Professor Robyn Longhurst

Robyn Longhurst

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic

Qualifications: BSocSc, MSocSc, PhD Waikato

About Robyn

Robyn was appointed as a Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Waikato in 1992. She was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1999 and to Associate Professor in 2004. From 2004-2006 Robyn served as Chair of Department and in 2006 she was promoted to Professor. Robyn took on the role of Pro Vice-Chancellor Education in 2015 and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic in 2015.

During Robyn’s career, she has spent periods as a visitor at the University of Edinburgh and Durham University. She researches in the broad areas of social and cultural geography and has a particular interest in gender and embodiment. In more recent years, since being appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, she has become increasingly interested in research on teaching and learning.

Robyn's professional distinctions and memberships include:

  • 2019 Appointed to Marsden Fund SOC-STD Panel
  • 2018 Elected Fellow of Te Apārangi Royal Society of New Zealand
  • 2018 Awarded International Geographical Union Laureat d’honneur
  • 2018 Appointed to RAW (Reclaim Another Woman) Board of Directors
  • 2018 Inaugural Solidarity Award - Awarded by the Association of American Geographers, as a ‘Past and Present Editor of Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography
  • 2018 Elected Member of the Society of Woman Geographers (Washington, USA)
  • Chair Academic Quality Agency Cycle 6 Academic Audit – Enhancement Theme National Steering Group
  • 2016 Appointed member Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF) Peer Review Panel ‘Social Sciences and Other Cultural/Social Studies’ for the 2018 Quality Evaluation for New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission (TEC)
  • 2016 Appointed member Audit Panel for Academic Quality Agency (AAQ) – University of Otago
  • 2015 Appointed member Education and Human Society Research Evaluation Committee (REC) for the 2015 round of Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)
  • 2014 – 2016 Appointed Member of TEC PBRF Sector Reference Group
  • 2013 Awarded University of Waikato Research Postgraduate Supervision Excellence Award
  • 2012 Awarded Jan Monk Service Award by the Geographic Perspectives on Women (GPOW) Speciality Group of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) Citation reads: “This year’s recipient has a distinguished career of publishing feminist geography work for a number of years…”
  • 2006 and 2012 Appointed member PBRF Peer Review Panel ‘Social Sciences and Other Cultural/Social Studies’ for the Quality Evaluation
  • 2010 Distinguished New Zealand Geographer Award - recognises the breadth and impact of a geographer’s work both nationally and internationally
  • 2010 Awarded University of Waikato Teaching Excellence Award, presented by the Vice Chancellor
  • 2010 Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Teaching Excellence Award
  • 2008 – 2012 Chair of International Geographical Union Commission on Gender and Geography
  • 2007 – 2013 Editor, then Editor-in-Chief, Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography
  • 2007 - 2008 Awarded University of Waikato Summer Research Scholarship for a student to work on Migrant Women and Food project
  • 2007 Distinguished International Visitor, Dept. of Geography, Durham University
  • 2007 Awarded BRCSS (Building Research Capacity in the Social Sciences) Network funding for project ‘We are what we eat: food, place and identity for new migrant women in Aotearoa New Zealand’
  • 2003 – 2009 Chief Supervisor of three PhD students and Co-Supervisor of one student who received TEC Top Achiever Doctoral Scholarship
  • 2000-2006 Invited member of International Geographical Union Commission on Gender and Geography
  • 1997-2002 Co-Editor New Zealand Geographer
  • Invited Member of Editorial Boards – Dialogues in Geography (2010-ongoing), Social Geography section of Geography Compass (2012-ongoing), Gender, Place and Culture (2013-ongoing). Also served on the boards of Social & Cultural Geography; New Zealand Geographer; ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies; The Open Geography Journal; and Transactions Institute of British Geographers.

Research Supervised

Robyn has supervised more than 20 PhDs. She has recently supervised to completion four students who studied a range of topics including: the digital lives of Muslim sportswomen; Hinateiwaiwa and the ritual knowledges of the whare tangata, Bhutanese refugees in New Zealand and Muslim women’s experiences of living in Hamilton, New Zealand. Robyn is currently supervising three students - one who is researching 'activewear', another, gendered dimensions of climate change, and the third, lesbians having children.

Research Interests

Robyn is a socio-cultural researcher who has a particular interest in gender, bodies, space and place. Issues she has addressed include pregnancy, mothering, sexuality, ‘visceral geographies’, body size and in more recent years, digital media, and teaching and learning. She specialises in the use of qualitative methodologies including semi-structured interviews, focus groups, online data gathering and participant observation.

Recent Publications

  • Soltani, A., Johnston, L., & Longhurst, R. (2021). Fashioning hybrid Muslim women’s veiled embodied geographies in Hamilton, Aotearoa New Zealand: #hijabi spaces. Gender, Place & Culture, 1-26. doi:10.1080/0966369x.2021.1946487

  • Morrison, C., Woodbury, E., Johnston, L., & Longhurst, R. (2021). Everyday activisms: Parental places and emotions of disability activism in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand. Area. doi:10.1111/area.12756

  • Bedford, R., Kearns, R., Kennedy, D., Le Heron, R., Longhurst, R., Mansvelt, J., . . . Roche, M. (2020). The New Zealand Geographer reaches 75. New Zealand Geographer. doi:10.1111/nzg.12266

  • Morrison, C. -A., Woodbury, E., Johnston, L., & Longhurst, R. (2020). Disabled people's embodied and emotional geographies of (not)belonging in Aotearoa New Zealand. Health & Place, 102283. doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2020.102283 Open Access version:

Find more research publications by Robyn Longhurst


Education; Gender; Geography; Human Geography; Pedagogy; Social Science Research; Social Sciences and Education; Teaching and Learning