COP26 - Face the Facts

Face the Facts

Meet some of Scotland’s leading climate researchers talking about their work in the lead up to the UN Climate Change Conference COP26.

The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties COP26 in Glasgow on 1 – 12 November 2021.  The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

The Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scottish Science Advisory Council and Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society, are collaborating to help highlight Scottish research and science and its contribution to understanding and tackling climate change. A broad range of researchers and practitioners in Scotland whose work relates to the Earth’s climate are being interviewed and we will publish new videos every month in the lead up to COP26.  

Face the Facts - December 2020

Video 1 – Professor E Marian Scott OBE FRSE

Marian is Professor of Environmental Statistics in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Glasgow; an elected member of the International Statistical Institute (ISI), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), a chartered statistician of the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) and a member of the SSAC.

Face the Facts | Professor Marian Scott OBE FRSE | COP26 - YouTube

Video 2 – Dr Sandro Carnicelli

Dr Sandro Carnicelli is the Marketing, Events and Tourism Unit Leader at the University of the West of Scotland, UK and is a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Young Academy of Scotland (YAS).

Face the Facts | Dr. Sandro Carnicelli | COP26 - YouTube

Further information about Degrowing Tourism in attached link:

Face the Facts - January 2021

Video 3 - Dr Leslie Mabon

Dr Leslie Mabon is a Senior Lecturer in Social Science at the Scottish Association for Marine Science-University of the Highlands and Islands. He is a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Young Academy of Scotland, and a Future Earth Coasts Fellow.

Face the Facts | Dr. Leslie Mabon | COP26 - YouTube

Video 4 - Dr Hermione Cockburn OBE FRSE FRSGS

Hermione is Scientific Director at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh’s science centre dedicated to environmental science. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.

Face the Facts | Dr. Hermione Cockburn OBE | COP26 - YouTube

Face the Facts - February 2021

Video 5 - Professor Lorna Dawson CBE, FRSE, FRSA

Professor Lorna Dawson is Head of the Soil Forensics Group within the Environmental and Biochemical Sciences group at the James Hutton Institute and honorary professor in Forensic Science at Robert Gordon University, and is SEFARI Advisor on the Scottish Government‘s (RESAS) strategic research programme 2016-2021.

Face the Facts | Professor Lorna Dawson FRSE | COP26 - YouTube

Video 6 - Dr Daniel Barreto

Dr Daniel Barreto is a Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering at Edinburgh Napier University.  He is also the Head of the Research Centre for Civil Engineering and a member of the RSE Young Academy of Scotland.  He completed his first degree in Civil Engineering at Universidad de los Andes (Colombia) in 2003.

Face the Facts | Dr Daniel Barreto | COP26 - YouTube

Face the Facts - March 2021

Video 7 -  Dr Roxane Andersen

Dr Roxane Andersen is a Senior Research Fellow leading peatland research at the University of the Highlands and Islands from the Environmental Research Institute in Thurso, Scotland.  As a member of Scotland’s National Peatland Group, Dr Andersen also supports the implementation of Scotland’s National Peatland Plan and its ambition to restore and protect peatlands for future generations.

Face the Facts | Dr Roxane Andersen | COP26 - YouTube

Video 8 - Dr Thomas Farrugia

Dr. Thomas Farrugia is Founder and CEO of Beta Bugs Limited, the insect genetics company, which he established in 2017. The company, headquartered at Easter Bush Campus, develops and distributes high-performance breeds of Black Soldier Fly for the insects-as-feed industry.

Face the Facts | Dr Thomas Farrugia | COP26 - YouTube

Face the Facts - April 2021

Video 9 - Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer (FRSE, FIChemE, FRSC, FRSA, FEI)

Professor Maroto-Valer is Associate Principal (Global Sustainability) and Director of the Research Centre for Carbon Solutions (RCCS) at Heriot-Watt University.   Mercedes is leading the development of the UK Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC) to accelerate the decarbonisation of industrial clusters.

Face the Facts | Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer | COP26 - YouTube

Video 10 - Professor Pete Smith, FRS, FRSE, FNA, FEurASc, FISoilSci, FRSB

Pete Smith is Professor of Soils and Global Change at the Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Aberdeen (Scotland, UK) and Science Director of the Scottish Climate Change Centre of Expertise (ClimateXChange).  His interests include climate change mitigation, soils, agriculture, food systems, ecosystem services and modelling.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, a Fellow of the Institute of Soil Scientists, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a Foreign Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy, a Fellow of the European Science Academy, and a Fellow of the Royal Society (London).

Face The Facts | Professor Pete Smith FRSE | COP26 - YouTube

Face the Facts - May 2021

Video 11 - Dr Kirsten Jenkins

Dr Kirsten Jenkins is an early career Lecturer in Energy, Environment and Society within the Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (STIS) group of the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. She is Programme Director for the cross-college Energy, Society and Sustainability MSc programme, which is run in partnership with the School of Geosciences.  She serves as Managing Editor for the journal Energy Research & Social Science and associate fellow of the Durham Energy Institute at the University of Durham.

Face The Facts | Dr Kirsten Jenkins | COP26 - YouTube

Video 12 - Professor Sandy Tudhope

Sandy Tudhope is Professor of Climate Studies and the University of Edinburgh’s Lead on Climate Responsibility and Sustainability.  He is also Co-Director of the Edinburgh Ocean Leaders Programme ( ), a new initiative designed to support the leadership of exceptional early-mid-career ocean professionals working on solutions for the oceans.   He was Head of School of GeoSciences for six years, was a member of University Court for three years, and is now a member of the University’s Executive. He is helping lead on the University’s engagement with COP26.

Face the Facts - June 2021

Face The Facts | Professor Sandy Tudhope | COP26 - YouTube

Video 13 - Professor Elise Cartmell FRSE

Elise Cartmell is the Chief Scientist at Scottish Water responsible for Research and Innovation, Management Systems and Scientific Services.  Elise joined Scottish Water in April 2016 following a career in academia at Cranfield University where she was Professor of Water Technology and Director of Environmental Technology.  Here she specialised in wastewater treatment with particular reference to trace contaminants, anaerobic processes and community sanitation.  Prior to joining Cranfield in 2000 she was a research scientist at WRc plc.  Elise is a chemist with a BSc (Hons) from The University of Edinburgh and a PhD from Imperial College, London.  She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Royal Society of Chemistry

How Scottish Water is tackling climate change | Professor Elise Cartmell FRSE - YouTube

Video 14 - Dr Ehsan Jorat 

Ehsan is a senior lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering at Abertay University and Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environmental and Society (SAGES) research and innovation committee member and co-lead for Carbon and Biogeochemical Cycles theme. As a geotechnical engineer with experience in both industry and academia, he focused his practice on introducing engineering solutions for environmental challenges. Ehsan has been leading research on incorporating inorganic carbon sequestration function into urban and agricultural soils as a mechanism for carbon sequestration.

Could our gardens provide the answer to CO2 reduction? | Dr Ehsan Jorat - YouTube

Face the Facts - July 2021

Video 15 - Professor Gabi Hegerl

Gabi Hegerl is a professor of climate system science at the University of Edinburgh. She is a climate scientist who focuses on identifying the drivers and mechanisms of observed climate change. Gabi has been strongly involved in scientific assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and is a fellow of the Royal Society, the American Geophysical Union, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and received the Hans Sigrist Prize awarded by Bern University.

Can we use the past to predict future climate change disasters? | Professor Gabi Hegerl FRSE - YouTube

Video 16 - Dr Heidi Burdett

Heidi Burdett is an Associate Professor of marine biology in the Lyell Centre, Heriot-Watt University, with expertise in coastal ecosystem function and the impact of human interaction (including climate change). Working with policymakers and charities, she uses this scientific understanding to improve conservation and management decisions to better protect these valuable ecosystems for future generations. She is also an Academic Lead for Public Engagement at Heriot-Watt, and a member of the Young Academy of Scotland.

How blue carbon could be Scotland's answer to combatting climate change | Dr Heidi Burdett - YouTube

Face the Facts - August 2021

Video 17 - Professor Andy Kerr

Andy leads EIT Climate-KIC – Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership – in the UK and Ireland. Previously, Andy was the founding director of the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) – a leading low carbon innovation centre in Scotland - and co-directed  ClimateXChange, which provided evidence and analysis to support Scottish Government policy development. Earlier in his career, Andy worked in business, developing renewable energy projects and trading carbon and green fuels in Europe and Asia.  Andy is an Honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh and has a PhD in climate change. 

Focusing on societal change can inadvertently help solve climate change | Professor Andy Kerr - YouTube

Video 18 - Dr Rebecca Wade

Dr Rebecca Wade is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science at Abertay University in Dundee. Her research links blue/green infrastructure with society. She applies geoscience, engineering, and ecological knowledge to enhance the multiple benefits that can be gained for people and nature as we address climate change and biodiversity loss. She is Landscape theme co-leader at SAGES (the Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environmental and Society).

Are climate change solutions hidden within nature itself? | Dr Rebecca Wade - YouTube

Face the Facts - September 2021

Video 19 - Professor Wayne Powell

Professor Wayne Powell is Principal and Chief Executive of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).  His personal research interests are at the interface of plant genetics, genome science, plant breeding and conservation of genetic resources with a strong emphasis on the delivery of ‘public good’ outcomes.  He is a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

How SRUC is helping us to adapt and survive in a changing climate | Professor Wayne Powell FRSE - YouTube

Video 20 -  Professor Louise Horsfall

Louise Horsfall, Chair of Sustainable Biotechnology at the University of Edinburgh, is interested in applying synthetic biology to improve the sustainability of biological processes and products. She is the elected co-chair of the Bioengineering and Bioprocessing Section of the European Federation of Biotechnology, a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Young Academy of Scotland, the Science for Sustainability theme lead at the University of Edinburgh and was the recipient of the University’s 2015 Chancellor’s Rising Star Award. Louise was awarded a 5-year Fellowship in Engineering for Sustainability and Resilience by the EPSRC in 2017 and has been investigating the recycling and reuse of lithium ion batteries from electric vehicles with the Faraday Institution since 2018.

How biology can provide solutions to climate change and fossil fuel | Professor Louise Horsfall - YouTube

Face the Facts - October 2021

Video 21 - Dr Ana Payo-Payo

Ana Payo-Payo is a Research Fellow within the University of Aberdeen's School of Biological Sciences.  Her research focuses on understanding the effects of environmental change on marine top predators and to provide evidence to inform energy transition. 

The way climate change affects wildlife and the lessons we can learn from it | Dr Ana Payo Payo - YouTube

Video 22 - Professor Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson is Professor of Zoology within the University of Aberdeen’s School of Biological Sciences. He is Director of the University’s Lighthouse Field Station, where he undertakes research on the effects of environmental change on marine mammal and seabird populations. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and has worked widely with government and industry bodies to support the sustainable development of marine renewable energy developments in Scottish waters.    

Protecting biodiversity while moving to renewable energy sources | Professor Paul Thompson FRSE - YouTube

Face the Facts - November 2021

Video 23 - Dr Rachel Helliwell

Dr Rachel Helliwell manages of the Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW) and is responsible for identifying, prioritising and coordinating water research to meet contemporary and future policy needs and knowledge gaps identified by Scottish Government and relevant public bodies (Scottish Water, SEPA, DWQR, NatureScot, etc.). Prior to taking on the role of CREW manager, Rachel established the Hydro Nation International programme and had a successful academic career working as a catchment modeller, investigating the interactions between landscapes, their management and the resulting impacts on water quality and quantity.

The effect of climate change on Scotland's waters and water species | Dr Rachel Helliwell - YouTube

Video 24 - Professor Jim Skea

Jim Skea is Professor of Sustainable Energy at Imperial College London with research interests in energy, climate change and technological innovation. His current main role is as Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III for the 6th assessment cycle. He was Research Director of the UK Energy Research Centre 2004-12 and Director of the Policy Studies Institute 1998-2004. He has operated at the interface between research, policy-making and business throughout his career. He was a member of the UK Committee on Climate Change from its inception in 2008 until 2018, and is currently the Chair of Scotland’s Just Transition Commission. From 2015-17, he was President of the UK Energy Institute. He was awarded a CBE for services to sustainable energy in 2013 and an OBE for services to sustainable transport in 2004.

What actions need to come from COP26 and why? | Professor Jim Skea CBE FRSE - YouTube





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