Cardiff University: MSc Social Science Research Methods. Distinction (2018); MSc Sustainability, Planning, and Environmental Policy (2017); BSc Geography (2016).

Research interests:

  • Investigating creative approaches for stakeholder participation in environmental planning, particularly the digitisation of traditional engagement strategies.
  • Combining quantitative and qualitative techniques in mixed-methods research, specifically qualitative Geospatial Information Systems (GIS).
  • Navigation, tracking, GPS, digital mapping – including the use of smartphone sensors, apps, and wearable technology for social science research.
  • Understanding complex people-place relations including perceptions, experiences, and attitudes towards the environment.

PhD research:

Caitlin started her PhD at the CCRI in October 2018, fully funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Her research is supervised by Dr Robert Berry (CCRI), Professor Scott Orford (Cardiff University), Chris Short (CCRI), and Dr Beth Brockett (Natural England).

The working title of this project is: ‘Qualitative Geospatial Methods for Active Participation in Planning and Environmental Decision-making’ (QUALMAPPED). It is widely recognised that positively engaging a wide range of stakeholders in planning and environmental decision-making is often complex and challenging. There is potential in the development of qualitative GIS systems for stakeholder engagement and to achieve a deeper understanding of people’s experiences of their local environments. As such, this research aims to:

  1. Develop and evaluate a GIS software ‘toolkit’ for capturing, integrating, and analysing qualitative data (e.g. textual, audio, visual) in a geospatial framework, to improve stakeholder engagement strategies in environmental planning. This will explore the utilisation of existing, open-source GIS software tools.
  2. Evaluate different outputs arising from the development of a qualitative GIS toolkit and their impact on participatory and collaborative environmental planning.
  3. A critical examination of the role of GIS in participatory environmental planning, drawing on current interdisciplinary thinking in human geography to contribute to debates around GIS and power, ethics, and knowledge production.

Caitlin has an interest in interdisciplinary and collaborative research with clear links to policy and practice. She recently completed a government internship in knowledge and statistical analytics for policy research and impact, and has orally presented her research at a range of UK and international conferences. Caitlin has also served on the Council (Board of Trustees) of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) as the elected Chair of the RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum for the period 2019-2020.