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 international business career focused on environmental and social performance management and communications and 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 Books Bulletin and a free download of PeruZine
Betula Books was established in 2021 as an independent publisher of photography books exploring sustainability, culture and natural heritage. It would be great to connect with you via the Betula Books Bulletin for some behind the scenes from my work, news and special offers about my books, films and photography. Just by connecting 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.
Click on the link below to see Cobbled Together and other books.
Two of the publications released by Betula Books in 2021 were 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 first book Environmental Assessment in Practice (Routledge, 1999) was written while working around the world as an environmental consultant. Developing Communities in Peru (2018) also emerged from that time when working in mining and energy in Peru. I have 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 released 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. The full version was featured extensively on Peruvian national television; the short version was a finalist in the RATMA International Film Festival in 2021.
My latest book is World Heritage. Environmental Change (2022), a photozine examining climate change, with images from World Heritage sites in Canada.
Looking for help or collaboration on sustainability projects?
You can see galleries of my images in my photography portfolio. My documentary films are posted on my Vimeo film page. 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, its splendid, rugged moorland and cobbled main street, as featured in my book Cobbled Together.
Exploration was mapped into me at an early age. Before going to university to study biology, I went on an expedition to the Svartisen Icefield in arctic Norway. After graduation and time working in medical research and manufacturing, 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. A camera and binoculars, field notebooks, Lamy pens and guides tucked into my Fjallraven jacket pockets became part of my regular appearance!