Celebrating climate action pioneers this International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Posted in: Staff action

Women throughout University of Bath are pioneering for change and carrying out world-leading projects, initiatives and research to tackle the climate crisis. Ahead of this years' International Day of Women and Girls in Science on 11th February, we’re celebrating just a few of the fantastic women at Bath who are making contributions through science, technology, engineering and mathematics to transform society in the face of climate change.

Pioneers for change aren’t just those at the top of their careers though, and here we’re celebrating women who are and have been driving change from all levels of their professions. 

Lois Player – Environmental Psychology PhD researcher 

A doctoral researcher in environmental psychology, Lois specialises in understanding the acceptance of climate transport policies. Alongside studying the general population, Lois’ work seeks to understand barriers to acceptance in minority groups and facilitate a Just Transition to Net Zero.  

In applying her research to real-world policy settings, Lois has worked closely with several councils across the UK to aid their implementation of fair, well-accepted climate policies, including Cornwall Council’s ‘Green Travel’ project and Bath’s Clean Air Zone project.  

Extending her policy work, Lois will be conducting a policy fellowship with the Climate Change Committee – to integrate behaviour change insights into government policy recommendations. 

Taghried Abdelmagid – Civil Engineering PhD researcher 

Completing her PhD this year, Taghried is researching low-cost, sustainable construction materials as a way to secure the future of low-cost housing, and to fight climate change and environmental damage. She has done this through cutting-edge work using agricultural waste in the production and development of new materials. 

In addition to her research work, Taghried is involved in creating innovative teaching experiences and helping to develop modules related to sustainable engineering management and the new MSc Zero Carbon Futures course. 

Jinghui (Helen) Liaing – Research Visitor 

With a background in Microbiology, Biotechnology and Sustainable Chemical Technologies, Jinghui joined University of Bath as a Marie Curie FIRE Fellow in the Centre for Sustainable and Circular Technologies (now Institute for Sustainability). Her PhD focused on optimising the production of bio-based chemicals from agricultural waste. This was followed by a post-doctoral project to produce bio-ethanol with yeast using renewable feedstock. These projects demonstrated the promising future of biotechnology in fighting climate change. 

During these studies, Jinghui developed a new passion as she was devastated to see the sheer amount of plastic consumables being used to ensure research quality and health and safety. Even worse, these plastics can’t be recycled due to a lack of know-how and scalable technologies. Determined to provide the infrastructure to make research and healthcare more sustainable, Jinghui co-founded LabCycle, a start-up aiming to create the first circular economy for laboratory plastic consumables with the potential to make a significant contribution to reducing laboratory waste and the embodied carbon associated with creating more single-use items. 

Aurelie Charles – economist, social scientist and senior lecturer in global sustainability 

As a social scientist and economist, Aurelie’s expertise is in climate justice and the global political economy. Her current areas of focus relate to the understanding and measurement of herd-behaviour and social norms, and investigating their impact on individual decision-making, well-being and resource entitlements. Aurelie’s projects evolve around sustainable earnings, group inequality mapping, and cross-disciplinary approaches to climate justice. 

As a Fellow of the Earth System Governance and Co-Lead for its Taskforce on Education and the Sustainable Development Goals, Aurelie is actively engaged with a network of social scientists and academics pioneering for change at the interface between global environmental change and governance.

Marcelle McManus – Professor of Energy and Environmental Engineering 

As Co-Director of the newly launched Institute for Sustainability, Marcelle is at the forefront of driving change; the institute brings people together across disciplines to create novel products, materials, and solutions to decarbonisation. 

Marcelle’s current areas of focus include working with the Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre leading projects to measure and manage carbon more appropriately in order to help industry meet net zero targets and to work collaboratively to create a circular economy. She is also helping to optimise processes and to conduct resource and carbon assessments as part of research focusing on Sustainable Aviation Fuel. 

In addition to her innovative research, Marcelle conducts projects with students including a Vertically Integrated Project on decarbonising heating, bringing together students from science, engineering, economics and policy backgrounds. This work will aid the Bishop of Bath and Wells in their decarbonisation, and could provide findings applicable for all manner of historic buildings. 

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