In October 2023, 14 new Earth Fellows joined the growing Edinburgh Earth Initiative team to support world-leading research and productive academic networks that are at the forefront of urgent climate action. 

Earth Fellows Programme 

The Earth Fellows Programme kicked off in 2022 with an aim to bring together students from across the University of Edinburgh to work on a range of climate and sustainability projects created in collaboration with university-wide academics and partners. Since the programme’s inception, Edinburgh Earth Initiative has provided part-time, paid opportunities to 51 Postgraduate and PhD students. 

Autumn Semester Cohort
The Autumn cohort of Earth Fellows is comprised of 12 Postgraduate and 3 PhD student Earth Fellows, whose areas of expertise and study represent the three constituent Colleges of the university. With research interests ranging from wildlife conservation, environmental protection and fire risk, to health journalism, politics and space law, the Fellows set the tone for a truly interdisciplinary approach to climate and environmental action and are all set to take the baton forward and lead the charge on climate action. 

The University of Edinburgh hosts over 35 distinct research centres, institutes, networks and groups that are actively making an impact through climate, environment, biodiversity, sustainability related research across all disciplines. Our Earth Fellows will be working closely with academics and key partners across the University on specific projects focused on skills and learning and curriculum transformation; and amplifying the communication around climate change and sustainability across the university and beyond. They will also have the opportunity to take part in a series of personal and professional development activities while working with us, including our new Earth Mentorship programme.  

Earth Communications Unit 

The Earth Communications Unit offers students an opportunity to develop science and climate-related communications skills, directly engaging with academic faculty, and promoting research for a wider engagement and impact. 

The team are embedded across three thematic areas, with a mission to hunt out news stories, impact features and opinion pieces that spotlight and amplify the breadth of Edinburgh’s climate change expertise, knowledge and real world impact. 

Health & Climate 

Maria Marabito is our Earth Fellow working on Health in a Warming World, looking to promote research around food sustainability, medicine and all other aspects of human health affected by the climate emergency. With a background in journalism, Maria has the skills needed to research and publicise the ground-breaking developments made by University of Edinburgh academics. 

Sustainable Land and Seas 

Elliot Fisher is the Earth Fellow working on Land and Seas, working in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Forests and Landscapes (CSFL) Elliot Fisher is the Earth Fellow working on Land and Seas, working in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Forests and Landscapes (CSFL) and the Centre for Adapting to Changing Environments. Strengthening the networks of scholars in this field will allow for more effective collaboration across departments, and Elliot will be working to bring some of their brilliant work to light through EEI channels. Strengthening the networks of scholars in this field will allow for more effective collaboration across departments, and Elliot will be working to bring some of their brilliant work to light through EEI channels. 

The Future of Energy 

A multidisciplinary research group looking into energy transition and the data around energy systems, Energy@Edinburgh collaborates with local and global partners to address climate change and decarbonization through research at University of Edinburgh. Joanna Keel and Rania Djojosugito are the Earth Fellows working with the team to publicise and promote this work. 


Sus+ is the Edinburgh network of social scientists for sustainability. Cormac Cleary is the Advanced Earth Fellow working on Sus+, aiming to increase the visibility of the new networks and research partnerships which arise through collaborative efforts of social science scholars at University of Edinburgh. Through events and other networking opportunities, Sus+ aims to provide spaces for students, researchers and other colleagues to connect over shared interests in environmental sustainability.  

Communications and Events 

Our work at the Edinburgh Earth Initiative is underpinned by an inspiring and dynamic series of events and engagement activities, now supported by Postgraduate Earth Fellows, Racheal Okori, Immi Saleem and Charlotte Haley. Over the next few months, Racheal, Immi and Charlotte will be using their skills from the past experiences working in comms, alongside their diverse fields of interest, to work with the EEI team and colleagues across the University of Edinburgh to amplify the incredible climate action work by our academics, research groups, partners, students and alumni. 

Skills and Learning  

Nature Based Learning 

Earth Fellow Sophie Zych-Watson is leading a pilot programme on nature-based learning. A current postgraduate student studying MSc Outdoor Environmental and Sustainable Education, Sophie is working with University of Edinburgh experts to explore the transformational potential of learning in the outdoors, with the aim of this type of education becoming sustainably integrated into the curriculum. 

Climate and Sustainability in the Curriculum 

The Climate and Sustainability in the Curriculum team comprises six Postgraduate Earth Fellows who will work in partnership with the Department for Social Responsibility & Sustainability, the Curriculum Transformation Programme and directly with University of Edinburgh staff to develop new learning and teaching content that supports efforts to embed climate and nature through the curriculum. 

The Curriculum Transformation Programme is a major and long term initiative for the University of Edinburgh, closely aligned to Strategy 2030. The Climate and Sustainability in the Curriculum team – Jamie Larson (MSc History), Iris Cheng (MSc in Global Environment, Politics and Society), Sonakshi Pandit (Master of Architecture (MArch), Rebecca Foody (MSc Carbon Management), Erin Flattley (MSc Biodiversity, Wildlife and Ecosystem Health) and Georgia Dillon (L.L.M Global Environment and Climate Change Law) – bring an exciting range of interests, expertise and experience to this vital work and will use their diverse range of skills to support efforts to review the shape, design, and delivery of our current curriculum to ensure it develops with the needs of future students in mind. 

The team will support and enhance collaboration and dialogue with staff, students and other stakeholders internally and externally to help construct a curriculum that continues to challenge and support all students to thrive and fulfil their potential. 

Find out more about the Earth Fellows on Our People page and LinkedIn. 

Watch this space to hear more about our incredible Earth Fellows and their projects. If you have any questions about our current Earth Fellows projects, please email