Rebecca Whittle (formerly Sims) has research interests that centre around the sustainability of community-environment relations. Her current focus is on researching and developing local and alternative food systems which combine environmental sustainability with social and community benefits.
She is particularly interested in novel approaches to getting people involved in growing and finding their own food in urban areas – for example through community and guerrilla gardening, new forms of low-impact vertical farming, garden share schemes and the development of urban foraging. These interests go back to her PhD, which explored sustainability through an investigation of the relationship between alternative food networks and tourism in a UK context.
Rebecca has also worked on community and environmental sustainability across other fields, including most recently on 'Current' - a two-year EPSRC research project investigating sustainable energy use in an office environment http://current.lancs.ac.uk/
Rebecca previously explored community-environment relations in the context of hazard management. During work for CapHaz-Net http://www.caphaz-net.org/ Rebecca helped build a European network of researchers with an interest in natural hazards. This drew on her experience of working on two projects in Hull, where she spent three years working with adults and children to explore key dimensions of the longer term experience of flood recovery www.lec.lancs.ac.uk/cswm/hfp and www.lec.lancs.ac.uk/cswm/hcfp