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Events & Opportunities

Life Innovations for the Climate Crisis: PhD research at Queen's University Belfast

A multi-disciplinary one-day conference hosted by Centre of Sustainability, Equality and Climate Action.

June 25, 2021
09:45 - 16:00

A recording of this conference is now available to watch with each panel occuring at the following times. 

Panel 1 Sustainable Use of Land and Space: 50:40

Panel 2 Cultural Transformations: 2:10:32

Panel 3 Sustainability Transitions: 3:34:40


The growing body of scientific evidence confirming the catastrophic environmental impact of anthropogenic activities cannot be ignored. Urgent responses are required to mitigate the effects of climate breakdown and environmental degradation. Join the Centre for Sustainability, Equality and Climate Action (SECA) as it asks, What ‘life innovations’ are required in the transition to a fair and sustainable future?

Focusing on core issues regarding the sustainable use of land and spacecultural transformations and sustainability transitions, this multidisciplinary conference will bring early career researchers from across Queen’s University Belfast together with leading climate activists and sustainability professionals in the first event of its kind for SECA. This will showcase some of the extensive sustainability PhD research underway at Queen’s in three interactive panel sessions which prioritise discussion and promise to be intellectually stimulating.


We are delighted to announce our guest speakers: 

  • Anna Kernahan (Climate activist, Fridays for Future) 
  • Kaitlyn Laverty (Climate Youth representative NI).  


Panel 1: Sustainable use of land and space

Chaired by James Orr (Director, Friends of the Earth NI).  

  • Future blueprints of climate adaptation
    Rebecca-Jane McConnell, School of Natural and Built Environment
  • Predicting the Unpredictable: the role of eco-evolutionary experiences in species interactions across taxa and habitat
    Joshua Clarke, School of Biological Sciences
  • Can sustainable protein sources support healthy muscle ageing?
    Rachel Reid-McCann, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences

Panel 2: Cultural Transformations

Chaired by Rachel Woods (Green Party MLA for North Down).

  • Navigating the mystery of future geographies in climate change fiction
    Matthew Munro, School of Arts, English and Languages
  • Deconstructing ‘Nature Connection’. Is ‘nature connection’ a concept which supports capitalism?
    Louise Taylor, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics
  • In Other Wor(l)ds: the conundrum of Anthropocentrism in the Anthropocene
    Matt Valler, School of Arts, English and Languages

Panel 3: Sustainability Transitions

Chaired by Jacqueline Gibson (Sustainability consultant, Belfast Harbour Commission, Radius Housing and Blenheim Palace).  

  • Transitioning Through a Crisis: industrial customer responses to a government-led green technology innovation
    Amani Gharib, Queen’s Management School
  • Investigating public perceptions and willingness to pay for carbon capture and storage in the United Kingdom
    Tanisha Waring, School of Biological Sciences
  • Exploring the transformative potential of marine community science
    Benedict McAteer, School of Natural and Built Environment
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