Entrepreneur in Residence, Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership, Keele University

I specialise in innovative environmental technologies of all sorts, particularly in the solution of complex environmental problems where several areas (for example water quantity and quality, air pollution, contaminated ground, climate change impacts) need evaluating and addressing. I worked on supporting the development of environmental technologies for several years, for Innovate UK, which is the UK's national innovation agency, and directed the environmental sustainability knowledge transfer network (based in Oxford University) for six years.

I have just contributed chapters to, and edited a research-based book on the Indian subcontinent and the sustainable development goals (Routledge), focusing mainly on Bangladesh but including India). I have experience in working elsewhere in the developing world, but mostly in the subcontinent where this type of problem involving balancing historic legacy and modern pressures created by rapid development, is endemic.

I am a specialist in water resource management and science communication, who has worked, researched and published in countries across the world. I specialise in investigating the impact of human activity on the water cycle and water quality, including the impact of housing, industry, mining and waste disposal. After an academic career at Exeter and including being Head of the School of Environment, and Director of a National Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at the University of Gloucestershire, I moved into a government funded role at Oxford University, linking industry with researchers nationally and internationally to foster the development of innovative environmental technologies.

I am also the first Professor of Environment at Gresham College London. Gresham College was effectively a Tudor ‘Ted’. Founded in 1597, it offered a diverse programme of free English language lectures to the citizens of London, at a time when most students were studying theology through the medium of Latin. Early Gresham professors included Sir Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke. My programme of lectures in the city are free to attend, or may be downloaded from https://www.gresham.ac.uk/professors-and-speakers/professor-carolyn-roberts/. From time to time I appear on TV and radio, in the press and on social media broadcasts, including a recent appearance on ‘The Life Scientific’ on BBC Radio 4, and as an expert to the BBC TV fiction series ‘Silent Witness’.


  • –present
    Entrepreneur in Residence, Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership , Keele University