Geography and Environment

Emma Roe

Primary position:
Lecturer in Human Geography


The University of Southampton
Dr Emma Roe's photo

Dr Emma Roe is currently Lecturer in Human Geography. She joined Geography and Environment at the University of Southampton in 2007.
She is an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Bristol’s School of Veterinary Science.

B.Sc Geography (Human and Physical) Reading 1998
Ph.D. Geography Bristol 2003
Fellow of Higher Education Academy 2010

2001-2003 Fixed Term Lecturer in Human Geography, School of Geographical Sciences, Bristol University
2003-2004 ESRC Post-doctoral Research Fellowship, Geography Discipline, The Open University
2004-2007 Research Associate on EU FP6 WelfareQuality research project, School of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University.


The University of Southampton's electronic library (e-prints)

Key Publications

Greenhough, Beth and Roe, Emma J. (2011) Ethics, space, and somatic sensibilities: comparing relationships between scientific researchers and their human and animal experimental subjects. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 29, (1), 47-66. (doi:10.1068/d17109).
Roe, E., Buller, H. and Bull, J. (2011) The performance of farm animal assessment. Animal Welfare, 20, (1), 69-78.
Buller, Henry and Roe, Emma J. (2014) Modifying and commodifying animal welfare: the economisation of layer chickens. Journal of Rural Studies, 33, 141-149. (doi:10.1016/j.jrurstud.2013.01.005).
Roe, Emma and Greenhough, Beth (2014) Experimental partnering: interpreting improvisatory habits in the research field. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 17, (1), 45-57. (doi:10.1080/13645579.2014.854014).


Horseman, Sue, Roe, Emma, Huxley, Jon, Bell, Nick, Mason, Colin and Whay, Becky (2014) The use of in-depth interviews to understand the process of treating lame dairy cows from the farmers' perspective. Animal Welfare, 23, (2), 157-165. (doi:10.7120/09627286.23.2.157).
Goodman, Michael K., Butler Flora, Cornelia and Roe, Emma J. et al. (2014) Book review.Michael Carolan's Embodied Food Politics. Journal of Rural Studies, 34, 272-281. (doi:10.1016/j.jrurstud.2014.02.006).
Roe, Emma (2013) Global carcass balancing: horsemeat and agro-food network. Radical Philosophy, 179, 2-5.
Buller, Henry and Roe, Emma J. (2012) Commodifying animal welfare. Animal Welfare, 21, supplement 1, 131-135. (doi:10.7120/096272812X13345905674042).
Wilson, Matthew W., Hickey, Maureen and Craine, James et al. (2011) Cyborg spaces and monstrous places: critical geographic engagements with Harawayan theory. Aether. The Journal of Media Geography, VIII, (A), 42-67.
Cook, Ian, Duruz, Jean, Hobson, Kersty, Philo, Chris, Hallett IV, Lucius, Buller, Henry, Guthman, Julie, Goodman, Mike, Murphy, Andrew, Hayes-Conroy, Allison, Hulme, Alison, Hayes-Conroy, Jessica, Sheller, Mimi, Tucker, Lisa, Crewe, Louise, Blake, Megan, Nally, David, Le Heron, Richard, Roe, Emma, Putnam, Heather, Mather, Charles, Maye, Damian, Kingsbury, Paul, Henderson, Heike, Slocum, Rachel and Imai, Shoko (2010) Geographies of food: 'Afters'. Progress in Human Geography (doi:10.1177/0309132510369035).
Greenhough, Beth and Roe, Emma (2010) From ethical principles to response-able practice. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 28, (1), 43-45. (doi:10.1068/d2706wse).
Roe, E. and Higgin, M. (2008) Ethical consumerism. How are caterers coping? Food Ethics, 3, (4), 4-7.
Veissier, Isabelle, Butterworth, Andrew, Bock, Bettina and Roe, Emma (2008) European approaches to ensure good animal welfare. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 113, (4), 279-297. (doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2008.01.008).
Roe, Emma J. and Greenhough, Beth (2006) Towards a geography of bodily technologies. Environment and Planning A, 38, (3), 416-422. (doi:10.1068/a38514).


Buller, Henry and Roe, Emma J. (eds.) (2011) Certifying quality. Negotiating and integrating animal welfare into food assurance, Cardiff, GB, Cardiff University, 48pp. (Welfare Quality Reports, 15).

Book Section

Roe, Emma J. (2010) Ethics and the non-human: the matterings of sentience in the meat industry. In, Anderson, Ben and Harrison, Paul (eds.) Taking-place: Non-Representational Theories and Geography. Farnham, GB, Ashgate, 261-280.
Roe, E.J. (2009) Human-nonhuman. In, Kitchin, R. and Thrift, N. (eds.) International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Oxford, UK, Elsevier, 251-257. (doi:10.1016/B978-008044910-4.00702-1).
Roe, Emma, Kjaernes, Unni, Bock, Bettina, Higgin, Marc, van Huik, Marjolein and Cowan, Cathal (2009) Farm animal welfare in Hungary: a study of Hungarian producers, its food retail market and of Hungarian consumers. In, Kjaernes, Unni, Bock, Bettina B., Higgin, Marc and Roex, Joek (eds.) Farm Animal Welfare within the Supply Chain. Regulation, Agriculture, and Geography. Cardiff, UK, Cardiff University, 145-214. (Welfare Quality Reports, 8 Part III Chapte).
Higgin, Marc and Roe, Emma (2009) Current strategies for animal welfare in the food service sector in Norway, UK and Italy. In, Kjaernes, Unni, Bock, Bettina, Higgin, Marc and Roex, Joek (eds.) Farm Animal Welfare within the Supply Chain. Regulation, Agriculture and Geography. Cardiff, UK, Cardiff University, 215-280. (Welfare Quality Reports, 8 Part IV: Chapte).
Roe, Emma and Higgin, Marc (2008) European meat and dairy retail distribution and supply networks: a comparative study of the current and potential markets for welfare-friendly foodstuffs in six European countries. In, Kjaernes, Unni, Bock, Bettina, Miele, Mara and Roex, Joek (eds.) Consumption, Distribution and Production of Farm Animal Welfare. Opinions and Practices within the Supply Chain. Cardiff, UK, Cardiff University, 129-256. (Welfare Quality Reports, 7 Part II, Chapte).
Roe, E.J. and Higgin, M. (2006) The presence of animal-welfare friendly bodies: an organised or disorganised achievement in the food supply chain. In, Kaiser, Matthias and Lien, Marianne Elisabeth (eds.) Ethics and Politics of food. 6th congress of the European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics, EurSAFE 2006 Wageningen, Wageningen Academic Publishers.
Roe, Emma J., Murdoch, Jonathan and Marsden, T. (2005) The retail of welfare-friendly products: A comparative assessment of the nature of the market for welfare-friendly products in six European Countries. In, Science and Society improving animal welfare. Welfare Quality Conference: Science and society improving animal welfare , Welfare Quality.
Miele, Mara, Murdoch, Jonathan and Roe, Emma (2005) Animals and ambivalence, governing farm animal welfare in the European food sector. In, Higgins, V. and Lawrence, G. (eds.) Agricultural Governance: Globalization and the New Politics of Regulation. Oxford, UK, Routledge, 110-125. (In Press).

Conference or Workshop Item

Buser, Michael and Roe, Emma (2013) Creative material practices as response-abilities: entanglings with food insecurities and vulnerable subjectivities. In, AHRC Connected Communities Research Symposium. ‘Co-Production: Creating Social Justice through Research’ 04 - 06 Nov 2013. 8pp.
Buser, Michael and Roe, Emma (2013) Creative material practices as response-abilities: entanglings with food insecurities and vulnerable subjectivities. In, 'Foodscapes' Conference, Graz, AT, 21 Sep 2013. 8pp.
Buser, Michael and Roe, Emma (2013) Creative material practices as response-abilities: entanglings with food insecurities and vulnerable subjectivities. In, RGS-IBG conference, London, GB, 29 Aug 2013. 8pp.


Buser, Michael, Roe, Emma, Dinnie, Liz, Hall, Roz, Mean, Melissa and Hurley, Paul (2014) Connected Communities Foodscapes. , Connected Communities, 11pp.
Buser, MIchael, Roe, Emma and Dinnie, Elizabeth (2014) Foodscapes: bank, bake, grow, eat, talk, share. Executive summary. Cardiff, GB, Foodscapes, 2pp.
Buser, MIchael, Roe, Emma and Dinnie, Elizabeth (2013) Foodscapes: bake, grow, share, eat. , Foodscapes
Roe, Emma J. and Buller, Henry (2008) Marketing farm animal welfare factsheet. Wageningen, Welfare Quality, 2pp.
Roe, Emma. J and Murdoch, Jonathan (2006) UK Market for Animal Welfare Friendly Products. Market Structure, Survey of Available Products and Quality Assurance Schemes. Cardiff, UK, Welfare Quality, 92pp. (1-902647-72-6).


Research Interests

Bodily cultural geographies of human-nonhuman relations

  • Commercialisation of the nonhuman: retailing and supply-chain cultures
  • Embodied consumption practices /Embodied stockperson practices
  • Farm animal welfare
  • Cross-species comparison of ethical practices of consent and welfare in clinical drug trials.

Methodologies for researching the performative, material nonhuman

  • Critical ontologies for researching the nonhuman
  • Post-phenomenological interpretations of video empirical material.

Theorising the corporeal nonhuman as naturecultures

  • Embodied Material Ethics
  • Affective geographies of care for the sentient nonhuman

Dr Emma Roe has over fifteen years experience of social science research in food and agriculture studies at the Universities of Bristol, the Open, Cardiff and currently Southampton.

Additionally, over the last ten years she has developed expertise in studies of human-animal relationships as performed through food supply chain practices, and animal care practices both on farm and in animal research facilities.

Her theoretical and methodological interests develop across these two major research themes.

Firstly, she specializes in the social scientific study of farm animal welfare in the food supply chain through research in the UK, Hungary, Western Europe and China. This interest began when working as a leading social scientist in the EU WelfareQuality® project 2004-2009, managing the UK and cross-European studies of the retail and food service sector study of foodstuffs with higher animal welfare standards. Additionally, she co-investigated an implementation study into the on-farm certification process and its flexibility to a change from resource-based to animal-based welfare measures. This research interest is currently being developed through active projects that address:

  1. How both the material form of the animal’s body and the life it lives places particular demands on and possibilities for the food industry’s product innovation practices.
  2. Research projects with animal scientists which seek to understand the barriers and challenges farmers face in taking-up veterinary advice that would improve the welfare of their animals.

Secondly, and related, she is interested in how ethics is carried out in practice. This finds its empirical focus in how ethical relations with living animals are performed through care. Two relationships are currently studied – that between a careperson/stockperson and food animals, and the junior animal laboratory technologist and animals used in medical research experiments. In both sites society holds expectations about the standards of care animals should receive, whether it is animals sold as raised with higher animal welfare standards or confidence that animals experience minimal suffering when used in medical research experiments.

Thirdly, she is profoundly fascinated by human-matter-body relations. This fascination she engages with to understanding how the highly heterogeneous forms that matter gives itself to humans shapes what humans do with it. To give one example, she is interested in how the animal body is broken down into differently valued meat products by the meat industry and how this goes on to shape the impact meat production and consumption has on human health, the environment and farm animal lives. Ultimately, the fascination here is on how object-object relations found when you mine an animal carcass for meat, drive particular forms of commercial product innovation to handle an excess of less-favoured matter to eat.

Fourthly, she is curious about how people can engage with foodstuffs not as ethical consumer within a value-added quality-driven food retail environment, but rather as ecological citizens. This research interest is in its early stages and so far has explored how performance art can engage people to relate to food not as consumers but as ecological citizens. Exploring how people who receive emergency food aid can perform the role of ecological citizens, when to be an ethical consumer is beyond their financial grasp, is one avenue of research.

Her work has received research funding from the UK Economic and Social Research Council, UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, the European Commission, the British Academy, the Wellcome Trust, the Animal Welfare Foundation and the University of Southampton. She has written numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, book-chapters, reports and short articles. She has presented research findings to academic and non-academic audiences, nationally and internationally, including laboratory animal technicians, the food industry, farm veterinary professionals and the arts-design community.

Research projects


  • 2014-2017 Co-investigator with Reyner K*. (PI), Main D*., Whay B*., Roe E., Haase A**., Scrase A*. Improving dairy cattle welfare: promoting uptake of veterinary advice. £109,816 *Veterinary Science, University of Bristol **Policy Studies, University of Bristol.
  • 2014-2015 Principle Investigator. How do food and nutrition services provided by The Matthew Tree Project Foodstores influence the diet of clients in food poverty? University of Southampton Faculty of Social and Human Sciences Enterprise Fund. £5000
  • 2013-2015 Co-Principle Investigator with Dr Beth Greenhough, Queen Mary University of London on ‘Exploring how laboratory animal technicians put ethics into practice’. Wellcome small grant £5,000.


  • Co-Principle Investigator on ‘Foodscapes’ Arts and Humanities ‘Connected Communities’ Research Council Grant. With Michael Buser University of the West of England; Liz Dinnie, John Hutton Research Institute; Carolyn Hassan, Knowle West Media Centre; Roz Hall, Knowle West Media Centre. £50,000 2012-2013
  • Principal Investigator 'Constructing Quality' - UK part of UK/France comparison of how animal welfare is currently included, audited and developing in farm assurance schemes. Subcontracted from Prof Henry Buller, Exeter University. 63979 euros. Funding from EU Welfare Quality project. Jan-Dec 2008
  • Principal Investigator 'Negotiating post-Mao natures: a recent history of NGO involvement in improving farm animal husbandry in China' British Academy Small Grants Fund £5,530. 2007 - 2008.
  • Principal Investigator. Cross-country study of welfare-friendly foodstuff in the food service sector. Work carried out in Norway, Italy, UK and the Netherlands. Includes product innovation work with Sodexho. 114,000 euros (30,820 euros for UK work). 'Funding from EU Welfare Quality project'. Jan-Dec 2007.

Primary research group:  Economy, Governance and Culture

Research projects

Higher welfare salmon

Care theme

Foodscapes - Dormant

FOODSCAPES was an AHRC Connected Communities project (2013) that explored the use of art as a way of opening up discussion about food consumption and food poverty


Emma is BA Human Geography Programme Leader.

Emma is on the steering committee for the USRG NAMRIP (Network for Antimicrobial resistance and infection prevention) and EPSRC funded NAMRA (Network for AntiMicrobial Resistance Action) representing the Faculty of Social, Human and Mathematical Sciences.

Emma s on the UK Food Standards Agency register of Social Scientists.

Emma is currently supervising PhD candidates James Gott and Julia Walker.

Teaching Responsibilities

Convenor of Geog 2029 Research Methods in Human Geography (Fieldcourse and lecture course).
Convenor of Geog 3041 Geographies of Nature.
Geog 1010 Geographical Skills Tutor
Geog 3018 Undergraduate dissertation advisor.
Geog 2008 Critical Human Geographies lecturer.


Dr Emma Roe
University of Southampton
University Road
SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 44/2072

Telephone: (023) 8059 9222
Facsimile: (023) 8059 3295