My recent research interests have focussed on relations between gender, environment and sustainability in affluent countries. I have been writing about the gender-sustainability-household nexus, particularly through the concepts of work and care. Recently published work can be found in the journals of Environment and Planning E: Nature & Space, The Sociological Review, and forthcoming in the Journal of Familes, Relationships & Societies. Extending these interests, I am developing writing and research on care - as an ethical and political concern - as offering new agendas for responding to our socio-ecological crises.
I am the Director for Sus+ The Edinburgh University Network of Social Scientists for Sustainability; Partner on UArctic Ocean Incubator; and Co-Theme Lead (with Dr Faye Wade) on SFC Scottish Research Alliance for Energy, Homes and Livelihoods.
Sustainable Practices Research Group (2010 - 2013)
I was principal investigator for the 'Engagement, Interaction and Influence' work-package for the Sustainable Practices Research Group (SPRG), funded by ESRC, DEFRA and Scottish Government. Building on my previous research on public engagement, this project had both a research and an engagement component aiming to further our understanding of the relationship between social science and public policy. My collaborators on this project were Prof. Joseph Murphy (Co-I) and Dr Fraser Stewart (Research Fellow, 2011-2013).
Eurostemcell (2010 - 2014)
I was involved in a European consortium for communicating stem cell research. This project brought together the major EU-funded large-scale stem cell projects and aimed to create a coordinated platform for widespread dissemination of scientific knowledge spanning the research fields of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. My role was to advise on the evaluation of the communication and engagement activities generated as part of this project.
Meanings of nature (2008 - 2010)
Funded through the ESRC's Genomics Network I coordinated a network of scholars to explore the relationship between developments in genomics and our knowledge and understanding of 'nature'. I subsequently co-edited a book (with John Dupré) on the same topic which was published in 2010 (see below).
Public engagement and stem cell research (2005 - 2008)
Funded under the ESRC's programme, "Stem Cell Research: The Economic and Social Agenda", I was principal investigator on a three year project: "The Social Dynamics of Public Engagement in Stem Cell Research". The project had two aims: first, to explore the views of a wide range of publics and experts in Scotland and, second, to develop engagement methods for establishing a dialogue between different groups.
I have enjoyed supervising doctoral students from a range of backgrounds - from the natural and social sciences - and would welcome students interested in: i) Gender-environment relations, particularly in over-developed countries; ii) Gender and sustainability in households and communities; iii) Animal-human relations in the context of environmental issues; and iv) Care and sustainability. I will be glad to hear from any excellent students that have an idea that builds on any of these interests.
Find out more about the programmes that I am involved with: (opening in new windows)
Current PhD Students
Xin Zhang (2020 - 2026, part-time) Sustainable fashion.
Denisea Fernandez (2020 - 2024) Sex Robots Among Us: Feminist and Ethical Issues.
Eva Gray (2022 - 2026) Adopting the Electric Vehicle: Racing, Culture, and the Transition to Sustainable Mobility.
After completing my doctoral research in the Science Studies Unit, University of Edinburgh, in 2003 I joined STIS as a lecturer in sociology. My academic roots are in sociology, cultural studies and science and technology studies - a path that began with an inspirational and gifted A Level Sociology teacher. As part of previous and current work, I am interested in:
- Gender, environment and sustainability, particularly in affluent countries
- Gender, environment and sustainability in households
- Classifications and understandings of nature
- Animal-human relations in the context of environmental issues
- Technologies and caring relations
I am committed to research-led teaching that brings the rich underpinning scholarship of a topic into the classroom as well as engaging with cutting-edge ideas and findings. This has guided my teaching approach and content at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Recent examples of teaching-related activities include:
Management and Leadership