I graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2012 with a BSc in Geography and have recently completed an MSc in Climate Change and Environmental Policy here at the University of Leeds.
My MSc thesis involved working with Bettys and Taylors Group to analyse the scale of forest loss occurring in the tea cultivating region of Mt. Mulanje, Malawi, using remote sensing techniques and examining the micro-level drivers of deforestation in this area. Which led on to a comparison of energy demand for biomass between the local population and the tea industry.
I am interested in the role of bioenergy in developing countries, how competition for biomass can lead to widespread deforestation, which affects both the micro-climate and global climate change and how this may ultimately impact agricultural productivity.
My PhD will involve working with Bettys and Taylors Group, looking at how to increase supply chain resiliency in the tea and coffee industry under the constraints of increasing biomass demand, deforestation and climate change.
Why I chose the CDT in Bioenergy
After returning to academia to begin my MSc, I knew that I was interested in pursuing a PhD and the CDT in Bioenergy was suggested to me by one of my Master’s thesis supervisors. The multidisciplinary nature and flexibility of the Bioenergy programme was what attracted me most to the course, as it allows me to develop knowledge and a skills base in energy and engineering, where I have no previous experience, while continuing research and work with supervisors in the School of Earth and Environment. Additionally, the CDT in Bioenergy provides the opportunity to develop professional and transferrable skills, which isn’t often an area emphasised as heavily upon in other PhD schemes, but is an aspect that I feel will be hugely beneficial when moving on from academia.