Royal appointment for Professor Jo Sharp

Thursday 14 April 2022
Professor Sharp (centre) with Principal Professor Sally Mapstone and RSGS CEO Mike Robinson

Jo Sharp, Professor of Geography at the University of St Andrews, has been appointed Geographer Royal for Scotland.

Professor Sharp’s role will be to promote geography in Scotland, champion Scottish geography internationally and develop ‘geographical thinking’ within public life.

Only the sixth person to hold the title, Professor Sharp, of the School of Geography and Sustainable Development at St Andrews, is one of Scotland’s most distinguished geographers. She has been at the cutting edge of scholarship and public engagement around issues of inclusion and diversity for 25 years.

Jo has authored and edited more than 120 works, including 11 books, most recently the widely praised Imagine a Country with Val McDermid, about Scotland’s future.

On accepting the position, Professor Sharp said: “A geographical education provides a wonderful range of skills to make sense of the world around us, asking why it looks the way it does, why there are differences between people and places, and what needs to change to make it better.

“I am honoured to be taking up this position and am excited to be able to use this as a platform to share my enthusiasm for my discipline.”

St Andrews Principal and Vice-Chancellor Sally Mapstone FRSE said: “I am delighted at the appointment of Professor Jo Sharp to the role of Geographer Royal for Scotland. Jo brings a wealth of expertise, experience and compelling vision to this position and I know she will prove an excellent ambassador for geography in Scotland and internationally.”

Environment and Land Reform Minister Màiri McAllan welcomed the appointment: “Professor Sharp is one of the most distinguished and well-regarded figures in her field with a well-deserved reputation as a pioneering, feminist and political geography researcher and teacher.

“Scotland has some of the most unique and diverse geographies in the world – increasing our understanding of the places around us will help us build better, more resilient communities which benefit people and the environment we live in.”

Royal Scottish Geographical Society Chief Executive Mike Robinson said: “We look forward to working closely with Jo Sharp over the coming years. As the subject of geography is dynamic and ever evolving it is fitting that the role of Geographer Royal for Scotland is now a six-year placement rather than a life one, allowing new disciplines within geography to be explored and opportunities for the society itself to progress.

“We welcome the unique skills, expertise and enthusiasm that Jo will bring to the role.”

The official warrant appointing Professor Sharp was approved and signed by Her Majesty The Queen and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

For more information contact the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

Category Public interest stories

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