School of Geography

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Robert Hearn

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences



I have been an Assistant Professor in the School of Geography at Nottingham since August 2016 where I am a member of the Cultural and Historical Geography and Environment and Society research groups. My principle research interests relate to animal, more-than-human and food geographies in Italy from the nineteenth century to the current day.

I completed for my BA(Hons) History, MA Environmental History and PhD in the Department of History at the University of Nottingham. Professor Charles Watkins (Geography) and Dr Ross Balzaretti (History) and explored the comparative cultural-historical geographies and cultural-environmental histories of wolves and wild boar in the northwest Italian region of Liguria from the sixteenth century to the modern day.

I extended my research as a postdoctoral research and teaching fellow at the Università degli Studi di Genova as part of the Laboratorio di Archeologia e Storia Ambientale (LASA), an interdisciplinary research group comprised of academics and researchers from the Dipartimento di Antichità, Filosofia e Storia (DAFIST) and the Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, dell'Ambiente e della Vita (DISTAV). During my time at Genova I also received funding from the Fondazione Spinola and worked on a projects with the Fondazione Ambiente Italiano.

I have since held various postdoctoral research positions in the UK and Italy; as Rome Fellow at the British School of Rome (British Academy), in the Centre for Advanced Studies at Nottingham working on the AHRC-funded 'Hidden Histories' project, and as research assistant on a Leverhulme-funded at the Slade School of Fine Art (UCL), with whom I continue to collaborate as an Honorary Research Fellow.

I continue to work closely with the Universita degli Studi di Genova and with the Università degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche, where I contribute to and convene courses on the MA in New Food Thinking (Animal and More-than-Human Food Geographies: Perception, Culture, and History) and the Laurea Triennale in Scienze e Culture Gastronomiche (Mapping Foodscapes)

I am keen to supervise MRes and PhD research in the following topics:

  • Animal and more-than human geographies
  • Italian environmental histories and humanities
  • Cultural and historical food geographies
  • Historical geographies of science
  • Rural and environmental geographies
  • Qualitative and creative research methodologies

Please contact me to discuss potential projects and for information concerning potential sources of funding. I am particularly interested in supervising interdisiciplinary projects with colleagues in other academic schools across the university.

Expertise Summary

I am a cultural and historical geographer with a background in cultural and environmental History. My specific research interests relate to animal and more-than-human geographies, the cultural-historical geographies of food and foodways, and landscape and memory, with a particular focus on Italy from the nineteenth century to the modern day.

Teaching Summary

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Eduucation Academy (SFHEA) and a PGCHE.

Undergraduate Teaching/Supervision

I am on a teaching-focused contract and currently teach on a number of courses:

GEOG1005 Tutorials (Level 1)

GEOG1008 Exploring Human Geography (Level 1)

GEOG1001 Geographical Fieldcourse (Level 1)

GEOG2004 Techniques in Human Geography (Level 2)

GEOG2030 Research Tutorial (Level 2)

GEOG2031 Dissertation Preparation (Level 2)

GEOG3004 Dissertation (Level 3)

GEOG3001 European Landscapes (Italy Fieldcourse) (Level 3) [Convenor]

Moreover, I will be co-convening a new level 3 module on 'Animal and More-than-Human Geographies' with Dr Adam Searle (Nottingham Research Fellow) for academic year 24/25.

Postgraduate Supervision

In addition to supervising projects on the MSc Environmental Leadership and Management, I also supervise the following postgraduate students:

  • I am co-supervising the PhD thesis of César Rodríguez on the 'Effects of future warming on the ecological functioning of invasive signal crayfish in UK waters' with Dr Matthew Johnson and Dr Stephen Dugdale.
  • I am co-supervising the MRes thesis of Niamh Daddy on 'An Examination of the Intersection of Work and Play Within a Boarding School: how place theory can help understand one's identity within this setting' with Professor Dalene M. Swanson from the School of Education at Nottingham.
  • I am also the internal examiner for Natalia Ciecierska-Holmes for her PhD on 'Raw Feeding for Dogs in the UK and Australia: A Social and Ethical Cross-Cultural Comparison' in the School of Sociology and Social Policy supervised by Professor Pru Hobson-West (Nottingham) and Professor Rachel Ankeny (Adelaide University).

Recent Publications

  • PIETRO PIANA, LORENZO BROCADA, ROBERT HEARN and STEFANIA MANGANO, 2024. Urban Rewilding: Human-animal relations in Genoa, NW Italy Cities: the international journal of urban planning. 144, 104660
  • PIETRO PIANA, STEFANIA MANGANO and ROBERT HEARN, 2023. Fluvial landscapes: exploitation, marginalisation and rewilding in Genoa, NW Italy. In: ANDREA PASE, ALDINO BONDESAN and SARA LUCHETTA, eds., Elementi, animali, piante: :mobilità dei costituenti, delle forze e degli organismi 148-157
  • ROBERTA CEVASCO, VALENTINA PESCINI and ROBERT HEARN, eds., 2023. Situating foodways and foodscapes: dalla tavola al terreno Genova University Press.
  • ROBERT HEARN, 2023. A Moveable [f/b]east: «apros vel porcos silvestres» in the Alta Val di Vara, NW Italy. In: ROBERTA CEVASCO, VALENTINA PESCINI and ROBERT HEARN, eds., Situating foodways and foodscapes: dalla tavola al terreno 407-432
  • BRUZZONE, R. HEARN, R. AND PIANA, P., 2019. ‘Clarence Bicknell (1842-1918) dans les Alpes Maritimes: entre paysage et botanique'. In: VALETTE, P AND CAROZZA, J-M, ed., Géohistoire de l'environnement et des paysages Paris: CNSR. 107-116
  • HEARN, ROBERT, 2019. Examples from the Disciplines: Geography. In: Small Group Teaching: : tutorials, seminars and workshops 2nd. Routledge. 171-173
  • 2018. Wild boars run amok in the city of Genoa, as abandoned rural areas are ‘rewilded’ Available at: <>
  • 2017. Wild boar: myth and reality in Ancient Rome 129-132
  • HEARN, R. AND DOSSCHE, R., 2016. Apicultural spaces as biocultural places: a comparative temporal and spatial examination of beekeeping practices and their contextual landscapes in the northwest Apennines.. In: AGNOLETTI, M. AND EMANUELI, F., ed., Biocultural Diversity in Europe. Springer. 123-140
  • NIXON, E., SCULLION, R. AND HEARN, R., 2016. Her majesty the student:: marketised higher education and the narcissistic (dis)satisfaction of the student-consumer Studies in Higher Education. 24, 1-21
  • HEARN, R., 2016. British Travellers hunting Italian Animals:: Progress Report Papers of the British School at Rome. 84, 354-355
  • HEARN, R., BALZARETTI, R. and WATKINS, C., 2015. The wolf in the landscape. Antonio Cesena and attitudes to wolves in sixteenth-century Liguria Rural History: Economy, Society, Culture. 26(1), 1-16
  • CEVASCO, R., HEARN, R. AND MORENO, D., 2015. Biodiversification as an Historical Process:: an appeal for the application of historical ecology to bio-cultural diversity research. Biodiversity and Conservation. 24, 3167-3183
  • HEARN, R., 2015. Gains and losses in the European mammal fauna.. In: KIRBY, K. AND WATKINS, C., ed., Europe’s Changing Woods and Forests:: from wildwood to managed landscapes. CAB International. 193-206
  • HEARN, R., WATKINS, C. and BALZARETTI, R, 2014. The cultural and land use implications of the reappearance of wild boar in North West Italy: a case study in the Val di Vara Journal of Rural Studies. 36, 52-63
  • HEARN, R., 2014. Il (ri)chiamo del selvatico: l’applicazione delle storia di specie e della ricerca della dimensione umana nella comprensione e gestione del lupo in Liguria.. In: MONETA, V. AND PAROLA, C., ed., Oltre la rinaturalizzazione:: Studi di ecologia storica per la riqualificazione dei paesaggi rurali. Oltre Edizione. 183-193
  • HEARN, R., 2013. Invasive and Introduced Plants and Animals:: human perceptions, attitudes and approaches to management (book review) Environment and History. 117-119
  • STAGNO, A., HEARN, R. AND CEVASCO, R., 2011. Archeologia del lupo: pratiche di controlle nella montagne ligure nei XVIII & XIX secoli.. In: BIANCHI, P. AND PASSERIN D’ENTREVES, P., ed., La caccia nello stato sabaudo (sec. XVI-XIX):: pratiche e spazi. 91-108

School of Geography

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University of Nottingham
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Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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