The Team

Meet The Tranquil Places Team
Professor Denise Hewlett- University of Winchester 

Dr Denise Hewlett is a Professor in Knowledge Exchange and the Principal Investigator for all of Tranquillity and Wellbeing projects shown on this website. She joined the University of Winchester in January 2011 as a Senior Lecturer on Management Programmes. Prior to this appointment and whilst completing her PhD, Denise worked in the public sector and with the EU on projects concerned with managing protected areas for recreational, tourism and conservation objectives; and for Bournemouth University, in the School of Service Industries, as both a Lecturer and Researcher in the world-leading International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research. Prior to these careers, Denise worked for more than fifteen years in the private sector as a strategic manager for a number of national and international organisations in the service industries.


Denise, winner of the 2017 University Leadership in Research Award, continues to work with a number of national and international organisations. Her current projects examine community perceptions of intrinsic and extrinsic qualities of National Parks and AONBs from which decisions taken on the development, planning and management of these areas can be informed (see below). Her most recent work with the British Academy,  

examines place-based policy making with the National Association of AONBs, the benefits of designated landscapes for public health and wellbeing, and continuing with tranquillity modelling in GIS, the automation of tranquillity research and AI approaches to protected area management and challenges including concerns over climate change and visitor impacts. 

In her Knowledge Exchange role, Denise works with numerous organisations in the public and private sectors and with community groups in the UK and overseas. She is a steering group member of the New Forest Ecademy, is a Trustee for the National Association of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), is an active member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and plays a leading role for the University in Knowledge Exchange initiatives, co-working research projects with public organisations.  Separate to her professional interests, Denise plays an active role in writing a blog raising awareness of breast cancer and actively contributes to  fund-raising campaigns and further cancer awareness activities, through involvement in the research insight panel of Breast Cancer Now.

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Richard Clarke

Richard is a key member of the team and in addition to a guest speaker role on our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, he provides for a practitioner perspective on all research we progress and the solutions we construct on behalf of government bodies and institutions across the UK and in the EU. He has been educated, trained and worked in the environmental sector, for over 30 years.  In much of the last 25 years he has led environmental professionals to develop policy, collaborative partnerships, teams and individuals to be able to deliver strategic objectives that are designed to conserve and manage environmental assets.

He has considerable experience in the public and third sectors and has worked extensively in the context of protected areas, with Designated Landscapes, promoting landscape scale approaches to policy and planning activities throughout the UK. As an advocate for the South East and Eastern Protected Landscapes (SEEPL) (AONBs and National Parks), he is a key facilitater of activities, leading engagement with planning officers from protected area authorities in policy formulation and in securing and managing resources.


Currently, he is the Policy and Development Manager for The National Association for AONBs (NAAONB). In this role he facilitates collaboration amongst staff representing 46 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty across the UK.  He is a key senior member of their team leading on team development and most recently change management.  He chairs a local Rivers Trust, Action for the River Kennet, and up until last year was the Chair of the national charity, Flora Locale.


He is a qualified Lumina Spark practitioner guiding individuals and teams through self-assessed psychometric profiling to improve their individual and team performance in the workplace.

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Richard Gunton

My guiding passion is to improve our relationship to our natural environment. My work seeks to help improve the management of farmland, nature reserves and other wild places in two ways: first by understanding why particular species of plants and animals occur where they do, and second by probing the philosophical frameworks that are used, consciously and unconsciously, in the practice of scientific research and the implementation of scientists’ advice. I am therefore also passionate about education: helping people engage with the world of ideas to arouse creativity and insight in a context of humility and wisdom.

My recent academic publications have used statistics, simulations and philosophical insights to understand the occurrence of parasitoids and rare arable weeds, to inform broad-scale conservation planning, to place sustainable intensification agendas in a global perspective, and to shed light on the philosophical structure of ecology. In 2017 a working group that I led published an Opinion piece in Trends in Ecology & Evolution entitled “Beyond Ecosystem Services: Valuing the Invaluable” which sets out an alternative framework for prioritising and assessing the protection of wild places.  This provides the focus for my CECAN Fellowship, which is looking at policy evaluation in the light of a multi-aspectual framework for understanding diverse stakeholders’ concerns and motives.

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Ainara Terradillos- Researcher in GIS and Remote Sensing Trainer

Ainara Terradillos Tejerina is our Research lead - GIS on the ESRC-funded Broadly Engaging with Tranquillity Project, (2013-2015) and Project lead and adviser to local authorities on the GIS processes designed for the Broadly Engaging with Tranquillity Easy & Refined (BETER) project (2016-present). Ainara additionally is leading on GIS modelling required for evaluating landscape features on public health and wellbeing. Over her 10 years’ experience in GIS & Remote Sensing, she has developed in-depth expertise in forest certification & monitoring, water use and the modelling of qualitative data.


Prior to joining the University of Winchester, Ainara worked as remote sensing consultant at the Regional Amazon Centre of the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE). She supported the establishment of national deforestation monitoring programmes in member countries of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization.


Previously, Ainara worked on mapping water use in Andalucia, Spain, and as a forest engineer in preparing for the auditing of forestry certification standards for the Andalusian Environmental Agency. Ainara holds an MSc in Disaster Management and Sustainable Development from Northumbria University, an MSc in Forest Engineering from the Lleida University, Spain and a BSc in Technical Forest Engineering, specialising in Forestry Management from the University of Valladolid (Spain).

Dr Debra Gray

Dr Debra Gray is a Reader in Social Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Winchester. Her research is informed by social, community and environmental psychology, with a specific interest in the relationship between participation, social identities, and health and wellbeing.  She has been involved in interdisciplinary research on citizenship and political engagement, on the relationship between place and participation, on participation in volunteering, and on participation in health service design and delivery. She has expertise in a range of methodologies, both qualitative and quantitative, and her work has been funded by the Department of Health, the NHS, and various Third Sector Organisations. 

Dr James Faulkner

Dr James Faulkner is a BASES (British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences) accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist. James is a Reader in Exercise Physiology and Head of Research and Knowledge Exchange in the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Winchester (February 2015 to present). James’ research assesses the benefits of physical activity as a means of secondary prevention care for patients with cardiovascular and/or cerebrovascular disease. In particular, people who have experienced a stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or cardiac event.

Natalia Lavrushkina

Natalia Lavrushkina works as a research assistant and lecturer with the University of Winchester  Faculty of Business, Law and Sport and at Bournemouth University’s Faculty of Management.   She is an EdD doctoral researcher at the University of Southampton. A trained economist, her research expertise is in structural equation modelling, social network analysis and GIS mapping.


Her research interests in the UK, across the EU, in Latin-America and Russia, focus on ‘enterprise and communities’ and evaluations of public access to landscapes on their health and wellbeing. Natalia is currently working with us on a number of case study projects for  public sector partners, where specifically her investigations centre on green/blue spaces, rural, peri-urban  and urban  landscape mapping, the application of GIS to statistical/structural modelling research designs, and the use of leisure space by migrant/refugee status communities. Within the topics of enterprise and community her expertise ranges from increasing insights into work experiences of prisoner rehabilitation; motivations for graduate enterprise; the development of social and community enterprise in rural communities; and the progression of entrepreneurship strategies in transitional economies. Her postgraduate research in Higher Education focuses on the notion of  ‘collegiality’, hence encompasses the role of networking within research communities; and peer to peer sexual harassment within university institutions.

Jorge Bruno Senior Lecturer Department of Accounting, Finance, Mathematics and Economics

Dr Jorge Bruno, PhD Mathematics, BSc Mathematics, BSc Physics, FHEA, is Senior Lecturer in Mathematics. Prior to joining Department of Accounting and Investment in 2017, Jorge was a Teaching Fellow at the University of Bath. Before moving to the UK, Jorge was a researcher at the Fields Institute, Toronto, and a Visiting Lecturer at York University. Jorge obtained his doctoral degree from the National University of Ireland, Galway, under the supervision of Dr Aisling McCluskey.  Both undergraduate degrees were completed at James Madison University.

Hazel BrownHead of Department, Sport, Exercise and Health Faculty of Health and Wellbeing

Hazel undertook her doctoral studies at the University of Southampton where she researched student expectations and perceptions of undergraduate study in sport and exercise.  After a period of teaching quantitative methods to postgraduate students in the Faculty of Health Sciences she moved to the University of Winchester and soon took on programme leadership for the BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching degree.  In 2017 Hazel became the Head of Department of Sport, Exercise and Health, and she has been instrumental in the development of both the physiotherapy degree and the new nursing degrees offered by her Department.  Hazel has some 20 years experience of teaching in Higher Education and her current research interests lie in health and wellbeing, as well as higher education.  She is currently supervising a PhD study on the development of a wellbeing scale for use with young people in blue spaces.  Her interest in this grew out of a research project that found multiple benefits from learning to dinghy sail (Cotterill & Brown, 2018), including heightened wellbeing.  The challenge of measuring wellbeing is what captured Hazel’s imagination, especially in blue and green spaces. Hazel is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

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Lisa Harding

Lisa Harding PgCLTHE, MSc Strategic Human Resource Management, BSc (Psych), CMCIPD, joined the University of Winchester in September 2009 as a Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management.  Prior to joining the University, Lisa spent 20 years in the banking industry predominately managing and leading teams within the personal finance retail network and in business banking.

Lisa is currently undertaking a PhD.  Her study explores the work experiences of academics engaged in portfolio working.  Lisas key research interests centre on the application of mixed methods in applied research contexts.  

ArIyan Alimadadi- C.A.A Licensed Drone Operator

Ariyan graduated at the University of Winchester with a Bachelor's and Masters degree in Applied Sport and Exercise Science. Following his time in higher education, Ariyan pursued his passion of aerial videography by establishing Upperlook Productions. He holds a PfCO (Permission for Commercial Operation), certified by the Civil Aviation Authority, allowing to operate aerial filming equipment that offers a unique perspective to our areas of research. For any general enquiries regarding video content or aerial surveys, please feel free to drop him a message.

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