Dr Doris Carson

Ph.D, M.A

University Fellow

Doris is an economic and human geographer interested in the socio-economic development of communities in sparsely populated, rural and remote areas.  She completed her PhD in 2011 at James Cook University in Australia, looking at the dynamics of regional tourism innovation systems in remote resource peripheries. Doris also holds a Master degree in tourism and leisure management from the IMC Krems University of Applied Sciences in Austria.

Doris moved to Umeå in northern Sweden in 2014 to work on tourism and lifestyle related mobilities in the Arctic and their impacts on innovation capacity in small rural communities. She is now a researcher and lecturer at the Department of Geography and Economic History at Umeå University, specialising in tourism, lifestyle mobilities and migration, and small community development in sparsely populated areas. 

Before moving to Sweden, Doris was a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Regional Engagement at the University of South Australia (2011-2014) and a research assistant at the former School for Social and Policy Research at CDU (2008-2010). During her time in Australia, she was involved in a number of research projects in the fields of rural and remote tourism development, rural community wellbeing, remote urban development, and Indigenous mobility and homelessness. Doris was a visiting researcher at the Scottish Rural Agricultural College (May 2013), a visiting researcher and lecturer at Lakehead University, Canada (October-November 2013), and a visiting lecturer in tourism at IMC Krems University, Austria (various stints between 2011 and 2013).

Research Interests

  • Rural and remote tourism development
  • Economic diversification from extractive to attractive industries in rural and remote areas
  • Local systems of innovation in rural and remote areas
  • Community resilience, adaptation and innovation capacity
  • Mobilities and migration in rural and remote areas
  • Changing demographic and settlement patterns in rural and remote areas
  • The impacts of urbanisation on socio-economic development in rural and remote areas

Current Research Projects

  • Cities of the North: Urbanisation, mobilities and new development opportunities for sparsely populated hinterlands, 2016-2020, ~AU$1.2million
  • Mobilities, micro-urbanisation and changing settlement patterns in the sparsely populated North, 2016-2020, ~AU$1.4million
  • Modelling the demographic future of small villages in sparsely populated areas, Swedish Research Council FORMAS, 2016-2018, ~AU$450,000

Professional Positions, Memberships & Awards

  • 2012 - James Cook University, Dean’s Award for Research Higher Degree Excellence
  • 2013 - University of South Australia (UniSA), Early Career Researcher International Travel Award

Link to Research Publications

Doris Carson


T: +46 90 786 51 99
E: doris.carson@umu.se

Umeå University
Umeå, Sweden