Dr Owain Hanmer

Research Fellow

I am the Research Fellow in supporting, enhancing, and transforming communities at InFuse, working with Local Authority workers on this theme. My core research focus always relates to the positive interventions of communities in their own lives and places, the various ways that this can relate to the state, and the broader (and unfolding) social and political implications of this. 


I have been doing my PhD at the School of Geography and Planning since 2017, where I researched the commons, and more specifically the process of commoning. This is a relatively overlooked aspect of governance, and one with a lot of imaginative and hopeful theorisation, but very little grounded empirical work. I carried out my research in community gardens and allotments in Cardiff, which occupy a sort of ambiguous and contradictory space in many ways. My route in to academia was a little unexpected, however. I grew up on a small farm just outside of Cardiff, and I graduated from my undergraduate degree at Swansea University in 2008, exactly at the time of the recession. I then worked lots of varied jobs including in call centres, as a support worker in homeless hostels, but mostly as a gardener, before going back to University to do a Masters in Eco Cities.

Outside of Work 

I enjoy all physical types of work, so I spend a lot of time gardening – sometimes for other people, but usually at my allotment in Leckwith. I also play guitar in a band, and enjoy cooking (sometimes the food I’ve grown).