Academic Profile

Marion joined the School of Geography and the Environment in October 2017 as a Departmental Lecturer in Human Geography. She has a BA from the University of Rennes II (France) and an MA and PhD from the University of Geneva (Switzerland). Her PhD and her subsequent post-doctoral visiting fellowship at Oxford (2016-2017) were funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

Before moving to Oxford, Marion worked as a teaching assistant at the University of Geneva (2011-2015) and as a lecturer at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) (2015-2016), teaching on various topics including social and cultural geography and qualitative research methods.

Marion's research interests encompass political ecology, more-than-human geography, affect theory and geographies of work and labour. She employs qualitative, audio-visual and ethnographic methods on fieldwork in Switzerland and the UK, on topics that include urban agriculture, biosecurity and urban environmental management.

Current Research

Marion's current research seeks to open a space for dialogue between political ecology, affect geography, and the geographies of work and labour, exploring a) the affective labour involved in the making of environmental volunteers, b) the technological artefacts devised by environmentalist organisations to affect and move bodies, c) the (re)valuation of non-human labour in contemporary neoliberal environmental management.

Her current research assesses the impact of austerity policies on urban environmental management in the UK. It critically examines the (re)valuation of non-human and volunteer labour in the face of budget cuts, service restructuring and deprofessionalisation. Her research explores the discourses, devices and practices through which consent to work for free for the urban environment is manufactured, focusing in particular on the affective labour performed by environmental managers to get volunteers-to-be on board, equip them with tools and skills, and make them feel at the right - social and spatial - place. This project brings geographical research on affect together with recent research on labour and Foucauldian theories of subject-making to analyse the politics of governing subjects as affective bodies in urban environmental volunteering programs.

Marion is interested in audio-visual research methods, including ethnographic research films and video-elicitation techniques. She has used them in her own research as well as taught them at the University of Geneva.



For the Final Honours School, Marion convenes and lectures on the 'Environmental Geography' course and teaches the ‘Film-making as Geographical Method’ strand in the ‘Digital Methods' course. Marion also leads the Human Geography strand of the Tenerife fieldtrip.

In January 2019, she was awarded a Teaching Development and Enhancement Project award from the University’s Social Science Division for the ‘Film-making as Geographical Method’ course.


Marion teaches on the MSc course in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance (NSEG), where she lectures on the 'Urban Natures' module. She also teaches on the MSc course in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management (BCM), where she convenes and teaches on the 'Conservation and Society' module.

Current Graduate Research Students

Carley-Jane Stanton - Opportunity in post-disaster assemblages: Fire morel foraging in Western Canada

Selected Publications

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Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • Ernwein, M. (2020) From undead commodities to lively labourers: (re)valuing vegetal life, reclaiming the power to design-with plants. In, Gandy, M. and Jasper, S. (eds.) The Botanical City. Jovis Verlag. pp. 237-242.
  • Ernwein, M. (2017) Gemeinschaftsgärten und freiwillige Umweltarbeit: Die Aushandlung von Ort und Bedeutung der Bürger_innenbeteiligung in der Herstellung von Grünraum. In, Rosol, M., Kumnig, S. and Exner, A. (eds.) Umkämpftes Grün. Zwischen neoliberaler Stadtentwicklung und Stadtgestaltung von unten. Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld. pp. 187-207. ISBN: 978-3-8376-3589-8.
  • Ernwein, M. (2016) Jardiniers urbains : pratiques et représentations en circulation. In, Allemand, S. and Heurgon, E. (eds.) Nourritures jardinières dans les sociétés urbanisées. Hermann, Paris. pp. 99-104.
  • Ernwein, M. (2016) L'événement, nouveau régime de la fabrique urbaine. In, Györik Costas, L. (ed.) Dehors! Cultiver l'espace public. La Baconnière, Genève. pp. 88-95.
  • Ernwein, M. (2016) La gestion différenciée des espaces verts : Explorer les paradoxes du vivant en ville. In, Darribehaude, F., Gardon, S. and Lensel, B. (eds.) Le vivant en ville - Nouvelles émergences. Métropole de Lyon/Vetagro Sup, Lyon. pp. 90-97.
  • Salomon Cavin, J. and Ernwein, M. (2014) La ville fertile. Mythe fondateur pour l'agriculture urbaine à Genève. In, Donadieu, P. (ed.) L'agriurbanisation : reves ou realites?. Editopics, Paris. ISBN: 978-2-36992-001-4.

Other Publications

  • Ernwein, M. (forthcoming) Attentive observation and the cinematic imagination: an interview with Matthew Gandy. Revue Francaise de Methodes Visuelles.
  • Ernwein, M. (forthcoming) Review of Who Cleans the Park? Public Work and Urban Governance in New York City, by John Krinsky and Maud Simonet (2017). Metropoles.
  • Ernwein, M. (2013) "Renouveau des jardins: clés pour un monde durable?" Colloque, Cerisy-la-salle, 3-13 août 2012. Conference Review. Natures Sciences Societes, 21(4): 436-438.