Dr Leah Fusco


I am an artist and researcher and Associate Professor/Course Leader for MA Illustration. My interests centre on geographic and historic subject matter in place research, exploring the use of mapping, narrative, and imaging technologies. I have worked across publishing, research, exhibition, and public engagement, collaborating with a range of partners in the cultural sector. My doctoral research, supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, tested practical and conceptual frameworks in documentary and imaging methods employed in the visual representation of place, from traditional drawing tools to remote sensing software.

I have contributed to undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of learning across illustration, animation, drawing, visual communication, and landscape architecture. Institutions include University for the Creative Arts, Norwich University of the Arts, University of the Arts London, Falmouth University, and the Royal College of Art. 

Academic responsibilities

Associate Professor and Course Leader MA Illustration


  • PhD Design Practice - Kingston University
  • MA Communication Art and Design - Royal College of Art
  • Fellowship - Advance HE (FHEA)

Teaching and learning

I have contributed to undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Higher Education with a focus on practice-based research, visual methodologies, and creative co-design. I am interested in the relationship between visual communication and humanity disciplines and aligning illustration education with SHAPE (Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts for People and the Economy/Environment). 

A Fellow of Higher Education (FHEA), Advance HE, my teaching interests focus on experiential and location-based activities as a means of knowledge making and integrating teaching and research. I enjoy initiating and collaborating with students on intersectional projects in pedagogy, which has recently taken form as a cross institutional funded platform, Remote Sensing. The platform is an open access online resource to share challenges encountered, and resulting legacies, in arts and humanities research during pandemic restrictions on sites, collections, and communities.

I have been involved in key areas of academic administration and quality assurance and enhancement, and served as an external examiner on (re)validation panels and postgraduate awards. 

Qualifications and expertise

  • Fellowship - Advance HE (FHEA)

Postgraduate courses taught


My research interests and outputs are situated in place research spanning geographic, historic, archaeological, and ecological perspectives. This has developed into an increasing focus on Blue Humanities, leading me to working in diverse disciplinary and dissemination settings. I am interested in the potential of creative fieldwork methods to disrupt established and conventional ways of accessing and interpreting place, impacting on areas such as heritage, pedagogy, public engagement, land use, and policy making.

Beating the Bounds, Bader International Study Centre, University of the Arts London (UAL), Kent University, 2022, project manager 

In-Heritage, Kent University, Architecture Media Politics Society (Amps), 2022, collaborative paper and presentation 

Illustrating Northeye: An Exploration of Time, Matter, and Movement at a Historic Wetland Site, Kingston University, 2021, doctoral thesis

Remote Sensing, University of the Arts London, 2021, symposium co-organiser and publication editor

Northeye: A Reclaimed Landscape, Bexhill Museum, Kingston University, 2019 - 2020, artist residency

‘Re-‘: Methods of Illustrative Practice in Heritage, University College London, Association of Critical Heritage Studies, 2020, collaborative presentation 

Creative Visual Enquiries Through Riverscapes, Iterations Design Research Journal, 2020, collaborative journal article 

Heritage Management in Dynamic Environments, Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency, 2019, film screening 

Another Land, Kingston Museum and Stanley Picker Gallery, 2019, curator and producer

Marsh Women, Royal College of Art, Feminisms and Materialisms Symposium, 2018, paper presentation

Drawing Waters, Royal Geographic Society Annual International Conference, Cardiff University, 2018, workshop co-leader 

Between the Visible and the Invisible, Maraya Arts Centre, Sharjah, 2018, group exhibition 

Drawing Waters, Design Research Society Conference, University of Limerick, 2018, workshop co-leader 

Gesture, Trace and Performance, University for the Creative Arts, Herbert Read Gallery, 2017, group exhibition 

Gone to Earth, Southampton University, Theoretical Archaeological Group, 2016, session leader and paper presentation 

Tracing Lines, Edinburgh College of Art, International Illustration Research Symposium, 2016, paper presentation and workshop leader 

Secret Histories, Hidden Landscape, Built Environment Trust Journal, 2016, visual essay

Past, Present, and Future Narratives of a Deserted Medieval Village, Baltic & Newcastle University, Cultural Heritage in Landscape (CHeriScape): Landscape in Imagination and the Virtual Future, 2016, poster presentation  

Imag(in)ing Islands, Leicester University, Conceptualising Islands in History, 2016, paper presentation

Qualifications and expertise

  • PhD Design Practice

Areas of specialism

  • Visual Documentary
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Blue Humanities
  • Public Engagement

Scholarly affiliations

  • Environments of Change
  • Illustration Research Network