My geographical interests centre on the relationships between humans, animals, public knowledge and identity, with focus on otter conservation. By engaging with perceptions of nature and human-animal relations my research contributes to debates in animal geographies and more-than-human geography.

After graduating with first class honours in BSc Geography from the University of Central Lancashire, I moved to the University of Nottingham, gaining an MA in Landscape and Culture in 2002, and a PhD in Human Geography in 2006. Awards from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded both my postgraduate degrees: MA (Award No. 01/1248) and PhD (Award No. 02/63215). In 2008-2009 I became a Teaching Fellow in Human Geography at Keele University, returning in a Sessional Teaching capacity in 2012-2013, and as a Teaching Fellow in Geography from 2013.

Other roles include:

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)
Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS)
Member of All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW)


Year One

  • Year Tutor for all Geography Programmes
  • Geography Student Welfare Committee
  • GEG-10013 Human Geographies
  • GEG-10012 Practising Human Geography 
  • GEG-10011 Geography & Geographers
  • ESC-10035 Geographical Skills (Tutorials)
  • Trentham Estate Fieldtrip (Leader)

Year Two

  • GEG-20018 Concepts and Debates in Geography (Module Leader)
  • GEG-20015 Space and Society (Module Leader)
  • ESC-20049/50 Representing the World (Section Leader)
  • ESC-20049/50 Nature & Society (Section Leader)
  • GEG-20009 Geographical Research Training
  • Barcelona Fieldtrip

Year Three

  • GEG-30006 GEG-30008 Dissertation Supervision
  • GEG-30014 Inspirational Landscapes
  • Geography Staff Student Liaison Committee Co-ordinator
  • Nature Magpie Cover Daniel Allen (2017) ‘Earthworm’, in Urbanik, J. and Johnston, C. L. (eds.) Humans and Animals. A Geography of Co-Existence, ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara.    
  • Daniel Allen, David Matless and Charles Watkins (2016). ‘An incredibly vile sport’: Campaigns against Otter Hunting in Britain, 1900–39. Rural History, 27, pp 79-101. doi:10.1017/S0956793315000175 (PDF)
  • Daniel Allen (2014 - paperback) The Nature Magpie. A Cornucopia of Facts, Anecdotes, Folklore and Literature from the Natural World, Icon Books, London.
  • Daniel Allen (2013) ‘The Hunted Otter in Britain, 1830-1939,’ in Middleton, K. and Pooley, S. (eds.) Wild Things. Nature and the Social Imagination, The White Horse Press, Winwick.
  • Daniel Allen (2013 - hardback) The Nature Magpie. A Cornucopia of Facts, Anecdotes, Folklore and Literature from the Natural World, Icon Books, London.
  • Daniel Allen, ‘Book Review: Placing Animals: An Introduction to the Geography of Human-Animal Relations, by Julie Urbanik’, Geographical, February 2013.
  • Daniel Allen, ‘Animal Blood Sports, British Isles,’ (2012) in Nauright, J. (ed.) Sports Around the World: History, Culture, Practice. ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara.
  • Daniel Allen (2010) Otter, Reaktion Books, London.
  • Daniel Allen (2007) ‘Chapter 6: A delightful sport with ‘peculiar’ claims: the specificities of otter hunting, 1850-1939,’ in Hoyle, R. (ed.) Our hunting fathers: field sports in England after 1850. Carnegie Publishing, Lancaster, pp. 143-164.
  • Daniel Allen (2006) The cultural and historical geographies of otter hunting in Britain, Unpublished PhD thesis, The University of Nottingham.

Magazine Articles

  • ‘A Dog’s Life’, monthly column in Dogs Today since November 2016
  • ‘The Nature Magpie’, monthly column in NFU Countryside since May 2014
  • ‘Animal instincts’, quarterly column in Mental Health Today, 2014 to 2016
  • ‘Quoth the Raven’, The Field, January 2016, pp. 81-84
  • ‘How do otters cope in winter?’ BBC Wildlife Magazine, December 2015
  • ‘The Wild Wooders’, The Field, December 2015, pp. 95-98
  • ‘Pet Special: Best Friends Forever’, National Geographic Kids, May 2015
  • ‘The World's Deadliest Snakes’, Practical Reptile Keeping, February 2015, pp. 58-59
  • ‘Tortoise Rescue’, Practical Reptile Keeping, October 2014, pp. 28-33
  • ‘Pet Nation. Meeting Asian Small-Clawed Otters’, Small Furry Pets, June-July 2014, pp. 10-13
  • ‘Pet Nation. Meeting Sugar Gliders in Sheffield’, Small Furry Pets, February-March 2014, pp. 40-42
  • ‘The Forgotten Pet’, Pet Gazette, December 2013, pp. 20-21
  • ‘On the Slime Trail. Slugs and Snails’, Practical Reptile Keeping, December 2013, pp. 44-47
  • ‘Where's Mum? Puppy Farming’, Pet Gazette, November 2013, pp. 20-21
  • ‘Hedgehog Heroes. Protectors of our Prickly Garden Guests’, Small Furry Pets, October-November 2013, pp. 38-41
  • ‘Skinny Pigs. The Naked Truth’, Pet Gazette, October 2013, pp. 34-35
  • ‘Pet Nation. Rabbit Jumping’, Small Furry Pets, August-September 2013, pp. 10-11
  • ‘Pet Nation. Meeting Rescue Ferrets’, Small Furry Pets, August-September 2013, pp. 32-35
  • ‘Otterly Charming’, The Field, August 2013, pp. 118-121
  • ‘Pet Nation. Introducing Melanie Raccoon’, Small Furry Pets, June-July 2013, pp. 6-10
  • ‘Pet Nation. Lesser Hedgehog Tenrecs’, Small Furry Pets, June-July 2013, pp. 32-34
  • ‘Squirrels in Britain’, Small Furry Pets, April-May 2013, pp. 39-41
  • ‘Baby Macaques born in Staffordshire Woodland’, Staffordshire Life, May 16 2013
  • ‘From Spongebobs to bullet ants... nature’s unnatural wonders’, Sunday Express, May 12 2013
  • ‘RSPCA: Animal rights or animal welfare?’ The Field, April 2013, pp. 78-81
  • ‘Snakewatching and other reptilian observations with Dr Desmond Morris’, Practical Reptile Keeping, April 2013, pp. 8-12
  • ‘Tarantula Talk’, Practical Reptile Keeping, March 2013, pp. 14-18
  • ‘Going Wild and Staying Safe!’, Practical Reptile Keeping, February 2013, pp. 42-44
  • ‘Otters Eat Fish: Fishery Sues Environment Agency’, WILDLIFE EXTRA, January 2013
  • ‘Pet Nation. Meeting the Skinny Pigs’, Small Furry Pets, Issue 4, Autumn 2012, pp. 40-42
  • ‘Pet Therapy with Reptiles’, Practical Reptile Keeping, October 2012, pp. 8-10
  • ‘Pet Nation. Meeting a House Skunk in Hampshire’, Small Furry Pets, Issue 3, Summer 2012, pp. 42-44
  • ‘Otters of the World’, Small Furry Pets, Issue 2, Spring 2012, pp. 50-53
  • ‘Countrycall. An Otter Delight’, Evergreen, Winter 2011, pp. 22-25

Public Engagement and Policy

Undergraduate teaching and academic writing is not my only research outlet. My research is shared through a variety of media outlets, making an impact in conservation and the pet trade whilst contributing to public geographies.

Otter Expert

A childhood otter obsession led to a doctorate on The cultural and historical geographies of otter hunting in Britain (2002-2006), first book Otter (Reaktion Books, 2010), academic and journalistic writings on the species, membership with the IUCN/SSC Otter Specialist Group, and role as Media and Policy Advisor for the UK Wild Otter Trust (charity 1167746).

The advisory role led to policy change at a national level. In September 2016 the UK Wild Otter Trust secured the first Natural England initiative ’class licence’ to live capture and relocate otters trapped inside fenced fisheries. Press releases have generated national media coverage. This includes UKWOT trained operatives appearing on BBC1’s Countryfile in January 2017, and my response to ‘calls for an otter cull’ featuring in the March 2017 issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine.

Animal Welfare

I am an active member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare. APGAW regularly meet to promote and seek to ‘influence the development and introduction of effective wide-ranging legislation to improve welfare’. Online, my Twitter account @Dr_Dan_1 was ranked number 27 in the world for “Top Influencers in Animal Welfare on Twitter” by Onalytica in August 2016.

Conferences and talks

As founder of the Animal Geography Research Network I have a proven record of organising and chairing sessions at international conferences.

  • University of York, Environment and Society Seminar Series, February 2017
    Talk: Changing Policy, Practice and Public Understandings of the Protected Otter in England
  • University of York, Environment Department, Introduction to Human Geography, February 2017
    Guest Lecture: Animal Geographies
  • Keele University’s Sustainability Research Network, October 2016
    Paper: Using Historical Hunting Records to Map the Presence of Otters in South East England
  • RGS-IBG Conference September 2016, London
    Session Chair: Historical Geographies of Conservation  
    Paper: "Spare the Spear!": Restyling the otter through hunting landscapes, 1844-1884
    Session: Data, GIS, and Technology 
    Joint Paper: Mapping the Archive: Using Historical Hunting Records to Map the Presence of Otters in England (with Alex Nobajas)
  • University of York, Environment Department, Introduction to Human Geography, February 2016
    Guest Lecture: Animal Geographies
  • Keele University’s Sustainability Research Network, October 2015
    Paper: Animal Life, Death and Human Identity: An Otter Obsession
  • Open Air Academy, Copenhagen, Denmark, May 2015
    Talk: A Cornucopia of Facts, Anecdotes, Folklore and Literature from the Natural World 
  • Fourth International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Emotional Geographies, July 2013, University of Groningen, The Netherlands    
    Session Co-Organiser: ‘When Species Meet’: Animal Experience, Human Emotion
  • RGS-IBG Conference July 2012, Edinburgh University.
    Session Organiser: Wanted, Dead or Alive: Critical Geographies of Human-Animal Encounters.
    Paper: Killing Animals for Sport: Geographies of the Hunted Otter.
  • Wild Things: Nature and the Social Imagination, Environmental History Conference 2011. St Antony’s College, Oxford.
    Paper: The curious case of the otter in Britain.
  • RGS-IBG Conference September 2011, London
    Session Organiser: Animal Geography. Status: Endangered?
    Paper: Animal Geography. Status: Endangered?
    Paper: Speaking for Animals in the Age of Television
    Session: Me myself and the archive: reflecting on encounters and enchantments.
    Joint Paper: In pursuit of Duncombe-Jewell (With Carl Phillips, Charles Watkins and David Matless – University of Nottingham)
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