Meet the Research Team!
The coming year is going to be a very exciting period for the Zero Carbon Britain project.
We are entering the third phase of research, with a brand new team. We'll be conducting research over the next 12 months, building on the knowledge, feedback and networks we have gained to date, in order to develop a new, up-dated and more detailed Zero Carbon Britain - amongst some other exciting new plans!
Introductions from the new research team:
Alice Hooker-Stroud: Research Co-ordinator
"I became interested in environmental and sustainability issues from a scientific perspective, studying an MSc in Earth Systems Science. I have since contributed to research modelling fossil fuel CO2 emissions; set-up a research group in the first dedicated climate science research institute in Spain; and was the primary author of PIRC’s ‘Climate Factsheets’, designed to communicate reliable and understandable climate science to campaigning NGOs. My interest lies in the use of knowledge and information, and the translation of scientific developments into policy and governance. I believe strongly that evidence-led policy supported by society is required in order to make the transition to a sustainable world.
ZCB represents a positive vision of the future that is built on a strong research base. It demonstrates to UK policy-makers that the transition is both possible and beneficial, whilst inspiring society to encourage change. I am really looking forward to developing links between ZCB researchers and academia, and to coordinating a strong research team to update and refine the project output, maintaining the combination of scientific rigor and inspirational vision that ZCB encapsulates.
I currently live in Machynlleth, mid-Wales and enjoy having discussions about the complexities and oddities of the world in which we live."
Peter Harper: Lead Researcher, Food and Diets
"It must be almost exactly 50 years ago I first started to grasp the possibility of environmental problems that could affect the whole world. It seemed logical to get stuck in, and I’ve been there ever since. Things have changed a lot since then, but there is still the same horse-race between emerging problems and solutions, and the stakes are higher than ever. Mostly we each take a tiny piece of the puzzle and work on that, but projects like Zero Carbon Britain allow even small players to think in larger terms. It’s heartening to have a credible vision that gives meaning to all the little bits, and shows why they matter."
Laura Blake: Researcher, Food and Diets
"I have an undergraduate degree in Nutrition and am soon to complete an MSc in Food Security. I grew up in Nottingham but have recently spent some time in South Wales and Edinburgh. I have had an interest in health and food for many years. I have done a lot of volunteer work relating to food within the areas of fair trade, trade justice and environmental sustainability. I have also tried to address how these issues affect my every day life. My Masters has allowed me to expand on these issues in an academic setting. I have studied agricultural practice and land use systems, climate change, food governance and policy and trade within the food industry. I share in the core values of both the Centre for Alternative Technology and the Zero Carbon Britain project in finding practical solutions to reducing carbon emissions, leading by example and tackling issues holistically. I am very excited to have the opportunity to work within the Zero Carbon Britain project and to play a part in addressing the future challenges facing society today, particularly those relating to food and diets within the UK."
Tobi Kellner: Energy Modeller, Energy Systems
"I grew up in Berchtesgaden, in a national park in the Bavarian Alps in southern Germany. It is a place of strange national costumes (yes, I do own a “Lederhose”!) and of breathtaking natural beauty and biodiversity, and I spent much of my childhood roaming the woods, watching animals – and frequently bringing home dead ones (mum was delighted). I was also the proud owner of two solar PV panels the size of beer mats which powered a lego car, though I never received any of the generous German Feed-in Tariffs. I later went on to study Artificial Intelligence in Edinburgh, Germany and India but discovered that I actually was less passionate about robots than about building a sustainable future. So I joined CAT’s Information Service to “inform, inspire and enable” the public, while doing a renewable energy postgraduate degree at CAT. More recently, I started doing paid consultancy work, helping householders and businesses to install wind turbines and solar panels. I was “hooked” on ZCB the first time I heard of the report and I am especially passionate about working out how to balance the energy mix to keep the lights on. I will be running computer models to simulate how supply can match demand during every one of the 8,760 hours of the year in a future with gigawatts of wind, solar and biomass power. So the computer knowledge might come to do some good, after all."
Philip James: Researcher, Energy Systems
"Having just completed a doctorate at Manchester University studying strategies for low and zero carbon homes, I wanted to get involved in research looking at the energy system as a whole. I’m really interested in understanding how we can reduce energy demand, and make our energy demand more flexible, so that we can match demand with a decarbonised energy supply. I think this will involve researching a range of topics from the psychology of energy use to the energy density of storage materials. When I saw that there was an opportunity to get involved with CAT’s Zero Carbon Britain project, I jumped at the chance. This project allows us to look at the whole system and make the connections between human behaviour/expectations, energy demand, and energy supply. It’s also great that the project allows us to consider how a decarbonised energy system interacts with wider issues concerning sustainability, such as lifestyles and consumption, and food and land-use. I’m also really happy to be joining a collaborative research project of this nature and look forward to meeting and working with everyone involved, and communicating the project as widely as possible."