My research explores the factors which shape public acceptance of low carbon energy in the UK, focusing on onshore wind and solar farms. It is also investigating the factors which influence planning decisions for renewable technologies, and the relationship between decision-making and public acceptance in this context.
My PhD is part of the UK Energy Research Centre's ADVENT project (Addressing Valuation of Energy and Nature Together) which explores the impacts on ecosystem services of a range of low carbon energy pathways for the UK. Different energy choices will entail different impacts on the natural environment, thereby affecting stocks of natural capital (and the ecosystem services they provide) in different ways. In turn, these impacts can influence both public responses to renewable energy technologies, and planning decisions regarding them.
My work draws upon a number of academic bodies of literature, including the environmental social sciences, critical human geography, environmental planning, low carbon transitions, ecosystem services, political decision-making, environmental justice and energy geography. This inter-disciplinary rationale is reflected in my use of mixed methods, combining spatial-statistical analysis and GIS with social-science informed case-study based research.
Previously, I have worked at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) on climate change and energy policy, focusing on the interaction between biodiversity conservation and renewable energy deployment. Whilst in this role I managed a major research project Energy Futures involving over 40 members of staff, and lead authored the report The RSPB's 2050 Energy Vision. My professional experience sparked a keen interest in the multiple aspects of sustainability associated with low carbon transitions, which continues to shape my research focus.
I hold an MA (Distinction) in Environment, Development and Policy from the University of Sussex (2013-2014), and a First Class Undergraduate Degree with Honours in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh (2008-2012).
- Centre for Spatial Analysis and Policy (CSAP) – University of Leeds, School of Geography
- Energy and Climate Change Mitigation Research Group (ECCM) – University of Leeds, School of Earth and Environment
- Priestley International Centre for Climate - University of Leeds
- Energy Leeds - University of Leeds
Royal Geographical Society with IBG - Postgraduate Fellow and Postgraduate Representative for the RGS-IBG Energy Geographies Research Group (EnGRG)
EnergyDays 2018 Conference. Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, UFZ. Leipzig, Germany. September 2018. Paper presentation: 'Onshore wind and solar farms in Great Britain: an energy justice analysis.'
UK Energy Research Centre Annual Assembly. July 2018. University of Sheffield. Paper presentation: 'Public acceptance of low carbon energy technologies.'
Just Transitions Initiative Conference. Edinburgh. March 2018. Paper presentation: 'The role(s) of public acceptance in the just transition: integrating key perspectives on justice.'
Royal Geographical Society with IBG Annual International Conference. London. August 2017. Paper presentation: 'Shifting landscape norms in the UK's low carbon transition.'
School of Geography Postgraduate Research Conference. University of Leeds. May 2017. Paper presentation: 'Public acceptance of onshore wind and solar farms in the UK.'
Royal Geographical Society with IBG Postgraduate Forum Mid-Term Conference 2017. Cardiff University. April 2017. Poster presentation (prize winner).
- GEOG1065 Nature, Society and Environment (2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19);
- GEOG1310/1315 People, Place and Politics (2017-18);
- GEOG2055 Citizenship and Identity: Comparative Perspectives (2017-18);
- School of Earth and Environment, Masters Sustainability programme, Personal Development module (2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19).
Renewable energy; climate change; low carbon transitions; public acceptance; planning decisions; visual impact; landscapes; ecosystem services; natural capital; spatial analysis; GIS; sustainability; environmental policy; governance; justice
Research groups and institutes
- Centre for Spatial Analysis and Policy
- Energy and Climate Change Mitigation
- Social and Political Dimensions of Sustainability