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Hear from our researchers

Two minutes with

Watch some of our academics taking two minutes to explain their research. 

Juliet Osborne: Insects and the environment

Juliet’s research looks at how insects and plants interact within the environment and their role in the provision of ecosystem services. Juliet is building links with local farmers, landowners and beekeepers to build collaborative projects to help improve the management of bees and pollinators.

Joanie Willett: Exploring the relationship between identity and the economy

Joanie’s research explores the interplay between identity, the economy and the environment, looking at how the environment helps to form political ideas, in Cornwall and further afield.

Jane Wills: Why geography matters

Jane Wills is Director of the ESI and a Professor of Geography. She highlights the importance of place, and the ways in which institutions develop and shape those places, also facilitating connections across space to other locations. Her research also explores the power of ideas, attending to where they come from, how they are mobilised, and how we can generate (more) useful ideas.

Ilya Maclean: : Practical solutions to climate change

Ilya’s research aims to find practical solutions to the problems of climate change. One of Ilya’s study sites is on the Lizard Peninsula, where there are already adverse effects to habitats from climate change. Ilya is working to understand and address these problems.

Caitlin DeSilvey: Exploring the cultural significance of material change

Caitlin’s background is in cultural geography, she studies people’s relationships to places and how they relate to them when they’re changing due to factors like environmental change. Caitlin has worked with Cornish harbours that are threatened with sea water rise as well as heritage sites.

Clare Saunders: Environmental politics

Clare’s areas of research expertise are social movements and protest, climate and energy politics, and social networks. Some of Clare’s work is centred around shaping pro-environmental behaviours.

Karen Anderson: Exploring urban green spaces and biodiversity

The main focus of Karen’s research is remote sensing, which is a technique for capturing data about landscapes from a distance, using satellites, aeroplanes or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Karen is working with businesses in the south west as well as local schools to encourage students to think about how they can use innovative spatial data to understand the environment.

Kevin Gaston: People and nature

Kevin leads a research team investigating the relationships between people and nature - the effects of people on nature and the effects of nature on people - and how nature can be renewed following the enormous losses that have been caused.

Markus Mueller: Using applied mathematics to solve problems

Markus’ research addresses mathematical systems and control theory and their applications within marine engineering, renewable energy and systems biology. Markus is working with industry to help them predict future outcomes as well as working with local schools to raise aspirations in maths.

Asif Ali Tahir: Nanomaterials and thin film solar

Asif’s research uses the ESI’s fabrication laboratory to explore the role of nanomaterials and thin film material in producing Hydrogen, a zero emissions fuel, using sunlight

Robbie McDonald: Understanding mammal ecology and conflict

Robbie’s research aims to resolve problems caused by wildlife. His research has included looking at the science, policy and practical implications of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in badgers, and the impacts and management of invasive species.

Stuart Townley: Applying mathematics to solve environmental problems

Stuart’s work unlocks the complexity of the relationships between species and the engineering of renewable technologies.

Xiaoyu Yan: Investigating electric vehicle utility

Xiaoyu is looking to make more cost effect use of electric vehicles (EVs) in rural areas, such as Cornwall. And how best to use EVs as an energy store for localised energy systems and secondary use of redundant EV batteries.

Xiaoyu Yan: Systems thinking for sustainability

Xiaoyu uses different systems thinking approaches such as life cycle assessment, circular economy, water-energy-food-environment nexus and scenario analysis to quantify the sustainability of products, technologies and economic activities, helping governments, businesses and civil society develop informed strategies regarding sustainability.

Rachel Turner: Marine and coastal social-ecological systems

Rachel’s research explores interactions between people and the environment, with a focus on marine systems and fishing communities. Her interests include wellbeing, natural resource governance and adaption to social and environmental change.

Tapas Mallick: Incorporating clean technologies

Tapas leads a research team who are focused on applied solar energy and how this may be incorporated into building, used as energy storage and integrated with other clean technologies. Tapas is interested in advanced solar energy engineering and heat transfer for renewable energy systems.

Senthilarasu Sundarum: Developing new materials to take solar energy to the next level