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Dr Kezia Barker

Lecturer in Environmental Studies


  • Kezia’s first degree was in Geography at Edinburgh University (2003). She then undertook an MSc in Science, Environment and Society in the Geography Department at UCL (2004), followed by a PhD in the same department (2008), working with Professor Gail Davies and Professor Jacquie Burgess, funded by an ESRC award. After a fixed term lectureship in the Geography department at Southampton University, Kezia joined Birkbeck in 2008.

Research interests

    • Institutional and alternative environmental futures
    • Biopolitical and geographical theories of security
    • Geographies of environmental knowledge, expertise and skill
    • Cultures of nature and nonhuman geographies
    • Biosecurity discourses, technologies and practices
    • Food security and alternative food futures
    • Environmental publics, citizenship, identity and subjectivity

Research listings

  • Kezia is a geographer with research interests in how social, cultural and political life grapples with environmental futures; from attempts to ‘secure’ unruly natures through biosecurity and health security, to individual preparedness for environmental catastrophe, to visions of alternative food futures. In particular, Kezia considers how the issue of environmental instability resides in the messy intersection of identity, expertise and everyday practices.
  • Kezia’s current research considers understandings of threats to health, health autonomy and associated skill development in envisaged survival situations, including but not limited to ‘environmental collapse’ scenarios.
  • Kezia’s on-going research focuses on biosecurity policy-making, surveillance and enforcement practices in New Zealand, the UK and Galápagos, and the intersection with the construction of environmental identity.


  • Undergraduate module ‘Humans and the Environment’, and contributions to ‘Methods, Analysis and Techniques’ and ‘Managing Environments’.
  • Postgraduate module ‘Environment and Security’.
  • Programme Director MSc Geography


  • Christina Zoi Siamanta, The making of ‘green Greece’? A political ecology analysis of economic crisis, ‘green growth’ and neoliberal conservation.


  • Books
    • Dobson A, Barker K and Taylor S (2013) Biosecurity: The Socio-Politics of Invasive Species and Infectious Disease, Earthscan from Routledge
  • Book chapters
    • Barker K, Dobson A and Taylor S (2013) ‘Introduction: interrogating bioinsecurities’, in Dobson A, Barker K and Taylor S Biosecurity: The Socio-Politics of Invasive Species and Infectious Diseases, Earthscan.
    • Taylor S, Dobson A and Barker K (2013) ‘Conclusions: biosecurity and the future – the impact of climate change’, in Dobson A, Barker K and Taylor S Biosecurity: The Socio-Politics of Invasive Species and Infectious Diseases, Earthscan.
    • Barker K (2009) ‘Garden Terrorists and the War on Weeds’, in K Dodds and A Ingram (eds.) Spaces of Security and Insecurity: New Geographies of the War on Terror, Ashgate, UK.
  • Book Contributions
    • Barker K (2012), Review: Sarah Johnson (ed.) Bio-invaders (Themes in Environmental History) Cambridge: White Horse Press, 2010, Environmental Values 21.2, 243-245.
    • Barker K (2009) ‘Pest Management’, in Barry Solomon (2009) Encyclopaedia of Geography SAGE Reference publication.
  • Reports/internet publications/other
    • Barker K (2008) Thesis: ‘Cultivating Biosecurity: Governance, Citizenship and Gardening in Aotearoa New Zealand.’ University of London.
    • Davies, G., Balmer, B., Barker, K., Doubleday, R., Milne, R. (2008). Locating Technoscience: an on-line reader exploring the geographies of science and technology.  Author URL
    • Barker K (2005) ‘Alien Nature: Environmental Cosmopolitanism or the McDonaldisation of the Natural World?’ Protect, New Zealand Biosecurity Institute publication, Spring 2005.
  • Journal Articles
    • Barker, K (2015) ‘Biosecurity: securing circulations from the microbe to the macrocosm’, in The Geographical Journal, vol 181 (4) pp 357-365.
    • Barker, K (2012) Infectious insecurities: H1N1 and the politics of emerging infectious disease. Health & Place 18 (4), pp. 695-700. ISSN 1353-8292.
    • Barker, K (2012) Influenza preparedness and the bureaucratic reflex: anticipating and generating the 2009 H1N1 event. Health & Place 18 (4), pp. 701-709. ISSN 1353-8292.
    • Chambers, J., Barker, K. and Rouse, A. (2012) Reflections on the UK's approach to the 2009 swine flu pandemic: conflicts between national government and the local management of the public health response. Health & Place 18 (4), pp. 737-745. ISSN 1353-8292.
    • Barker, K (2010) Biosecure citizenship: politicising symbiotic associations and the construction of biological threat. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 35 (3), pp. 350-363. ISSN 0020-2754.
    • Barker, K (2008) Flexible boundaries in biosecurity: accommodating gorse in Aotearoa New Zealand. Environment and Planning A 40 (7), pp. 1598-1614. ISSN 0308-518
  • Lectures

Professional Membership

    • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
    • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society


  • Kezia was co-organiser of the ESRC funded seminar series ‘The Socio-Politics of Biosecurity: Science, Policy, Practice’ from 2009-2012, with colleagues Professor Andrew Dobson (PI) and Dr Sarah Taylor from Keele University. Details of the seminars, abstracts and participants can be found here:

Contact details

+ 44 (0)20 3073 8442