COLLEGE OF MEDICINE AND HEALTH
Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions

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Dr Sarah Bell

Dr Sarah Bell

Lecturer

 01872 258156

 Knowledge Spa 

 

University of Exeter Medical School, Knowledge Spa, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, TR1 3HD

Overview

Dr Sarah Bell is a Lecturer in Health Geography, whose research focuses on the 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, and how such settings could be managed and interpreted in more socially inclusive ways. 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 secured 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), this research aimed to promote more inclusive, multisensory opportunities to experience a sense of wellbeing with nature. Visit www.sensing-nature.com for more details.

Sarah is now building on this work through a new AHRC-funded network grant, designed to encourage more socially inclusive landscape decision-making to support health and wellbeing amongst diverse individuals and groups: "Unlocking Landscapes: History, Culture and Sensory Diversity in Landscape Use and Decision Making". 

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 group links

Research

Research interests

Sarah’s main research interests include:

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

Research projects

  • 2020 - 2022: "Unlocking Landscapes: History, Culture and Sensory Diversity in Landscape Use and Decision Making", AHRC-funded Research Networking Highlight Notice Award, Co-I. 
  • 2019-2020: "Living Well With Weather", Wellcome Trust Small Grant in Humanities and Social Sciences, Co-I
  • 2018: "Nature Narratives: Vocalising Nature Sense", ESRC IAA Funded Project Co-Creation Award, PI
  • 2017: "Nature Sense", ESRC IAA Funded Impact Cultivation Award, PI
  • 2016-2018: "Sensing Nature", ESRC Future Research Leaders Fellowship, PI - www.sensing-nature.com.

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)

Publications

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Key publications


Bell SL (2019). Experiencing nature with sight impairment: seeking freedom from ableism. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, 2, 304-322. Full text.
Bell SL, Leyshon C, Phoenix C (2019). Negotiating nature’s weather worlds in the context of life with sight impairment. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers Full text.
Bell S (2019). Nurturing sociality with birdlife in the context of life with sight impairment: a role for nonhuman charisma. Social and Cultural Geography Full text.
Phoenix C, Bell SL (2018). Beyond “Move More”: Feeling the Rhythms of physical activity in mid and later-life. Social Science and Medicine Full text.
Bell SL, Leyshon C, Foley R, Kearns R (2018). The "healthy dose" of nature: a cautionary tale. Geography Compass Full text.
Bell SL, Foley R, Houghton F, Maddrell A, Williams A (2017). From therapeutic landscapes to healthy spaces, places and practices: a scoping review. Social Science and Medicine, 196, 123-130. Full text.

Publications by category


Journal articles

Bell SL (2019). Experiencing nature with sight impairment: seeking freedom from ableism. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, 2, 304-322. Full text.
Bell SL, Leyshon C, Phoenix C (2019). Negotiating nature’s weather worlds in the context of life with sight impairment. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers Full text.
Bell S (2019). Nurturing sociality with birdlife in the context of life with sight impairment: a role for nonhuman charisma. Social and Cultural Geography Full text.
Bell SL, Tabe T, Bell S (2019). Seeking a disability lens within climate change migration discourses, policies and practices. Disability and Society Full text.
Power A, Bell SL, Kyle RG, Andrews GJ (2019). ‘Hopeful adaptation’ in health geographies: Seeking health and wellbeing in times of adversity. Social Science and Medicine, 231, 1-5. Abstract.  Full text.
Phoenix C, Bell SL (2018). Beyond “Move More”: Feeling the Rhythms of physical activity in mid and later-life. Social Science and Medicine Full text.
Bell SL, Leyshon C, Foley R, Kearns R (2018). The "healthy dose" of nature: a cautionary tale. Geography Compass Full text.
Boyd F, White MP, Bell SL, Burt J (2018). Who doesn't visit natural environments for recreation and why: a population representative analysis of spatial, individual and temporal factors among adults in England. Landscape and Urban Planning, 175, 102-113. Abstract.  Full text.
Bell SL (2017). Emotional Soundscapes of Life with Ménière's Disease. Hearing Journal, 70(3), 54-55.
Bell SL, Westley M, Lovell R, Wheeler BW (2017). Everyday green space and experienced wellbeing: the significance of wildlife encounters. Landscape Research Full text.
Bell SL, Foley R, Houghton F, Maddrell A, Williams A (2017). From therapeutic landscapes to healthy spaces, places and practices: a scoping review. Social Science and Medicine, 196, 123-130. Full text.
Bell SL, Tyrrell J, Phoenix C (2016). A day in the life of a Ménière’s patient: understanding the lived experiences and mental health impacts of Ménière’s disease. Sociology of Health and Illness 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 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

Bell SL, Hollenbeck J, Lovell R, White M, Depledge M (2019). The shadows of risk and inequality within salutogenic coastal waters. In Foley R, Kearns R, Kistemann T, Wheeler B (Eds.) Hydrophilia Unbounded: Blue Space, Health and Place, Routledge Taylor and Francis. 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, 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.

Conferences

Bell S, Phoenix C (2018). Nature' as an affordable 'activity space'? the importance of attending to embodied space-time-income constraints.  Author URL.

Publications by year


2019

Bell SL (2019). Experiencing nature with sight impairment: seeking freedom from ableism. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, 2, 304-322. Full text.
Bell SL, Leyshon C, Phoenix C (2019). Negotiating nature’s weather worlds in the context of life with sight impairment. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers Full text.
Bell S (2019). Nurturing sociality with birdlife in the context of life with sight impairment: a role for nonhuman charisma. Social and Cultural Geography Full text.
Bell SL, Tabe T, Bell S (2019). Seeking a disability lens within climate change migration discourses, policies and practices. Disability and Society Full text.
Bell SL, Hollenbeck J, Lovell R, White M, Depledge M (2019). The shadows of risk and inequality within salutogenic coastal waters. In Foley R, Kearns R, Kistemann T, Wheeler B (Eds.) Hydrophilia Unbounded: Blue Space, Health and Place, Routledge Taylor and Francis. Full text.
Power A, Bell SL, Kyle RG, Andrews GJ (2019). ‘Hopeful adaptation’ in health geographies: Seeking health and wellbeing in times of adversity. Social Science and Medicine, 231, 1-5. Abstract.  Full text.

2018

Phoenix C, Bell SL (2018). Beyond “Move More”: Feeling the Rhythms of physical activity in mid and later-life. Social Science and Medicine Full text.
Bell S, Phoenix C (2018). Nature' as an affordable 'activity space'? the importance of attending to embodied space-time-income constraints.  Author URL.
Bell SL, Leyshon C, Foley R, Kearns R (2018). The "healthy dose" of nature: a cautionary tale. Geography Compass Full text.
Boyd F, White MP, Bell SL, Burt J (2018). Who doesn't visit natural environments for recreation and why: a population representative analysis of spatial, individual and temporal factors among adults in England. Landscape and Urban Planning, 175, 102-113. Abstract.  Full text.

2017

Bell SL (2017). Emotional Soundscapes of Life with Ménière's Disease. Hearing Journal, 70(3), 54-55.
Bell SL, Westley M, Lovell R, Wheeler BW (2017). Everyday green space and experienced wellbeing: the significance of wildlife encounters. Landscape Research Full text.
Bell SL, Foley R, Houghton F, Maddrell A, Williams A (2017). From therapeutic landscapes to healthy spaces, places and practices: a scoping review. Social Science and Medicine, 196, 123-130. Full text.

2016

Bell SL, Tyrrell J, Phoenix C (2016). A day in the life of a Ménière’s patient: understanding the lived experiences and mental health impacts of Ménière’s disease. Sociology of Health and Illness 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.
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 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.

Sarah_Bell Details from cache as at 2019-12-12 05:09:12

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Teaching

I enjoy teaching on a range of themes rooted within critical health geography, including: therapeutic landscape encounters; geographies of health, wellbeing and disability; political ecologies of health; green/blue space and health; and environmental justice and health. I also enjoy teaching research methods, with a particular focus on qualitative and mixed methods research approaches. I'm very happy to supervise undergraduate or postgraduate dissertations that fall within these fields, as well as studies around the mental health/wellbeing impacts of illness, impairment and disablism. 

Modules

2019/20


Supervision / Group

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