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Weathered Lives

This project has received funding from the Wellcome Trust (2019-2021), the ESRC (2021) and County Durham Sport (2021-2022).


Weather is a constant thrum in our everyday lives. It shapes what we see, feel, say, where we go, and what we do when we get there. It is also integral to our health and wellbeing from extreme events often causing injury and mortality, to everyday weathers having more subtle impacts on movement and mood. Weather weaves through our memories, is part of our identity, our sense of belonging, and our future imaginings.

Within the context of a changing climate, Weathered Lives is an ongoing programme of research and activities exploring how in the context of a changing climate we relate to, experience, respond, and contribute to our local weather worlds across the life course.

Weathered Lives connects with several of IMH’s research strands including Everyday Environments and Critical Concepts.

Research Team:

Prof. Cassandra Phoenix (Lead investigator, Durham)

Dr Sarah Bell (University of Exeter)

Dr Benedict Wheeler (University of Exeter)

Project Activities

Activities undertaken as part of the Weathered Lives project.

In Memoriam

A collaboration with multidisciplinary artist Luke Jerram, In Memoriam references the role that the weather played in our health and mental wellbeing during lockdown.

Whatever the Weather

Weathered Lives was invited to lead a panel discussion as part of the Communicate programme organised by The Natural History Consortium.
Surfer in the snow

Weather Wonderings

The Weather Wonderings workshop brought together 25 academics spanning various career stages and disciplines with a shared interest in weather.
Sketchnote reflecting on the place of health and wellbeing through life's varied and fluctuating weather

Temperature Life Stories: Feeling the Heat

The Weathered Lives team were invited to collaborate on a new project exploring human experiences of rising temperatures.
Cropped version of the Temperature Life Stories


An online creative writing workshop, designed to explore the significance of weather in our lives.
Black and white photo of line of desks on beach with typewriters and chairs

Winter Walking in Older Age

A collaborative research project with County Durham Sport to understand the role of winter-weather for older adults walking practices in County Durham.
Backs of two people walking down a snowy path under the cover of snow-covered trees

Creative Conversations

An In Conversation event with writer, editor and environmental humanities scholar Samantha Walton.
Flyer advertising Sam Walton talk on 'Everybody Needs Beauty' and the connections between nature and health


Weather Talk Podcast:

In the UK at least, talking about the weather has been described as a national obsession. Natural history writer, Richard Mabey, describes the almost daily use of coded phrases about what the weather was, is, and forecast to be, as a heartening acknowledgement that we’re all in the weather together.

The Weather Talk podcast offers a series of brief introductory conversations with researchers from a range of disciplines and adopting different perspectives, who are brought together through a shared interest in life’s weather worlds.


On Meteorological Modernism - Dr Barry Sheils

Dr Barry Sheils, Associate Director in the Centre for Culture and Ecology at Durham University discusses the cultural significance of weather forecasting through a reading of literary texts and commentary on the development of weather science.

Listen here.

On Weathering – Dr Astrida Nemanis

Dr Astrida Nemanis from the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney at the time of recording, and now FEELed Lab Director & Canada Research Chair in Feminist Environmental Humanities at UBC, Okenagan, discusses the concept of weathering as a way of understanding how bodies, places and the weather are all inter-implicated in our climate-changing world.

Listen here.

On Weather Wandering – Dr Tonya Rooney

Dr Tonya Rooney from the School of education and the Australian Catholic University in Canberra discusses her research on children's relations in and with space, time and more-than-human worlds including how their informal engagement with weather (wandering) shapes their experience climate change.

Listen here.

On Weather, Wellbeing and Lockdown – Dr Sarah Bell

Weathered Lives team member Dr Sarah Bell from the European Centre for Environment and Human Health at the University of Exeter, offers a poignant reflection on the interweaving of weather and wellbeing in the era of Covid-19.

Listen here.

On the California Santa Ana Winds – Dr Gareth Hoskins

Dr Gareth Hoskins from the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at the Aberystwyth University discusses knowing weather through environmental histories and the politics of memory. His research on Californian mining memories, and the Santa Ana winds draws attention to weather cultures and how these change over time.

Listen here.

On Weather, Spaces, Mobilities and Affects - Dr Kaya Barry

Dr Kaya Barry is a cultural geographer and artist based in the Griffith Centre for Social Cultural Research at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia. Kaya talks about her research on weather mobilities and provides an overview of her co-edited collection (with Maria Borovnik and Tim Edensor) titled ‘Weather: Spaces, Mobilities and Affects’ (Routledge. 2021).

Listen here.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland – At Any Age!

Research informed information booklet, produced with County Durham Sport to share with walk leaders and other stakeholders involved in implementing Healthy Ageing and Physical Activity strategies.