To mark International Women’s Day and Women@Imperial week, we’re celebrating the brilliant women working in climate change and the environment at the Grantham Institute. From physicists and energy experts, to economists and entrepreneurs; hill walkers and gardeners, to climbers and crochet fiends, the office is full of inspiring women. Meet a small selection of them here:
Green-fingered yoga-lover who makes a Polish plum cake that’s to die for and, with her razor-sharp attention to detail, has kept the Institute running smoothly for over 10 years.
- Likes: Nature, animals, wildlife and people who put the welfare of others first
- Dislikes: Thoughtless consumerism
- Best bit of the day job: Making sure the people who work here and visit us are happy and well taken care of
- Imperial highlight: Being part of the Grantham Institute from its inception in 2007, and seeing it become a recognised centre of excellence. I also love working with so many amazing people.
Alyssa Gilbert | @AlyssaRGilbert
Director of Policy and Translation
Mother of four who amazes us all with how fast she can talk, how much she successfully squeezes into one day and her bizarre flavour combinations (like yoghurt with chilli sauce). Inspires colleagues with her endless enthusiasm and ambitious ‘can-do’ attitude.
- Likes: Being busy, plants, games, hot sauce and all the people in my life
- Dislikes: Bureaucratic paperwork and tidying my desk
- Best bit of the day job: Having a sense of purpose
- Imperial highlight: Engaging with academic experts from so many fields. I love walking past the huge mechanical engineering workshop every morning and seeing the cool kit that students get to play with. I’d like to put on a pair of the Imperial-branded overalls and spend a day there!
Madeleine Morris | @maddymorris
Research Associate in the Energy Revolution Research Consortium
Chemist turned energy policy wonk, who is saving the world one smart local energy system at a time. Committed to public engagement – especially through the medium of wine, nibbles and policy quibbles, and personally responsible for reducing the Grantham Institute’s dairy-related greenhouse gas footprint.
- Likes: Food, travel, non-scary films, music, hiking (in Scotland, preferably) and glitter
- Dislikes: Scary films, prime numbers, reality TV and ‘self-charging’ hybrid cars
- Best bit of the day job: All the opportunities that come with it, from getting involved in fiery panel discussions to designing a new board game
- Imperial highlight: The Great Exhibition Road Festival weekend – engaging with the public is always fun and we researchers learn as much (if not more) from them as they do from us! The weekly cake (and sometimes gin) club during my PhD was also pretty special.
Toral Shah | @toral31KE
Research Postgraduate on the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training Partnership (Cohort 5)
Kenyan botanist and intrepid environmental warrior, who inspires her colleagues with her positive energy and passion.
- Likes: Camping out in the African bush, swimming in the Indian ocean, watching murder mysteries and eating kimchi
- Dislikes: Celery, chard and plastic packaging
- Best bit of the day job: Diversity – every day is different, and working with plants
- Imperial highlight: Being based at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, but still being an Imperial student. I am able to live and work with the best of both institutions.
Mirabelle Muûls | @MirabelleMuuls
Assistant Professor in Economics and former Grantham Institute Lecturer
Award-winning Director of the MSc in Climate Change Management and Finance, who is described by her students as a shining star whose care and compassion makes them feel lucky to have her.
- Likes: Belgian chocolate and working with interesting new data
- Dislikes: Idling vehicles and administrative forms
- Best bit of the day job: My colleagues and students
- Imperial highlight: Receiving the President’s medal for the MSc Climate Change, Management and Finance
Clea Kolster | @cleakolster
Alumnus of the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet DTP PhD programme (Cohort 1), now working as an energy consultant at E3 Energy & Environmental Economics in San Francisco.
Multi-lingual global citizen, climate nerd and wannabe sailor, who tells it like is and spends her spare time researching clean cooking access in West Africa. You’ll want to taste her two main (and only) dishes: Persian rice and seasonal crumble.
- Likes: Being on the water, sailing, going on adventures, skiing, talking about carbon dioxide and drinking wine
- Dislikes: Melon, fast food, low ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and toxic cooking practices in developing countries
- Best bit of the day job (at E3): Getting to work on projects that move the needle on State policies in the United States, and getting utility companies across the country to plan for sound and clean energy procurement – with rigorous modelling and economics to back it
- Imperial highlight: The people, the ideas, the impact and eight years of student life.
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