartfelt condolences to his family and all his colleagues in my alma mater at Exeter. John
John Morrissey

Top guy, never forgotten him from my time at SDUC Lampeter 1989-92. I broadcast a quote of his to an online audience of 200+ UK Local Authorities only 6 months ago... A great loss.
John Mather

I am so so sorry about Paul's untimely death. I have known him and his work for more than twenty years and he has made a massive contribution to the development of Geography in the UK (and globally). For this, he is rightly celebrated.
I think we should also pay tribute to him for being so open and passionate about the things he believed. We bonded over a recognition of the power of faith and congregation; few academics are part of that world and even fewer are willing and able to talk or write about it in public. I loved that Paul reflected his personal experience in the academic work and teaching that he did.
I am very sad that we didn't get to work together even though I joined the same university and department in 2017 - the geographical and organisational distance really does get in the way of collaboration - and we should have worked harder to overcome that distance. Crossing the Tamar shouldn't have been so hard.
Sending my condolences to Viv and all the family and all Paul's friends and colleagues. I know that Paul will rest in peace after a life very well lived and loved.
Jane Wills

I only met Paul once, in the early stages of my doctoral research back in 2018 - I was struggling to identify my research focus - so after emailing Paul - he kindly agreed to see me at his office in Exeter University - in spite of his hectic schedule. Our conversation gave me clarity and direction - apart from a lovely few hours with someone with a kindred spirit for mission. I am about to submit my thesis and then await my viva - I am grateful to Paul for his early input and wisdom -I refer to some of his work in my thesis. I will be uplifitng his family in the coming days and weeks - the Lord is near.
Keith Foster

I was a geography student at Lampeter (University of Wales) from 1976 -79 and during the 1977-78 academic year, I was chair of the Geography Society. The Society hosted visiting lecturers, speaking about their passions and inspiring a younger generation.

I first met Paul sometime in 1977 or 1978, when he spoke to the Society – this was before Paul started as a lecturer at Lampeter. I cannot remember the title of the lecture, but it contained the word ‘panacea’ and I guess its theme was rural geography. I had not heard the word ‘panacea’ before, so it was a new word, for me to over use for the next ten years.

Paul joined the teaching staff and taught an optional course in Rural geography – an option I opted for. I found Paul to be an excellent teacher, a great communicator, who was approachable and supportive. These qualities and Paul’s passion for his subject made him inspirational.

Looking back, with the benefit of age, Paul’s early months at Lampeter must have been a stretch – having just completed his Doctorate, moving from London to a small rural community, ‘cheek by jowl’ with students not much older than himself and with a young wife – Viv. For those unfamiliar with Lampeter, I will put small into perspective – Census 1971 showed a population of 2,197, and in 1991, a mere 1,989.

I only knew Paul for a short-time, a long-time ago – and Viv who typed my essays and dissertation – but I was saddened to hear of his sudden passing, so young. It is difficult to conceive how Viv, family, close friends and colleagues must be feeling – I share this memory as an insight into the start of Paul’s illustrious career and offer my condolences to Viv and all those close to Paul.
Martin Laux

I am so sorry to hear of Paul's passing. As my undergraduate tutor, PhD supervisor, colleague and friend, Paul had been there throughout my academic career. Paul not only inspired and encouraged my interest in rural geography, but created the field of critical, socio-cultural rural geography that allowed me and so many others to follow. More than that, Paul was a role model for what an academic should be: inquisitive, rigorous and innovative, yes, but also generous, caring, compassionate, principled and above all driven to make the world a better place. I have so many memories, but the constant is his broad smile and cheery laugh. I will miss them, but the legacy of his work and the imprints of his faith live on.
Michael Woods

Paul was a huge influence on my life – both as a human being and an academic colleague. As a relative latecomer into academia (early 40s) as well as working on a Ph.D. that seemed relatively obscure (Religion and New Towns) I gravitated towards Paul’s work as it was at the time (early 2000s) blazing a trail in attempting to get human and critical geography to take religious materialities and imaginaries seriously. His interdisciplinarity around the topic was both breath-taking and a little bit daunting: theology, philosophy, sociology and religious studies, alongside his impeccable research into rural geographies and latterly geographies of poverty and marginalisation, as well as geographies of trauma and resilience. He was often fearless in taking on established nostrums.

He was always generous in his praise, time and constructive criticism and mentored me into being a more confident and experimental researcher in the field. It was a privilege to work on one or two research bids with Paul, as well as co-write with him (and Andy Williams and Calum Sutherland) Geographies of Postsecularity : Re-envisioning Politics, Subjectivity and Ethics (Routledge 2019). The first two chapters of that book are a fitting tribute to the extraordinary depth, richness and originality of his later work.

There was so much more to come, which his why his sudden passing feels so cruel and sad in so many ways. But I, and I know countless others, are so grateful for the legacy of his thought, writing and relationship which far outweigh what most of us will ever be able to accomplish in our own lives. Thank you Paul, so much.
Professor Chris Baker

Paul was my undergraduate tutor, dissertation supervisor and PhD supervisor (University of Bristol 1995-2004). Paul changed my life, and believed in me more than I believe in myself.

Paul was/is a role model... always working to create inclusive, collegiate, caring, supportive, fun spaces in historically hierarchical/exclusionary/elitist institutions. I was a shy, anxious student - first in my family to go to university - and Paul was down-to-earth, mega-supportive, and made me feel like I belonged. I have so many happy memories of our times together. When I think of supervision meetings with Paul I remember lots of laughter, plus Paul's unconditional support and massive enthusiasm. I will always be so grateful for Paul's mentorship, although I'm not sure I ever really told him so.

25 years on, I often find myself repeating Paul's words of wisdom with my own PhD students... "you've got to start from where you are", "scratch where you itch", "walk the talk"!... Wise words... Indeed, words to live by.
John Horton

It is hard to think we will not share another belly laugh, knowing glance or mischievous smile with Paul - his face and eyes were always so expressive. I worked on the same corridor as Paul for many years, and exchanged many everyday conversations and deeper dialogues as life threw us both some more complex curveballs. I supervised a few PhD students with Paul. He took such pride in his students, their work, and achievements. He had a very strong idea of how he best supervised a PhD and clear expectations of the rhythms of activity over the course of the degree. The routines of going for coffee, discussing work, and checking in. These were often productive rhythms, enabling close connection and encouragement of the work in hand. He really loved learning about the fieldwork findings and the critical interpretation of ideas. There was great companionship. He threaded through his own prodigious knowledge and encouraged new directions of thinking at every turn. I learnt a great deal observing and talking with Paul and will always be grateful to him for the mentoring he gave me, and the insights afforded because of this. I will miss him.

My deepest condolences to all Paul’s family. I have walked a parallel pathway losing a parent in their early retirement, such a loss when there was so much promise and joy to come in the years ahead. It is so very unfair we have had Paul taken from us in Geography too soon, but your family loss is immeasurable. I know so much of his scholarship was enabled because of the care and time he was given by you as his family. Those many books and hours of writing and reading were achieved because of the time and space you gave him. This was always clear to me. He always passed on through his conversations his deep love and pride of you all. I am so sorry you must endure the pain of his loss, it is such a hard price to pay for the love you shared.
Nicola Thomas

I came to know Paul initially as a very caring boss, then an inspiring co-author and above all as a very dear friend, who always had wise words of encouragement and advice, as well as infectious smile, sense of fun and concern for others. I will miss him more than words can express, but also so many great memories. Thoughts are with Viv, Liz, Will and the rest of Paul's loving family, plus many friends.
Martin Phillips

Paul was a hugely inspiring, friendly academic and whilst I didn’t work closely with Paul, he was supportive to me whilst I was completing my PhD at Exeter (2009-2013). He showed interest in my topic and took time to speak to me and provide encouragement early on in the process.

As a new lecturer I have used, and will continue to use, a range of Paul’s impressive and accessible writings throughout my teaching. Students find them a vital source of information. This was notably demonstrated on marking dissertations recently. So many students cited Paul’s work across a range of his academic interests, from research methods to his important work on Food Banks. He enacted his values in his research which is something I aspire to as well. We will miss Paul so much.
Rebecca Sandover

I was privileged to work closely with Paul for over 30 years, and he was the most wonderful friend and colleague that anyone could ever hope to have.  Across that time we wrote six books together (a seventh is on the way), we carried out research projects together, we taught together and wrote articles and chapters together – and all the time I was learning so much from Paul, and he was being so generous in what he gave me.  He was a constant mentor, an unfailing inspiration, and a guide, not just to being an academic Geographer, but to being a kind and generous human being.  He was a role model in so many ways, and it is impossible to describe how much I owe him, and how much I will miss him.  I arrived at Lampeter in 1989, and Paul and Viv were so kind and welcoming.  They did so much to help me and countless others feel at home in west Wales, and their generosity in welcoming us into their home for meals and cups of tea was typical of the kindness they showed so often.  Paul’s infectious laughter echoed down the corridors at work, and his smile was always there, even on the most difficult of days. When Paul left Lampeter we carried on writing together, albeit at a distance, and I was overjoyed when he joined the Geography Department in Exeter a couple of years after I arrived, and he and Viv were able to move to their beautiful house overlooking the river in south Devon.  He of course was the same as ever, with that brilliant mind and wonderful personality.  His influence on the discipline of Geography has been immense, giving a critical edge to rural Geography and driving forward work on poverty, on homelessness, on ethics, on food banks and on voluntary and faith-based organisations.  The academic recognitions he received – Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and the recent Victoria medal from the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) – tell you something about his intellectual standing amongst his peers.  But they don’t tell you about his humanity and his kindness and his generosity to others, both at work and in the numerous causes he contributed to outside work.  He was a rare spirit and one that I feel blessed to have known.  My thoughts and condolences are with Viv, Liz, Will and family.
Mark Goodwin

It has taken me a while to write. The last month has been utterly heart-breaking. Over the years Paul, you have been one of my closest friends. A constant. You’ve seen me at my best and at my worst. A gentle presence who I knew always had my back. 

When we first went for a coffee in Bristol Museum back in 2005, I didn’t realise I would end up working with you and do so for so long. You recommended reading some radical and left-wing theology (Ched Myers, Brian McLaren) that sparked so much creativity and wholeness rather than theological/political division that I experienced at the time. I doubt I would have stayed in academia if it wasn’t for your mentorship and counsel. Working together made ‘all this academic lark’ fun. And purposeful. You brought contagious joy, a passionate sense of what is just, fair and good, and most of all, a heart full of love. 

Between tears I read something we wrote together today. Each sentence a precious memory - of laughter and zoom giggles, of scrap notes and coffees, of guitar jams and deep chats, of being known. Thank you for being such a cherished friend and inspiring me in things that matter. I have been singing along to your version of ‘Dust’ by Runrig especially that amended refrain ‘Oh I do believe, justice will follow love’s embrace’. You sang that in everything you did, and I know you are still singing.
Andy Williams

I was a colleague of Paul’s during his time at Lampeter, and have been shocked and very saddened to hear of his recent passing. He was universally popular with staff and students alike, and an active member of the department: always good-humoured; fair-minded and affable. He had a real ‘presence’ and zest for life, actively giving of his all, socially as well as to the work of the department itself. He made a very deep impact on all whom he met and worked with, and especially with Lampeter students, several of whom he inspired to take up work and post-graduate study in his field, a field which he really made his own, rural geography. As someone whose geographical interests were on the physical side of our subject, Paul introduced me to a part of human geography that I had previously never encountered. What is more, he managed to interest me in this branch of the discipline; he reached parts of my geographical psyche I never knew existed! 

As well as all this he was a friend to all. I shall always remember his laughter. Sadly, I am unable to attend his memorial service on 2nd July. The will is there, but arthritis has taken its toll and prevents me from driving the long distance from Oxfordshire; a pity, because I really approve of the dress code! Fran and I wish to pass on our deepest condolences to Viv, Liz and Will.
RIP Paul.
Graham Sumner

Clive Barnett

We are extremely sad to report that Clive Barnett, Professor of Geography and Social Theory, suddenly and unexpectedly died on 24 December 2021. Clive worked at the University since 2013 and will be greatly missed by our community. We send our condolences to his family and loved ones. A selection of tributes and messages can be found on this thread on the ExeterGeography twitter page.