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 Understanding Environmental Knowledge Controversies


Project Team

Logo: Oxford University
Logo: School of Geography and the Environment

Oxford University Centre for the Environment

Principal Investigator - Sarah Whatmore

Sarah is a Professor of Environment and Public Policy at the School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford University (SoGE), and is Joint co-ordinator of the Technological Natures: Materials, Cities, Politics research cluster. She is a Fellow of Linacre College.

In terms of research, Sarah focuses on relations between people and the material world, particularly the living world, and the spatial technologies that inform the ways in which these relations are imagined and practiced in the conduct of science, governance and everyday life. She has published widely on the theoretical and political implications of those questions in the fields of agriculture and food; land rights and land-use planning; biodiversiy and biotechnology. more...

Logo: Durham University

Durham University, Department of Geography

Co-Investigator - Stuart Lane

Stuart is a Professor in the Department of Geography, and Executive Director of the Institute of Hazard and Risk Research, at Durham University.

Stuart's background is a mixture of physical geography and civil engineering, which has enabled him to develop a strongly quantitative approach to the understanding of hydraulic and hydrological processes, but one that is grounded very strongly in a geographical approach. Stuart's main research interests are concerned with the quantification of hydrological and hydraulic flows, and the associated impacts upon solute and sediment transfer, geomorphology and ecology. more...

Logo: University of East Anglia

University of East Anglia, Faculty of Social Sciences

Co-Investigator - Neil Ward

Neil is Dean of Social Sciences at the University of East Anglia.

Neil's research interests centre around the study and practice of rural development in advanced economies. He has also worked on agricultural, environmental and regional policy, the governance of environmental controversies, and the relationships between urban and rural change. In addition to working on the RELU-funded project, Neil is also working on an ESRC/AHRC project, "Cultures of Consumption Programme". more...

Team Members

Research Associate - Dr Catharina Landström

Catharina is a project research associate, based at SoGE. Her PhD was awarded within the field of science and technology studies and her work in the project focuses on investigating the scientific knowledge claims and technologies concerned with flood risk. Prior to this Catharina has conducted social and cultural research on biological control of exotic pests in Australia and on gender and technology in Sweden.

Research Associate - Dr Nicholas Odoni

Based at Durham, Nick is a geomorphologist interested in the application of models to explore geomorphological and environmental problems. Aspects of his PhD and previous master’s research will be applied in a novel way to understanding flood behaviour and exploring flood management options. In addition, his first degree (Rural Resource Management, University of Plymouth) helps to provide an appreciation of the issues affecting rural communities and driving rural land use.

Research Associate - Dr Geoff Whitman

Based at Durham, Geoff is responsible for the delivery of Work Package 4. After completing his first degree in Biological Sciences (honours in Zoology) at the University of Edinburgh. Geoff spent two years working with numerous conservation and environmental NGOs. This work was mainly concerned with upland ecology and farmland bird survey work. Geoff then moved to Newcastle in 2000 to do a Masters in ‘Rural Resource and Countryside Management’ and stayed on to complete a PhD on ‘Environmental Knowledge and Policy Construction: The English Less Favoured Areas’. Since completing his PhD in 2006, he was employed both in CRE at Newcastle and through RELU on a number of different projects, before taking up the position of Research Associate for WP4.

Research Associate - Ms Sue Bradley

Based at Newcastle University, Sue has a degree in English and Drama from Bristol University and a Certificate in Life History Work from Sussex University. Initially she worked in publishing, including for Bowker-Saur as editor of the British Library General Catalogue of Printed Books to 1975 and of Les Archives Biographiques Françaises. Since 1992 Sue has worked with oral history, firstly on regional community arts projects, then as the field worker responsible for Book Trade Lives, a seven-year oral history programme run by the British Library's National Life Stories unit. Sue is interested in ways in which personal experience can be related, heard and understood and how oral history can be used in participatory research.

Affiliated Researcher - Dr Andrew Donaldson

Based at CRE, Newcastle University, Andrew's academic background cuts across natural and social sciences. He has established himself as a human geographer, having conducted research on environmental knowledge and politics at Hull University, and taught on rural and environmental geographies at Leeds. In 2004, he returned to Newcastle, (where he had undertaken his PhD and worked as a researcher) to take up the position of Lord Richard Percy Research Fellow.

D.Phil. Student - Mr Anders Munk

Anders has a BA and an M.Phil. in European Ethnology from the University of Copenhagen. He is currently undertaking a D.Phil., atSoGE,the aims of which are to explore the intersections and exchanges between scientific, commercial and political communities of practice engaged in the risk assessment and insurance zoning of flood-plains in rural England. By focussing on flood-models and their use in the insurance industry Anders hopes to approach environmental knowledge controversies at the heart of debates over planning and rural property from a post-human science-technology-society point of view.

Project Administrator - Ms Gillian Willis

Based at SoGE, Gillian has a degree in Italian and French from Exeter University. She worked for many years in marketing, specialising in marketing communications, and she also has experience in project management and IT training in the NHS. Gillian is responsible for managing the project website, and for generating and editing audio/visual material for the project team.

Advisory Panel

Malcolm Anderson

Malcolm Anderson is currently Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Bristol, and has been Professor of Geographical Sciences since 1989. He undertook PhD research at the University of Cambridge, and was subsequently elected to a Research Fellowship at Sidney Sussex College. He took up his first post at the University of Bristol in 1973, becoming Head of the School of Geographical Sciences in 1990 and again in 1999. In 1989 he was elected Quater Centenary Visiting Fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

Professor Anderson is the author of over 200 papers and books, as well as industry standard software. He is founder and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Hydrological Processes. He has acted as a consultant to major international engineering consultancy companies worldwide. As well as holding numerous NERC (the Natural Environment Research Council) awards and serving as a member of various NERC committees, Professor Anderson has been a NERC Council member since 2001, and Council Audit Committee Member since 2003.

Pierre Stassart

Pierre is a Senior Researcher at Sociology-Economy-Environment and Development (SEED) in the Department of Science and Management of the Environment at Liège University. He has a Masters in Agronomy from the Catholic University of Louvain, and a doctorate in Environmental Science from the University of Liège. His background is researching public involvement in sustainable agriculture, using a variety of participatory research methodologies including Competency Groups. He has wide involvement in interdisciplinary projects (sociology, economics and agronomy).

His principal themes of research are alternative agrofood networks transformation and the "emergence" of territorial dynamics around the environment-agriculture issue. He is a visiting professor at the Catholic University of Louvain.

Valerie November

Valerie is a Professor in the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering at EPFL, Lausanne. She takes an interdiscliplinary approach to the management and prevention of risk, and the interface between social sciences, technology, regional planning and the environment. In particular, she focuses on the actors and their different approaches to defining, evaluating and managing risk. One of her principal research interests is the study of risk surveillance. She has just completed a research project on risk related to flooding and the lessons learnt in Switzerland. At EPFL she is leading two research projects on risk prevention. She also organises a continuing education course on risk and decision-making at Geneva University and lectures at Fribourg University.

Katarina Schough

Katarina Schough is a senior scientific advisor at the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency in Stockholm. She has a background as a surveying engineer and a doctoral degree in Human Geography from Karlstad University. Her research focuses on geographies of life. She has written extensively on geomethodology, techno-science, geotomy and territorialization of bodies, landscapes, and cultures. Recent publications include titles as ”Marginality in Transformation”, ”We Hyperboreans – geographical imaginations of the North” and ”The new Nomos of the Earth - astropolitics, postpolitical spatialities and dreams of conquest”.

At present she is editing an anthology with the preliminary title “Geographies of Possibilities”, and works with environmental research issues at the Swedish EPA.

Visiting Fellow

Kathryn Monk

Dr Kathryn Monk is Science Strategy Manager for the Environment Agency Wales, and has been a Visiting Fellow to the project since 2007.