ACCESS - Advancing Capacity for Climate  and Environment Social Science
ACCESS - Advancing Capacity for Climate  and Environment Social Science
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Dr Sarah Bell

Last modified: November 27, 2023
ACCESS Leadership College Fellows

Senior Lecturer in Health Geography
University of Exeter


The sector(s) I work in: Academic



Sensing Climate

Unlocking Landscapes Network


The European Centre for Environment & Human Health

About the organisation(s) I've worked for

Organisation name:

University of Exeter

About my experience and expertise

Personal statement:

I am a Senior Lecturer in Health Geography at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health (ECEHH), whose work focuses on the intersections between disability, wellbeing, social inequality and the diverse and changing environments encountered through the life course. 

Key topic areas of research or interest:

My work is underpinned by a passion for qualitative methodological innovation, designing sensitive approaches that promote critical awareness of varied ways of embodying and interpreting everyday geographies. Much of my research examines experiences of health, wellbeing, disability and social inclusion in and with diverse forms of ‘nature’ – from parks, gardens, woodlands, coast and countryside to the weather, seasons and climate change. Most recently, I have been developing new collaborations to understand how the climate crisis – and prominent societal responses to it – is shaping the everyday lives and adaptive capacities of people with varied experiences and histories of disability.   


  1. Bell, SL., Hickman, C. and Houghton, F. (2023) From therapeutic landscape to therapeutic ‘sensescape’ experiences with nature? A scoping review. Wellbeing, Space and Society, 
  2. Bell, SL. (2021) Nurturing sociality with birdlife in the context of life with sight impairment: a role for nonhuman charisma. Social and Cultural Geography, 22(7), 917-935. 
  3. Bell, SL. and Foley, R. (2021) A(nother) time for nature? Situating nonhuman nature experiences within the emotional transitions of sight loss. Social Science and Medicine, 276, 
  4. Bell, SL., Tabe, T. and Bell, SA. (2020) Seeking a disability lens within climate change migration discourses, policies and practices. Disability and Society, 34(4), 682-687. 
  5. Bell, SL. (2019) Experiencing nature with sight impairment: seeking freedom from ableism. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, 2(2): 304-322. 
  6. Bell, SL., Leyshon, C. and Phoenix, C. (2019) Negotiating nature’s weather worlds in the context of life with sight impairment. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 44(2): 270-283.  
  7. Bell, SL., Leyshon, C., Foley, R. and Kearns, R. (2019) The ‘healthy dose’ of nature: a cautionary tale. Geography Compass, 13(1): 1-14. 
  8. Bell, SL., Foley, R., Houghton, F., Maddrell, A. and Williams, A. (2018) From therapeutic landscapes to healthy spaces, places and practices: A scoping review. Social Science and Medicine, 196: 123-130.  
  9. Bell, SL., Wheeler, BW. and Phoenix, C. (2017) Using geo-narratives to explore the diverse temporalities of therapeutic landscapes: perspectives from ‘green’ and ‘blue’ settings. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 107: 93-108. 
  10. Bell, SL., Phoenix, C., Lovell, R. and Wheeler, BW. (2015) Seeking everyday wellbeing: the coast as a therapeutic landscape. Social Science and Medicine, 142: 56-67. 

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