Hello, I’m Ashley Nixon, a photographer, filmmaker, writer, and university teacher, based in Calgary, Canada. I am a curious explorer and passionate communicator on sustainability, culture and natural heritage.
My business and teaching career has focused on environmental and social performance management and communications and I have worked in over 30 countries. I teach sustainability and writing about images at Mount Royal University. I have a Ph.D. in ecology and am proud to be a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.
Get the Betula Bulletin and a free download of PeruZine 01!
It would be great to connect with you via the Betula Bulletin for some behind the scenes from my work, news and special offers about my books, films and photography. Just for signing up you can download a free pdf copy of the first edition of PeruZine, my new series of short books about people and places in Peru with a focus on sustainability and culture. You can, of course, unsubscribe at any time.
I established Betula Books in 2021 as an independent publisher of work (via writing, art and photography) on sustainability, culture and natural heritage. The two latest books are Cobbled Together, a book of my photographs and West Riding dialect and other poems by my Mum, Dorothy Nixon and Social Camouflage, a collection of studio portraits and location photographs that reflect on our changing society and challenged, often surreal, lives during the pandemic in 2020. Please click on the button below to find out more.
My writing portfolio began with a university textbook, Environmental Assessment in Practice, written (with D. Owen Harrop) while working around the world as an environmental consultant. Developing Communities in Peru (2018) is another book that emerged from that time when working in mining and energy in Peru. I have also published a history of the Calgary Canucks Rugby Club (2019), photo books about female hockey, pop culture and cosplayers (All Dressed Up) and musical performance (Sledding).
In 2020, I published Beyond the Mask, a book of photographs and stories from local people in Mito about the Huaconada, an ancient ritual dance in Peru, recognized by UNESCO for its intangible cultural heritage. The book (in English and Spanish) compliments my most recent documentary film La Máscara y Más which you can view on my Vimeo site.
Photography and films
If you are looking for help or collaboration on photography, films or other sustainability projects, it would be great to hear from you via this contact form.
My Creative Journey
I grew up in the village of Haworth, in Yorkshire, England, a well-known place for its connections with the Brontë sisters, and its splendid, rugged moorland. It was featured in Cobbled Together, mentioned earlier.
Exploration was mapped into me at an early age. Before going to university to study biology, I went on expedition to the Svartisen Icefield in arctic Norway and travelled across Europe by train. After graduation and time working in medical research (anaesthetics) and manufacturing (making and delivering conveyor belts), I qualified as a teacher, and taught university courses in conservation and environmental assessment. I earned my Ph.D. in ecology from Coventry University by studying environmental changes associated with woodland restoration on the beautiful island of Rum in the Scottish Hebrides. An analogue film camera and binoculars, field notebooks and guides tucked into Fjallraven jacket pockets became part of my regular appearance!