Senior Lecturer Landscape Management, Ecology & Design
Developing more sustainable landscape management techniques is a key driver in much of my research, and I have been involved in a number of projects investigating more efficient use of resources (water, organic waste streams as soil amendments, alternative growing media and energy). My current research interests centre around green infrastructure and climate change mitigation, with a strong emphasis on providing recommendations on plant species choice with respect to eco-system function (city cooling, thermal insulation, flood tolerance, biodiversity enhancement, etc.). This includes currently supervising PhD projects on improving the thermal performance of buildings through appropriate plant selection e.g. on both green walls and green roofs. I am also interested in identifying those plant species robust enough to tolerate urban conditions (both current and future), whilst meeting their specifications for performance. Recent studies include investigations into Mediterranean species that tolerate winter flooding, and how warmer autumns affect development of young ornamental trees.
As a landscape horticulturalist, I also am very keen to understand more about how people relate to the landscape and what sorts of plant-based designs provide strong resonance with the public and why? I am particularly interested the relationship between plants, ‘naturalistic’ landscapes and human well-being. As such I have worked on a number of consultations with stakeholders in this field, including MIND, the horticultural therapy charity THRIVE, The Royal Neurological Hospital and the Landscape Institute.