PhD Students

My PhD ‘group’ is somewhat dispersed, as I supervise PhD students across several different departments (Geography, Computer Science, Politics, Psychology) and two universities (Exeter, Bath) – a reflection of the interlinked and interdisciplinary work we do on climate change communication and of the UK PhD funding landscape. We try to come together in-person as schedules (and the pandemic) allow, and there is a lot of interaction between members of the group as their research projects cross into each other’s areas of expertise. All students based in Geography at Exeter also link into the active and friendly Environment & Sustainability Research Group.

Working with PhD students really is one of the best parts of my job. I’ve been proud to see my students publish their first (and subsequent!) papers, submit their PhD theses, engage with policy and practitioner debates, and continue into diverse and rewarding careers in the social science dimensions of sustainability. The following is a list of my PhD students, who I consider myself fortunate to (have) work(ed) with:

I work with the following PhD researchers as lead supervisor:

Kate Holden: CCMI / UoE funded, 2020-present, Geography, University of Exeter. Kate’s PhD is co-funded through an industry award with the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI). Kate’s PhD title is ‘Becoming an ‘ocean steward’: Youth engagement with marine sustainability in the digital age’. Saffron is lead supervisor, with Louisa Evans, Geography, Exeter, as co-supervisor. Kate tweets @KateHol48398566.

Sylvia Hayes: ESRC 1+3 award, 2019-present, Geography, University of Exeter. Sylvia’s PhD is funded through the SWDTP Sustainable Futures pathway. Her PhD is titled: ‘Making the news: Constructing climate change in an online world’. Saffron is lead supervisor, with Lorraine Whitmarsh, Psychology, University of Bath / Director of the CAST Centre; and Catherine Butler, Geography, Exeter, as co-supervisors. Sylvia tweets @sylviahayes98.

I work with the following PhD researchers as co-supervisor:

Manju Bura / किताब तथा चिया प्रेमी: UKRI Environmental Intelligence CDT award, 2021-present, Mathematics, University of Exeter. Manju is in her training year of her EI CDT PhD scholarship. She will be starting her PhD research in autumn 2022, exploring visual representations of climate change in digital spaces. Manju’s project work this year is titled ‘Computer vision based analysis of heatwave imaginaries on Google Images’. Travis Coan, Politics, Exeter is lead supervisor, with Saffron as co-supervisor. Manju tweets @manju_bura.

Hannah Hayes: ESRC 1+3 award, 2020-present, Geography, University of Exeter. Hannah previously worked at the Environment Agency, so she brings a wealth of experience to her academic programme. Hannah’s PhD project is provisionally titled: ‘Stronger together: the role of community resilience at a collective scale in managing flooding and coastal erosion risk’. Hannah is lead-supervised by Neil Adger, with Saffron and Julie Barnett, Psychology, University of Bath, as co-supervisors.

Ned Westwood: UKRI Environmental Intelligence CDT award, 2019-present, Politics, University of Exeter. Ned’s PhD is funded through the UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Environmental Intelligence (EI CDT) . His PhD examines how political actors influence climate discourse by strategically using language and imagery, with a particular focus on digital advocacy organisations and networked micro-celebrities. Ned is joint lead-supervised by Travis Coan, Politics, University of Exeter and Hywel Williams, Computer Science, University of Exeter; with Saffron as co-supervisor.

Kathie Treen: CEMPS/UoE funded, 2018-present, Computer Science, University of Exeter. Kathie’s PhD title is ‘Online (mis)information and climate change: Using network analysis and machine learning to understand the debate’. Kathie is lead-supervised by Hywel Williams, Computer Science, University of Exeter; with Saffron as co-supervisor. Kathie has already published a review article on misinformation and climate (Treen et al. 2020) and is often asked to provide expert comment on climate misinformation. Kathie tweets @KathieTreen.

Annayah Prosser: ESRC 1+3 award, 2018-present, Psychology, University of Bath. Annayah is funded through the SWDTP Sustainable Futures PhD pathway. Her PhD examines moralised identities, practices and behaviour and their relationship to sustainability, including case studies of food and travel choices. Annayah also turned to examining mask-wearing as a moral choices as the pandemic impacted her PhD. Annayah is lead-supervised by Tim Kurz, Psychology, UWA; with Saffron as part of an international panel of four co-supervisors. Annayah tweets @annayahprosser.

I lead/co-supervised the following students, who have all successfully completed their PhDs:

Dr Chris Manktelow: ESRC 1+3 award, 2016-2021, Geography, University of Exeter. Chris was funded through the SWDTP Human Geography PhD pathway. His PhD topic was: ‘Following the Forecast: Risk, Uncertainty and the Life of Seasonal Weather Forecasts’ and involved in-depth ethnographic work at the UK Met Office. Saffron and Karen Bickerstaff, Geography, University of Exeter were joint lead supervisors; with Rich Betts, Met Office and Geography, University of Exeter as co-supervisor. Chris tweets @chrismanktelow3.

Dr Katherine Lee: ESRC +3 award, 2017-2021, Psychology, University of Bath. Kath’s PhD topic was: ‘Adolescents’ Representations of Climate Change’. Kath’s PhD was funded through the SWDTP Sustainable Futures PhD route. She was lead-supervised by Julie Barnett, Psychology, University of Bath; with Saffron as co-supervisor. Kath tweets @dktee. Kath is currently working as a post-doc at the University of Bath.

Dr Niall McLoughlin: ESRC 1+3 award, 2016-2021, Psychology, University of Bath. Niall was funded through the SWDTP Sustainable Futures PhD pathway. His PhD was titled ‘Communicating Adaptation: Using Psychological Insights to Facilitate Adaptive Responses to Climate Change Impacts. Niall was lead-supervised by Ian Walker, Psychology, University of Bath; with Saffron as co-supervisor. Niall tweets @ncm_researcher. Niall has gone on to work as a researcher at Defra.

Dr Bouke Wiersma: ESRC +3 PhD award, 2012-2016, Geography, University of Exeter. Bouke’s PhD topic was: ‘Public Acceptability of Offshore Renewable Energy in Guernsey: Using Visual Methods to Investigate Local Energy Deliberations’. Bouke was lead-supervised by Patrick Devine-Wright, Geography, University of Exeter and Alan Lewis, Psychology, University of Bath; with Saffron as co-supervisor. Bouke went on to work as a transport policy adviser in the Dutch government.

Dr Colette Mortreux: Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) PhD award, 2009-2014, Department of Resource Management and Geography, University of Melbourne. Colette’s PhD topic was: ‘Understanding Adaptation: Households and Bushfire Risk in Mount Dandenong’. Colette was lead-supervised by Jon Barnett, Geography, University of Melbourne; with Saffron as co-supervisor. Colette went on to work as a Post-doc in Geography at the University of Exeter, and after a career break for her young family, she’s now back at Geography, University of Melbourne. Colette tweets @MortreuxColette.

Dr Sophie Guy: PhD 2009-2014, Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne. Sophie’s PhD topic was: ‘Building Climate Change Knowledge: Effects of Analogical Reasoning and Cognitive Elaboration on Beliefs and Policy Support’. Sophie was lead-supervised by Yoshihisa Kashima, Psychology, University of Melbourne and co-supervised by Saffron and Iain Walker, CSIRO. Sophie went on to work as a postdoc in Population Health, University of Adelaide.