Research Fellow, Northumbria University
Department of History, University of Bristol
Leona is an environmental historian whose PhD (Durham University) focused on early modern Britain, analyzing attitudes towards cleanliness and dirt, public hygiene facilities and processes, and the regulation of insanitary nuisances in Edinburgh and York between 1560 and 1700. This built on her interdisciplinary MA, also at Durham, which researched public hygiene and environmental regulation in seventeenth-century Carlisle. Previously, Leona has participated in the AHRC research network, ‘Local Places, Global Processes: Histories of Environmental Change’, which involved conducting an oral history project at Kielder, Northumberland, and writing a report summarizing its results. At present she is Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow in the Humanities at Northumbria University.
As a postdoctoral researcher on the Power and the Water project, Leona is worked on degeneration and regeneration on the River Tyne, past, present and future. By reintegrating the various separate aspects of the river – the unimproved river; the navigable river; the polluted river; the industrial river; the post-industrial river; the salmon river; the mercantile river; the recreational river; and the literary and artistic river – Leona's aim is to create the first total history of a British river.
Leona grew up in Gateshead, close to the Tyne, and although she currently lives in Wakefield, she still has enormous affection for her native North East. In her spare time, Leona can be found enjoying her passion for hill-walking, mountain-climbing and long-distance walking, which enables her to enjoy and appreciate northern England’s varied and beautiful scenery. In September 2013, she completed Wainwright’s 192-mile Coast to Coast walk on her own in thirteen days; she plans to walk the Pennine Way in 2014.