Joint ARIES-SENSS Studentships

Joint ARIES-SENSS Studentships

October 2019 saw the launch of an exciting new opportunity for a student to work at the boundary of NERC and ESRC research, with studentships offered that were selected for funding by both the ARIES DTP and the SeNSS DTP.

Finding the Feel-Good Factor: Relating Human Subjective Wellbeing to Biodiversity

In October 2019 Alice Milton became the first student to be jointly funded by the ARIES and SENSS DTPs in an exciting cross-council research project under the supervision on Prof Zoe Davies at the University of Kent.

Alice’s project is looking for evidence to characterise how biodiversity underpins the theory that interacting with nature is fundamental to human subjective wellbeing by:

(1) Exploring how people relate to different biodiversity attributes (e.g. particular morphologies, sounds, smells, ecological behaviours), both positively and negatively.
(2) Quantifying variation in how people value different biodiversity attributes in relation to their social characteristics/identities (e.g. age, gender, ethnicity, experience of rural-urban living).
(3) Examining whether increased biodiversity awareness/knowledge and biodiversity on sites interact to deliver non-additive wellbeing benefits.

Building resilience in coastal governance: Ethics and justice in responsible innovation

In October 2020 we look forward to welcoming a new ARIES-SENSS student under the supervision of Dr Johanna Forster at the University of East Anglia.

This project is focused on understanding the effect of innovative and strategic approaches to coastal management focused on adapting to the effects of climate change. The introduction and application of these approaches raises questions and issues for coastal managers and policy makers on the effects and impacts of innovative approaches on different temporal and spatial scales, for example:

  • Which actors and communities do these innovative projects directly aim to benefit? Over which timescales? Which trade-offs are made in the choices to implement these innovative projects?

  • Could some of these projects be ineffective or even harmful in the longer term?

  • Are these projects able to enhance social and ecological resilience of coastal areas? If so, how and over which timescales?

Developing a stronger understanding of these complex issues requires bringing together natural science data, such as modelling of geomorphological change, to underpin understandings of social change and implications for environmental justice.

This project focuses on the Norfolk coast, an area particularly at risk from erosion and storm surges, and one with a long and, at times, contested history surrounding its coastal management practices.