Dr Milena Buchs

Dr Milena Buchs


Dr Milena Buchs is an environmental social scientist and specialises on sustainable welfare and wellbeing. Combining theories and methods from ecological economics, social policy and sociology, Milena’s research seeks to contribute to making carbon reduction more equitable and wellbeing-enhancing while also being most effective in environmental terms. Much of her research focuses on 1) understanding and modelling the unequal distribution of greenhouse gas emissions across social groups; 2) on how the costs and benefits of carbon reduction policies can be shared more equally in societies; and 3) how to build welfare systems that are compatible with sustainable economics, improve people’s wellbeing, and respect planetary boundaries. 

Milena joined the SRI in September 2016 as Associate Professor in Sustainability, Economics and Low-Carbon Transitions. Milena is currently PI of the EU Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship ShaRe (Fellow: Dr Diana Ivanova) which investigates the role of sharing within and between households for carbon reduction. She is also a Co-Investigator in the Centre for Research on Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS), examining carbon emission inequalities and fairness implications of climate policies. Milena has previously led and collaborated on five major, interdisciplinary UK Research and Innovation grants (see details below), and has supervised eight PhD students to completion so far.

Prior to joining the SRI, Milena was lecturing at the University of Southampton in Sociology and Social Policy (2005-16). 


  • Director of Postgraduate Research Studies

Research interests

Current research projects

Milena is a Co-I in the UK Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS) (2018-23).

PI of the Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie project “ShaRe – The potential of Sharing Resources for mitigating carbon emissions and other environmental impacts” (2019-2023), MSC Individual Fellow: Dr Diana Ivanova

Previous research projects (selection)

PI of the ESRC project "Who emits most" which examined the inequality of carbon emissions of UK households, and estimated implications for distributional effects of market-based climate mitigation policies. The dataset from that project is available from the UK Data Service

Researcher Co-I, EPSRC Programme Grant Liveable Cities (2012-2017). Milena led a field experiment on a carbon calculator intervention for carbon reduction, and a project on the role of health status for household energy use.

Co-I on two UKRI funded projects, The role of community-based initiatives in energy saving and the Third Sector Research Centre Environment Stream, Milena led projects that investigated the capacity of different communities to reduce carbon emissions.


Current PhD students who I co-supervise:

Alice Garvey: Spatially just energy transitions

Joe Lawley: Low Carbon Energy Service Demands

Nick Langridge: Examining the environmental implications of Universal Basic Income

Ben Robra: Organisations and degrowth

Catherine Graves: Virtual reality and pro-environmental behaviour change

Robin Schulze Waltrup: Global eco-social policies



<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in Social Policy, Humboldt University Berlin (Summa cum laude / Distinction)
  • MSc Sociology with Political Science and Economics, University of Berlin (Distinction)

Student education

In 2021/2 I will be module convenor of SOEE5010 Research Methods, and teach on SOEE5094 Ecological Economics and FOEV5001 Cities and Sustainability (all M-level).

Research groups and institutes

  • Sustainability Research Institute
  • Economics and Policy for Sustainability
  • Social and Political Dimensions of Sustainability
  • Energy and Climate Change Mitigation

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>