PhD Researcher in Ecological Economics, University of Leeds

I am a PhD researcher in Ecological Economics at the Sustainability Research Institute (SRI) (University of Leeds: School of Earth and Environment) and part of the Living Well Within Limits (LiLi) project as well as member of the Economics and Policy for Sustainability and Energy and Climate Change Mitigation working groups. My research is motivated by the wish to contribute to creating sustainable, just, and culturally rich societies that enable everyone to live a good life.

Starting from an interest in the physical side of climate change and its impacts on society, I completed a BSc in Physics of the Earth System at Kiel University, and an MSc in Climate Dynamics (Meteorology and Oceanography) at University of Bergen. As I got more and more interested in the social dimension of environmental problems and broader societal issues, I transitioned to the field of ecological economics for my PhD, to study the interlinked issues of ‘development’, ecological sustainability, human well-being, and social justice in their environmental, economic, social, and political dimensions.

My key interest is to understand which processes, structures, and ideologies drive or sustain unsustainable and unjust development, and how societies and in particular provisioning systems would have to change to become sustainable and just and meet everybody’s basic needs. In light of both limits of growth and limits to growth, I have a particular interest in Degrowth ideas.

I engage in teaching as seminar leader in both undergraduate and Master level modules in ecological economics (‘Introduction to Ecological Economics’, ‘Tools and Techniques in Ecological Economics’, and ‘Economics and Sustainability’) at the University of Leeds.

Research interests
In my PhD, I analyse how targeted changes in provisioning systems could enable societies to meet everybody’s basic needs at sustainable levels of biophysical resource use. My research employs an interdisciplinary approach, conceptualising provisioning systems in terms of a wide range of physical, geographic, economic, social, and political factors across the spheres of production, consumption, and societal organisation. Using statistical cross-country analysis and simple modelling, I characterise the role of provisioning systems as intermediaries between biophysical resource use (energy use, CO2 emissions) and basic needs satisfaction, and explore the effects of potential provisioning systems changes to identify levers for low-carbon well-being for a wide range of countries.

Further research interest:

Human well-being, basic needs, community-led needs satisfaction
Decarbonisation and low-carbon economy
Societal transformation and system change
Heterodox economics and political economy
Degrowth and post-growth
Sufficiency
Reducing consumption without depriving people of basic needs
Environmental justice
Post-development and decolonisation
City-level transformation towards sustainability and social justice
Low-carbon transport systems
Democratic deliberation and partication
Climate dynamics
Climate change impacts
Societal response to ecological disruption
Human health risks due to heatwaves

Experience

  • –present
    PhD Candidate in Ecological Economics, University of Leeds