Jane May Morrison
PhD Research Student
Amory Building, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4RJ , UK
Back home in Scotland, I started out in Humanities and Social Sciences. I was awarded my MA in Scottish Literature and Linguistics in 2010, and my MRes in Sociology and Research Methods in 2014 (with a brief gap in between to run my own eco-friendly small business on Etsy).
During my MRes, I developed my focus on environmental issues. My MRes dissertation took a cue from plant-based food biotechnology research groups such as New Harvest, and investigated rationales of ‘naturalness’ in different diets. I conducted focus group studies on how vegan, vegetarian and omnivorous eaters all variously conceptualized their own philosophies of food as ‘natural’ in different ways.
I then worked as a Research Assistant on a number of diverse projects, including at the University of Plymouth and the Glasgow School of Art.
In 2016, I was accepted at Exeter for an EPSRC-funded studentship, to complete a PhD on the everyday realities of low-carbon practices in UK eco-towns. I began my PhD in January 2017.
Although I come from a different disciplinary background than Human Geography, this additional perspective has been useful - I often see ‘crossover’ points between my current and former disciplines.
Broad research specialisms:
I am an Environmental Social Scientist, interested in the intersection between environment and society.
This can include: low-carbon energy transitions, decarbonization policy, eco-towns, community renewable energy, heat technologies such as District Heating, sustainable building practices and eco-homes, domestic energy use, rewilding and green spaces, sustainable transport, low-carbon diets and veganism, environmental psychology, other aspects of climate change mitigation/adaptation and gender as relates to any of the above.
At the moment, my research is about how living in a UK eco-town affects its residents - does living there make it easier/harder to carry out certain low-carbon practices, or does it make no particular difference? My case study is the new town of Cranbrook, on the eastern side of Exeter. I have been conducting surveys and interviews with residents and stakeholders there, as well as reviews of policy documents, to try and chronologically chart the town’s sustainability aspirations and how these have evolved.
My other (non-PhD) academic interest is feminist literature - I am signed with The North literary agency (http://thenorthlitagency.com/) and my feminist speculative-fiction novel is currently out on submission to publishers.
Find me on Twitter @JaneMayMorrison
MA Joint Honours Scottish Literature/English Language (University of Glasgow)
MRes Sociology and Research Methods (University of Glasgow)