I am an academic researcher specialising in military and veterans studies from a social science perspective. I currently work as a post-doctoral research fellow at the Veterans and Families Institute, part of Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford, Essex, UK. On this site, you will find information about my current and previous research projects, as well as access to all of my research publications.
My academic background incorporates several areas including psychology and sociology of health and illness, physical activity and mental health, and military/veterans studies.
My research explores a range of aspects of the post-military lives and experiences of veterans and their families, including the role of alternative (i.e., non-medical or clinical) approaches to supporting transitions to civilian life. I am also interested in the stories that veterans and their families tell about their lives, understanding where these stories come from, and what implications they have in wider society.
I initially spent three years conducting research with veterans during my PhD, working with ex-services charity Surf Action who utilise surfing and the ocean environment as a way of promoting veterans’ well-being.
Prominent themes I discuss throughout my research include the power and value of peer relationships among veterans, the challenges of promoting men’s mental health in a setting where upholding masculinities and avoiding stigma are real concerns, and the influence of surfing in helping veterans to deal with the problems associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Surfing itself provides crucial respite from PTSD by immersing veterans physically in the ocean environment, absorbing them “in the moment” rather than in a constant cycle of suffering and black thoughts, and by providing connection with nature and a strong sense of well-being, as well as freedom from the problems of everyday life. Visitors to this site can read more about this work by following the links to the published papers.
I am a specialist in qualitative research and find myself passionately drawn to the qualitative approach of connecting with people and constructing rich, in-depth portraits of people’s lives and broader social issues.