Amory Building, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4RJ , UK
My PhD at Exeter follows from a 25-year career in environment and sustainability during which I have worked in research, policy and project roles for the University of the West of England, the Environment Agency, the National Trust and Cornwall Council. My experience in practice has led to a lasting interest in the ways that renewable energy affects rural places and the responses it provokes.
Community-owned renewable energy challenges the incumbent model of centralised fossil fuel both through decentralising infrastructure and through alternative modes of governance and ownership. Studies of community energy have tended to focus on its social, governance and participation dimensions, with few examining its impact on people-place relations. My PhD will contribute to the understanding of how community energy interacts with the symbolic and affective dimensions of place. I will do this by looking at how place values are expressed through community wind energy proposals as they are negotiated through the planning process. I have a particular interest in the ways that landscape is perceived to be affected by wind energy and how this is interpreted by those involved in or affected by community energy projects. My project is supervised by Professor Patrick Devine-Wright and Dr Catherine Butler at Exeter and Professor Katie Williams at UWE. I am funded by the ESRC South West Doctoral Training Partnership.
Before starting my PhD I completed an MSc in Science Communication at Imperial College. Alongside my studies at Exeter I am developing my interest in engaging the wider public with social science research, in particular through the medium of sound.
Soundcloud - personal page: https://soundcloud.com/celia-robbins
Soundcloud – podcast produced for the Climate Stories project: https://soundcloud.com/user-169859995/three-days-of-creating-climate-stories-from-dartington-may-2018
South West Doctoral Training Partnership: https://www.swdtp.ac.uk/our-students/sustainable-futures/
Broad research specialisms:
- The relationship between people and places
- Understanding local responses to wind turbine siting
- Renewable energy and landscape
- Energy policy and community energy
MSc Science Communication 2017 (distinction), Imperial College London
MA Environmental Planning 1996, University of Nottingham