ClimateXChange :: Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Niall Kerr
Scotland's Energy Efficiency Programme

Niall KerrNiall is a Research Fellow based within the Energy and Society research Group at the University of Edinburgh. He is currently working on the 'Effectiveness of Energy Policy and Interventions' project, developing a dedicated method for evidence review with respect to Scottish energy policy

Niall’s most recent research (PhD) has considered some of the social and political aspects of efforts to energy efficiently retrofit existing buildings, considering the different political rationales for energy efficiency policy in different countries, the different narratives of home energy renovators and the overall public and private investment cases for energy efficiency.

Previous research has related to modelling the economics of low carbon transitions and the development of low-cost pathways for lowering carbon emissions in city regions. The Economics of Low Carbon Cities work involved projects in various UK cities and the development of a new method for the first Climate Smart Cities project in Kolkata, India. Other recent research projects have considered the ex-post evaluation of energy savings from an energy efficient retrofit scheme in Kirklees, England, and the trial of a revolving fund model for financing retrofit schemes.

Gioele Figus
Economic impacts of community and local energy

Gioele.pngGioele has expertise in energy-economy-environmental modelling, applied regional economic analysis and renewable technologies and policies. He is currently working on the spatial economic and environmental impacts of community and local energy, renewable energy technologies and the impacts of energy efficiency improvements, including the extent of economy-wide rebound effects.

He is currently working on a project exploring energy saving innovations and economy-wide rebound effects. The research is improving understanding of the likely consequences of Scottish energy policy decisions on local economic, environmental and energy systems. A central element of this work is analysis of the impacts of interventions aimed at furthering local energy solutions, focusing on the Scottish Government’s Local Energy Challenge Fund. It follows earlier work on the economic impacts of community and locally owned energy projects, which fed into the Scottish Government’s Community Energy Policy Statement (2015).

A second strand of work is tracking the impacts of energy policy on inclusive growth through energy-economy-environment modelling. This allows assessment of trade-offs between goals and also the potential for policy “double-dividends”.  This strand ties into the Energy Policy theme of CXC’s energy research programme

Peter Zeniewski
Scotland and the European Energy Union: A Sociotechnical Systems Perspective

Zeniewski.pngPeter has an interest in employing multi-disciplinary perspectives to analyse contemporary energy challenges - in particular those related to energy security.
His CXC fellowship is assessing the implications of European energy policy for Scottish and UK energy system transitions. This includes markets and trading, infrastructure, and low-carbon investments. The work focuses on the long-term evolution of European energy integration and the development of EU frameworks for common energy markets. The UK’s decision to leave the EU, and Scotland’s interest in its own closer association with the EU, makes this research particularly relevant for informing Scottish energy policy.
Peter has a PhD in International Relations from University of oxford and came to the post from being Senior Analyst for Wood Mackenzie, an international energy consulting firm based in Edinburgh. He has also worked as a Scientific Officer at the European Commission's Institute for Energy and Transport.

Camilla Thomson
Energy systems impact of interventions

Camilla_bw_rotated_small.pngCamilla's research is testing the potential impacts of policy drivers on the evolution of the Scottish energy system, focusing on three key areas. The first area is an assessment of the impacts of solar photovoltaic (PV) on current and future grid operation. Secondly, the work is examining spatiotemporal patterns of gas and electricity consumption for domestic heat across Scotland, to improve understanding of the impacts of the electrification of heat on the wider energy system. Finally, the research is examining the impacts of individual interventions, or combinations of these, on the operation of the Scottish electricity grid, initially focusing on storage capacity and different modes of operation. 

Simon Gill
Energy system modelling and security of electricity supply


Simon has been appointed by the University of Strathclyde as a CXC post doctoral research fellow working on energy system modelling. He has a background in research focused on electrical power networks with high penetrations of renewable energy.  He is interested in extending our understanding of the electricity and energy systems to provide insights into planning and operating the system in the face of uncertainty in demand and generation introduced by renewable generation and wider changes to the power system. He will also be looking at smart distribution networks and their ability to support security of electricity and energy supply.

The research focuses on understanding the role of electricity generation and the transmission network in providing security of electricity supply to Scotland. The landscape of electricity generation in Scotland and northern England is changing with the closure of large dispatchable power stations and the continued growth of intermittent renewable generation, particularly wind. When taken together with changes to the demand-side, this change has implications on how the supply of electricity in the future energy system can be secured. The project is developing methodologies that consider the role of transmission interconnection between regions as well as the availability of 'flexibility' from demand, storage and generation, and using them to analyse the future Scottish electricity system.

Craig Morton
Low carbon transport futures


Craig works as a ClimateXChange funded post doctoral research fellow based in the Centre for Transport Research at the University of Aberdeen. Craig's research primarily explores the ways in which citizens make use of energy in the transport and household sectors with specific interest in the adoption of Low Carbon Technologies. Craig's background is in social science research with knowledge of the economics, human geography and behavioural psychology fields.

The work investigates the spatial diffusion and uptake of various low carbon transport technologies across Scotland. A second strand of work is considering how the energy demand and emissions profile of Scotland's transport sector may change over time. A Scottish Transport Emissions and Air Quality Model (STEAM) is being developed that allows for the forecasting of sector developments given set assumptions.

Emily Creamer
Measuring the social impacts of local and community energy projects

emilysmall.jpgEmily is based in the School of Geosciences at the University of Edinburgh.  Her PhD research examined the efficacy of government-funded, community-based projects in facilitating low carbon sustainable lifestyles.  Prior to her current role, Emily was a postdoctoral researcher on an EU research project that explored the role of multi-stakeholder dialogue in facilitating low carbon energy transitions across Europe.

A key objective of Scottish Government energy policy is to deliver positive social impact through community and local energy. Emily's research is developing a mutually agreed, practical and replicable framework for assessing the social impacts of local energy initiatives, such as community cohesion and confidence, skills development and economic regeneration. The outputs of the project will inform future policy design and monitoring by supporting the coordinated collection of robust, empirical data across the sector. 

Christian Calvillo
Energy Systems Impacts of Energy Efficiency

Christian CalvilloChristian’s research interests so far have been focused on energy systems modelling and economic analysis. In particular, smart city optimization models, renewable energy, electric vehicles, and distributed generation and storage. His current project has two objectives: first, to explore the impacts of energy efficiency changes linked to the Scottish Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP); second to consider how the Scottish TIMES energy system model and the Scottish Computable Generalised Equilibrium model AMOS, may be used alongside and complement other existing and potential new modelling platforms to provide additional insights on co-benefits of energy efficiency improvements.




Mareike Lührs 
Energy Decentralisation in Scotland

M LührsMareike's research is on socio-economic aspects of energy decentralisation in the UK-Scottish context. She will also provide a link to the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), and its interdisciplinary capability on decentralised energy pathways.

Mareike has recently completed an MSc in Ecological Economics at The University of Edinburgh and SRUC. She has a background in social sciences, including European Studies and Psychology. She is based in the Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (STIS) group, in the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh.

Ruth Bush
Scotland's energy efficiency programme 

Ruth BushRuth is based within the Energy and Society Research Group at the University of Edinburgh working on an evaluation of the Local Authority-led integrated energy efficiency pilots taking place as part of Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP). Her project will look at project governance, management, partnership structures, and resulting behavioural impacts. It will analyse the effectiveness of the chosen delivery approaches in terms of their replicability and scalability given the diverse geography and socio-economic circumstances of Scotland’s communities, and the challenges of regulation and standards, skills and supply chains.  

Ruth has a PhD from the University of Leeds where her research explored the governance of low carbon socio-technical transitions using a case study of district heating. Previously, she was seconded into the Scottish Government Heat Policy Team, working on district heating regulations, planning, and capacity building for project delivery, and also managed the EU-funded Stratego Project.

Rory Telford
The energy system implications of a shift to more localised energy production

Rory TelfordRory’s research assesses the technical, economic and regulatory functions that will enable the transition to a decentralised energy system. A Scottish Local Energy Infrastructure (LEI) scenario set is being developed to describe in detail the differences between the requirements of existing centralised energy systems and increasingly decentralised energy systems. A key focus is to identify the changes to heat and electricity networks required to accommodate local energy infrastructure. The research will suggest areas for policy focus that will support the development of appropriate institutional designs, technology development and actor strategies necessary to enable the LEI transition. This will include the potential for local energy to support system balancing and a consideration of relative costs.

Rory is based at the University of Strathclyde and has a background in energy system modelling and electrical systems analysis.

Anna Moss
Climate Change Adaptation


Anna works on developing indicators to inform the Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme and wider national adaptation decision making. The indicators are also used by the Committee on Climate Change in their assessments of Scotland's progress.

Her work also informs policy makers where successful adaptation is occurring and where policy action may be needed to encourage and strengthen adaptation. She has a background researching the impact of climate change and habitat structure on the behaviour and population dynamics of grassland isopods and is employed by the University of Dundee.

Read more about the adaptation indicators


Ruth Monfries
Climate Change Adaptation


 Ruth works at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in CXC's adaptation team, currently working on Adaptation Indicators with a particular focus on the natural environment.

Ruth previously worked as an analyst and researcher at VisitScotland. She has a background in aviation, where she worked in flight operations as Aircraft Performance Manager before completing an MSc in Carbon Management at the University of Edinburgh. 

She is also working to support the development of adaptation practice and demonstration within the RBGE and collaborating with fellow RBGE researchers on climate related projects.

Read more about the adaptation indicators

Kate Beauchamp
Adaptive forest management


Kate's research focuses on adaptive forest management under future climate scenarios.  She works with the development of the Demonstration Forest at the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park. 

Kate is also developing climate change indicators for the forestry sector.

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