Dr. Mary Benbow

Associate Professor
Department of Environment and Geography
Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources

(204) 474-9753
235 St. John's College




Doctor of Philosophy - University of Liverpool, 1991
Bachelor of Arts - Honours - University of Liverpool, 1986

Recent Courses Taught

GEOG 3860 Animal Geographies 
EER 1000 Earth: A User’s Guide

Interests and Expertise
My primary research interests focus upon the social, cultural, and environmental implications of zoos and aquariums. This research looks at how these cultural institutions affect human perceptions of animals and conservation that in turn impact how animals are managed. This forms part of a broader field “Animal Geographies” that looks at the multifaceted roles that animals play in our lives and seeks to illuminate the complex relationships between humans and animals. This has encompassed how zoos have developed as spaces and places including how they utilize the Internet and their role as public spaces. This further extends to work zoo maps in the form of critical cartography in which zoo maps are examined as texts. My work also includes the zoo as cultural landscape and its implications for family zoo visitors through photo elicitation, visitor attitudes and behaviours regarding climate change, and the analysis of overheard zoo visitor conversations and visitor behaviour.
Recent & Significant Publications

Hallman, B. C. and Benbow, S. M. P., 2010, ‘Seeing if you can catch the one picture that just makes it’: Placeing Family Life Through Family Zoo Photography, pp. 10 – 30, in Hallman, B. C. (ed.) Family Geographies: The Spatiality of Families and Family Life, Oxford University Press (Don Mills, Ontario), 246 pp.
Benbow, S. M. P. and Hallman, B., 2008, Reading the Zoo Map: Cultural Heritage Insights from Popular Cartography, International Journal of Heritage Studies, 14(1), pp. 30 – 42. Invited Manuscript.
Hallman, B. C. and Benbow, S. M. P., 2007, Family Leisure, Photography and Zoos: Exploring the Emotional Geographies of Families, Social and Cultural Geography, 8(6), pp. 871 – 888.
Hallman, B. and Benbow, S. M. P., 2006, Naturally Cultural: The Zoo as Cultural Landscape, The Canadian Geographer, 50(2), pp. 256-264.
Benbow, S. M. P., 2004, Death and Dying at the Zoo, Journal of Popular Culture, 37(3), pp. 379-398

For information on my current research projects please visit my website.