Senior Lecturer in Environmental sciences and leader of 3S’s Participation and Engagement research strand. I am an environmental social scientist and environmental geographer, specialising in interdisciplinary, theoretically informed, policy-relevant research at the interface between environmental science, geography, science and technology studies, and risk research. I joined UEA in January 2009, having previously spent five years as Lecturer in Environment and Society at the University of Birmingham directly after completing an ESRC/NERC funded PhD in 2003 at the Department of Geography, University College London.
A key focus of my work centres on participatory research, assessment and decision-making in the context of sustainability, energy, waste and emerging technologies (including biotechnology and nanotechnology). This has involved: (i) developing innovative ‘analytic-deliberative’ approaches to participatory appraisal that link formal technology/risk assessment and multi-criteria techniques with deliberative approaches to public and stakeholder engagement, in research funded by CoRWM, Defra, the Environment Agency, Natural England, and UNEP; (ii) developing and applying frameworks for evaluating the effectiveness of participatory processes and outcomes in research for ESRC/NERC, Sciencewise, and Research Councils UK; and (iii) initiating critical studies of participation in science and the environment, which has developed out of my in-depth research into public engagement experts – the first study of its type, in the UK context at least, to examine these social scientists and other participatory practitioners operating at the science-policy interface – and is being taken forward through an ESRC Seminar Series that I am leading in 2009-2010 (see here). These main strands of research link with my work on corporate governance and decision making for sustainability, including work funded by Defra and HARC, and research into public understandings and responses to environmental risk, including the supervision of a doctoral research project on natural hazards. In relation to these areas of research and practice I have taken up advisory roles for Defra, the Environment Agency, InterAct, and was appointed as a member of the Royal Society Kohn Award for Excellence in Engaging the Public with Science Panel in 2008. I was awarded the Jackson Environment Institute Award for research excellence in 1998 and the Mitchell International Young Scholar Award in Sustainable Development in 2001.