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Dr Sarah Bell

Dr Sarah Bell

Research Fellow

Knowledge Spa 

Dr Sarah Bell is a Research Fellow whose research focuses on the complex intersections between human health, wellbeing and the interlinked physical, social and cultural environments encountered through the life course. Sarah’s work is underpinned by a passion for qualitative methodological development, designing sensitive approaches that promote critical awareness of alternative ways of embodying, experiencing and interpreting diverse everyday geographies.


Sarah joined the European Centre in January 2012, where she developed a novel geo-narrative research approach to understand and situate people’s ‘green’ and ‘blue’ space encounters in the context of their everyday and whole lives. This combined GPS and accelerometer data with in-depth narrative and mobile go along interviews to explore the dynamic ways in which people seek out and experience such settings to foster a sense of health and wellbeing (or otherwise) over time.

 
During the PhD, Sarah developed a particular interest in the varied ways in which people come to embody such nature-based settings with the onset and progression of sensory impairment. She was able to explore this further in a post-doctoral project, using in-depth narrative interviews to examine the mental health impacts of life with Ménière’s disease; a long-term progressive vestibular disorder, defined by episodes of severe and debilitating vertigo, aural fullness, tinnitus and sensorineural hearing loss. This work reiterated the importance of designing qualitative research methods that are carefully tailored to people’s everyday lives and sensory abilities.


Building on this, Sarah has successfully applied for funding through the Economic and Social Research Council’s Future Research Leaders scheme to explore the role of diverse nature-based settings in the sensory, affective and emotional geographies of visual impairment through the life course (including individuals born with and those acquiring visual impairments later in life). In examining these aspects of experience, and establishing a collaborative stakeholder network (e.g. with landscape architects, planners, land-owning and recreational organisations, and visual impairment support and advocacy groups), it is hoped this research will promote more socially inclusive opportunities for both pleasurable immersion and adventure across a range of nature-based settings.

Qualifications

  • 2015 PhD (University of Exeter Medical School)
  • 2007 MSc Practising Sustainable Development (Royal Holloway, University of London)
  • 2006 BA Biological Sciences (Oxford University)

Research

Research interests

Sarah’s main research interests include:

  • The role of nature-based settings as therapeutic landscapes through the life course;
  • The emotional geographies of sensory impairment;
  • Engaging citizens and communities in their local natural environments;
  • Evaluating the impact of research on policy.

Research networks

Royal Geographical Society Geographies of Health and Wellbeing Research Group (https://ghrg.wordpress.com/)

The Landscape, Gardens and Health Forum (http://www.lghn.org.uk/latest-news--updates)

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Key publications


Bell SL, Tyrrell J, Phoenix C (2017). A day in the life of a Ménière's patient: understanding the lived experiences and mental health impacts of Ménière's disease. Sociol Health Illn, 39(5), 680-695. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Bell SL, Tyrrell J, Phoenix C (2016). Ménière’s disease and biographical disruption: where family transitions collide. Social Science and Medicine Full text.
Bell SL (2016). The role of fluctuating soundscapes in shaping the emotional geographies of individuals living with Ménière’s disease. Social and Cultural Geography Full text.
Bell SL, Wheeler BW, Phoenix C (2016). Using geo-narratives to explore the diverse temporalities of therapeutic landscapes: perspectives from ‘green’ and ‘blue’ settings. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 107, 93-108. Full text.
Bell SL, Phoenix C, Lovell R, Wheeler BW (2015). Seeking everyday wellbeing: the coast as a therapeutic landscape. Social Science and Medicine, 142, 56-67. Abstract.  Full text.
Bell SL, Phoenix C, Lovell R, Wheeler BW (2015). Using GPS and geo-narratives: a methodological approach for understanding and situating everyday green space encounters. Area, 47(1), 88-96. Abstract.

Publications by category


Journal articles

Bell SL, Tyrrell J, Phoenix C (2017). A day in the life of a Ménière's patient: understanding the lived experiences and mental health impacts of Ménière's disease. Sociol Health Illn, 39(5), 680-695. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Bell SL, Westley M, Lovell R, Wheeler BW (2017). Everyday green space and experienced wellbeing: the significance of wildlife encounters. Landscape Research Full text.
Cleary A, Fielding KS, Bell SL, Murray Z, Roiko A (2016). Exploring potential mechanisms involved in the relationship between eudaimonic wellbeing and nature connection. Landscape and Urban Planning, 158, 119-128. Full text.
Bell SL, Tyrrell J, Phoenix C (2016). Ménière’s disease and biographical disruption: where family transitions collide. Social Science and Medicine Full text.
Bell SL (2016). The role of fluctuating soundscapes in shaping the emotional geographies of individuals living with Ménière’s disease. Social and Cultural Geography Full text.
Bell SL, Wheeler BW, Phoenix C (2016). Using geo-narratives to explore the diverse temporalities of therapeutic landscapes: perspectives from ‘green’ and ‘blue’ settings. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 107, 93-108. Full text.
Bell SL, Phoenix C, Lovell R, Wheeler BW (2015). Seeking everyday wellbeing: the coast as a therapeutic landscape. Social Science and Medicine, 142, 56-67. Abstract.  Full text.
Bell SL, Phoenix C, Lovell R, Wheeler BW (2015). Using GPS and geo-narratives: a methodological approach for understanding and situating everyday green space encounters. Area, 47(1), 88-96. Abstract.
Bell SL, Phoenix C, Lovell R, Wheeler BW (2014). Green space, health and wellbeing: making space for individual agency. Health and Place, 30, 287-292. Abstract.
Bell S, Shaw B, Boaz A (2011). Real-world approaches to assessing the impact of environmental research on policy. Research Evaluation, 20(3), 227-237. Abstract.
Ekins P, Kleinman H, Bell S, Venn A (2010). Two unannounced environmental tax reforms in the UK: the fuel duty escalator and income tax in the 1990s. Ecological Economics, 69(7), 1561-1568.

Chapters

White MP, Bell S, Jenkin R, Wheeler B, Depledge M (2016). The benefits of blue exercise. In Barton J, Bragg R, Wood C, Pretty J (Eds.) Green Exercise: Linking Nature, Health and Well-Being, Routledge.
Bell SL, Wheeler BW (2015). Local Environments and Activity in Later Life: Meaningful Experiences in Green and Blue Spaces. In Tulle E, Phoenix C (Eds.) Physical Activity and Sport in Later Life: Critical Perspectives, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Publications by year


2017

Bell SL, Tyrrell J, Phoenix C (2017). A day in the life of a Ménière's patient: understanding the lived experiences and mental health impacts of Ménière's disease. Sociol Health Illn, 39(5), 680-695. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Bell SL, Westley M, Lovell R, Wheeler BW (2017). Everyday green space and experienced wellbeing: the significance of wildlife encounters. Landscape Research Full text.

2016

Cleary A, Fielding KS, Bell SL, Murray Z, Roiko A (2016). Exploring potential mechanisms involved in the relationship between eudaimonic wellbeing and nature connection. Landscape and Urban Planning, 158, 119-128. Full text.
Bell SL, Tyrrell J, Phoenix C (2016). Ménière’s disease and biographical disruption: where family transitions collide. Social Science and Medicine Full text.
White MP, Bell S, Jenkin R, Wheeler B, Depledge M (2016). The benefits of blue exercise. In Barton J, Bragg R, Wood C, Pretty J (Eds.) Green Exercise: Linking Nature, Health and Well-Being, Routledge.
Bell SL (2016). The role of fluctuating soundscapes in shaping the emotional geographies of individuals living with Ménière’s disease. Social and Cultural Geography Full text.
Bell SL, Wheeler BW, Phoenix C (2016). Using geo-narratives to explore the diverse temporalities of therapeutic landscapes: perspectives from ‘green’ and ‘blue’ settings. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 107, 93-108. Full text.

2015

Bell SL, Wheeler BW (2015). Local Environments and Activity in Later Life: Meaningful Experiences in Green and Blue Spaces. In Tulle E, Phoenix C (Eds.) Physical Activity and Sport in Later Life: Critical Perspectives, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Bell SL, Phoenix C, Lovell R, Wheeler BW (2015). Seeking everyday wellbeing: the coast as a therapeutic landscape. Social Science and Medicine, 142, 56-67. Abstract.  Full text.
Bell SL, Phoenix C, Lovell R, Wheeler BW (2015). Using GPS and geo-narratives: a methodological approach for understanding and situating everyday green space encounters. Area, 47(1), 88-96. Abstract.

2014

Bell SL, Phoenix C, Lovell R, Wheeler BW (2014). Green space, health and wellbeing: making space for individual agency. Health and Place, 30, 287-292. Abstract.

2011

Bell S, Shaw B, Boaz A (2011). Real-world approaches to assessing the impact of environmental research on policy. Research Evaluation, 20(3), 227-237. Abstract.

2010

Ekins P, Kleinman H, Bell S, Venn A (2010). Two unannounced environmental tax reforms in the UK: the fuel duty escalator and income tax in the 1990s. Ecological Economics, 69(7), 1561-1568.

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