Department of Geography


Photo of Dr Diana Martin

Dr Diana Martin

  • Qualifications: Laurea degree in Oriental Languages and Cultures; MA in Cultural Geography (Research); PhD in Human Geography
  • Role Title: Senior Lecturer
  • Address: Buckingham Building, Lion Terrace, Portsmouth, PO1 3HE
  • Telephone: 023 9284 6489
  • Email:
  • Department: Geography
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science


I graduated from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy) in 2005 with a Laurea degree in Oriental Languages and Cultures where my major was Arabic language and Middle Eastern studies. I then obtained a MA in Cultural Geography in 2007 from the Royal Holloway University of London and a PhD in Human Geography in 2012 from Durham University where I investigated geographies of exception and exclusion as materialised in the status and spaces of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

Before relocating to Portsmouth and taking up a research associate position in 2014, I was based in South Africa where I worked as an independent researcher and consultant on issues of right to and access to housing and geographies of disability.

Teaching Responsibilities

I contribute to several core and optional units:

  • Tools for Geographical Enquiry (L4)
  • Society and Place (L4)
  • Global Environmental Challenges (L4)
  • Practical Fieldwork Skills (L4)
  • Geopolitics and Geographies of Development (L5)
  • Geographies Of Wellbeing, Work And Place (L5)
  • Residential Field Class (L5)
  • Research, Design and Practice (L5)
  • Environment and Development (L6)


My research interests coalesce around geographies of exclusion and inclusion particularly manifested in the condition of refugees.

My doctoral research investigated geographies of exception as materialised in the status and spaces of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. The thesis investigated the complex networks of local, regional and international decisions impacting upon the Palestinian life, and the micropolitics on the ground by capturing camps governance and refugees’ resilience. This work also interrogated the relationship between the refugee camp, the city and informal settlements and, in doing so, problematised the uncritical assimilation of refugee camps to spaces of exception.

Building on this work, I’m broadly interested in exploring the relationship between temporariness and permanency in relation to migration and forced displacement. My present research agenda includes an investigation of European states’ responses to migration and the kind of geographies (formal and informal) these responses produce. In particular, I investigate the complex relationship between formal reception centres (set up by European and national authorities), and more informal geographies produced by refugees themselves.

Other research interest and experience include:

  • disability and the crucial role of accessibility for a more inclusive society;
  • how contemporary geopolitics is understood and enacted by children through play (RA for ESRC project ‘Ludic Geopolitics: Children’s play, war toys and re-enchantment with the British military’, PI Dr Tara Woodyer, Department of Geography, University of Portsmouth).

Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

View profile