Researcher biography

Rebecca Olive joined the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences in 2017. Her work about lifestyle and nature sports contributes to critical cultural, social and historical teaching and research relating to sport, physical cultures, bodies, and health. Rebecca publishes in journals and books across Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Sport Sociology, and Sport History, and has co-edited a book with Holly Thorpe, Women in Action Sport Cultures: Identity, Politics and Experience (2016).

In 2019, she was awarded a DECRA for her project baout human-ocean health, 'Understanding ecological sensibilities in recreational lifestyle sports'. This project explores practices and cultures of ocean swimming and surfing to understand intersections human and environmental health. The project uses ethnographic methods (fieldwork and interviews) to make sense of ocean-swimmers' and surfers' relationships to sharks, plastics, and localism at a range of urban and regional beaches. You can read more about this work on her Moving Oceans website.

Rebecca also continues focus on issues of equity and diversity and action/lifestyle sports and cultures, in particular women's experiences. Taking a feminist cultural studies approach to theories of power, ethics and pedagogy, she is interested in how we influence cultural change in everyday lived physical cultures towards more inclusive access and participation. Current projects include:

  • Bluespaces and health
  • Nature sports
  • Women in sport, physical activity and leisure practices
  • Self-representation on social media – elite athletes, recreational sports and fitness cultures
  • Feminist research methods