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Dr Jonathan Prior

Dr Jonathan Prior

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography

+44 (0)29 2087 4600
Room 1.79, Glamorgan Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WA


I am a human geographer with a broad research interest in nature-society relations. My work is interdisciplinary in approach, spanning environmental philosophy, sound studies, and landscape research. My current research interests include:

  • The geographies of environmental and wildlife sound archives, with a focus on The World Soundscape Project (Canada), and European wildlife sound archives
  • Environmental values of landscape conservation, restoration, and rewilding strategies, in particular the aesthetics and ethics of ecological restoration
  • Phonographic methods in the social sciences, including field recording, listening walks, and sound mapping



  • Fellow of The Higher Education Academy, 2016
  • PhD Human Geography, University of Edinburgh, 2012
  • MScR Human Geography, University of Edinburgh, 2007
  • MA (distinction) Environment, Development and Policy, University of Sussex, Brighton, 2005
  • BSc (hons.) Biological Sciences, University of Exeter, 2004


  • Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University (2021 - present)
  • Lecturer in Human Geography, School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University (2014 - 2021)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh (2013 - 2014)
  • Human Geography Teaching Fellow, Institute of Geography, School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh (2012 - 2013)

Honours and awards

  • Winner of the Landscape Research Group Doctoral Student Award, 2012 (Thesis: The roles of aesthetic value in ecological restoration: Cases from the United Kingdom)










Research interests

My primary focus is studying the relationship between environmental values and the production of environmental policies, as a means to understand what motivates and underpins different ways of conceptualising the more-than-human world (animals, plants, ecological processes) when humans seek to implement conservation, ecological restoration, or environmental management strategies. In particular, I am interested in the role of environmental aesthetic values in policy making.

My second area of research focuses on the intersections between sound and geography. Here, I am working on ways in which geographers can better attend to the sonic components of environments. As part of this, I am developing phonographic methods (listening, soundwalking, audio recording) for geographical and broader social science and arts research. My sound projects can be accessed online.



I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

- Environmental conservation, ecological restoration, and rewilding policy, from a social scientific/humanities perspective

- Environmental aesthetics and ethics

- Sonic geography

Current supervision

Mehrnoosh Mansoorgarakani

Research student