Fishscapes and fish as biocultural heritage

About the project or challenge area

Within the wider theme of nature as heritage and operating with the notion of the animalscape, this project explores the status of certain anadromous and catadromous fish (for example, salmon, eel and lamprey) as cultural as well as ecological keystone species. The function of fish as signifiers of place and embodiments of watery sense of place - and the position they occupy within individual and collective memories - can be examined in a variety of geographical contexts: local (e.g. Severn estuary), national (e.g. River Tyne), continental (e.g. Po estuary) and global (e.g. Yukon River, Alaska).

Why choose this opportunity?

Investigating fishscapes provides the opportunity to work in the fertile territory where the humanities and the natural sciences overlap and intersect. This project will also help a student develop the skills needed to contribute to environmental research from humanities and arts perspectives, something which research funding bodies and policy makers increasingly value.

About you

You will have a familiarity with the research techniques and perspectives of the humanities.

How to apply

All students can apply using the button below, following the Masters by Research Admissions Statement (PDF, 187kB). Please note that this is an advertised project, which means you only have to complete Section A of the Masters by Research Statement Template (Office document, 68kB).


Your supervisor for this project will be Peter Coates, Professor in Environmental History in the Department of History. You can email him at

Find out more about your prospective research community

The Water theme is a vibrant community of researchers who are transforming the evidence base for water-based decision making in a changing and deeply uncertain world. Find out more about the Water research theme.

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