Professor, School of Geography and Sustainable Development


Nina Laurie was the first female professor in Geography at Newcastle University and only the second in Geography at St Andrews when she joined in 2016. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Academy of Social Sciences, and holder of the Royal Geographical Society’s Busk medal. Her current Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship explores a decolonial approach to ‘Development Futures’, drawing on her 30+ years’ of field-based research in Peru, a place she is deeply passionate about. for her contribution to social inclusion, international development and environmental sustainability through fieldwork and research.

Professor Laurie has played a pivotal role in raising the profile of Latin American research within the field of Geography having worked in the region for nearly 30 years.

Her research has been at the forefront of postcolonial endeavours to decentre understandings of the environment and development away from the experiences and perspectives of the Global North, towards the grounded realities of individuals and communities, particularly Indigenous populations.

This has involved innovative research on indigeneity and development, human trafficking and international volunteering. She was recently credited by the Ministry of Culture and Peru with helping the Urarina indigenous community gain Cultural Heritage status based on the textiles that women produce from the palms in the peatlands.

Selected publications

Martín Brañas M., Schulz C., Águila Villacorta, M. Roucoux, K., Núñez Pérez, C., Laurie, N. Fabeine, M. Lawson, I., Davies A. (2019) Urarina identidad y memoria en la Cuenca del Río Chambira IIAP, Iquitos Peru. English version with new postscript 2022: Urarina Identity and memory in the Chambira Basin)

Andolina, Robert, Nina Laurie and Sarah Radcliffe (2009) Indigenous Development in the Andes Culture, Power and Transnationalism. Duke University Press, Raleigh, Durham.

Laurie, N., Healy, G., Bell, I., Calle, O., Carmen, M., Cornejo, S., Puescas, C., Valdez, A. (in press) Translation urgency in our climate challenged times: co-producing geographical knowledge on El Niño in Peru. Scottish Geographical Journal

Lawson, I., Coronado, E., Andueza, L.;,Cole, L., Dargie, G.,Davies, A., Laurie, N., Okafor-Yarwood, I., Roucoux, K., Simpson, M., (2022) ‘The vulnerability of tropical peatlands to oil and gas exploration and extraction. Progress in Environmental Geography. 1, 1-4 84-114

Schulz C., Laurie, N., Águila Villacorta, M., Roucoux, K., Núñez Pérez, C., Lawson, I., Martín Brañas M (2019) Uses, cultural significance, and management of peatlands in the Peruvian Amazon: implications for conservation. Biological Conservation 235, p. 189-198