Conference speakers Conference speakers

JOHN BURNSIDE is a poet, novelist, memoirist and short story writer. His most recent poetry collection, Black Cat Bone, won both the Forward and T.S. Eliot Prizes, and he is a recipient of the Petrarca Preis for poetry. His novels include Glister, an ecocritical fable, and A Summer of Drowning, an exploration of the old Norwegian huldra myth, set on the island of Kvaloya in the Arctic Circle. His next collection of poetry, an extended meditation on animal life, interspecies kinship and natural history entitled All One Breath, will appear in 2014. He is currently Professor of Creative Writing at St Andrews, where he also teaches Literature and Ecology. He writes an occasional 'Nature' column for the New Statesman.


TOM GREAVES is lecturer in philosophy at UEA, specialising in phenomenology of nature and environmental ethics and aesthetics. Tom has published on various aspects of environmental philosophy, especially in relation to the work of Martin Heidegger and R.G. Collingwood. He is particularly interested in the historical and political conditions for ecological valuation and basic attunements to nature such as awe and wonder. Tom is actively engaged in environmental politics, both at the level of direct action and as a member of the Green Party.


MIKE HULME was born in London in 1960 and has lived in St.Andrews, Durham, Swansea, Khartoum, Salford, Harare and Norwich. He is a lifelong cricket fan and this inspired his twin interests in weather and statistics which led him into a university career which has revolved around the study of climate and climate change. He is currently Professor of Climate Change at the University of East Anglia where, in 2000, he founded the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. His book Why We Disagree About Climate Change (2009) was chosen by The Economist magazine in 2009 as one of its science and technology books of the year. He is a frequent public speaker on climate change and appears regularly in the print and broadcast media.


TONY JUNIPER is an independent sustainability and environment adviser, including as Special Advisor with the Prince's Charities International Sustainability Unit and as a Senior Associate with the University of Cambridge Program for Sustainability Leadership. He is a founder member of the Robertsbridge Group that advises international companies. He speaks and writes on many aspects of sustainability and is the author of several books, including the award winning Parrots of the World, Spix's Macaw and How Many Light Bulbs Does It Take To Change A Planet? He was a co-author of Harmony, with HRH The Prince of Wales and Ian Skelly. His new book, What has Nature ever done for us? was published in January 2013. He began his career as an ornithologist, working with Birdlife International. From 1990 he worked at Friends of the Earth and was the organisation's executive director from 2003-2008 and was the Vice Chair of Friends of the Earth International from 2000-2008. | twitter:


KIRSTEN SHEPHERD-BARR is a University Lecturer in Modern Drama at the University of Oxford and a Fellow in English of St Catherine's College, Oxford.  She is the author of Science on Stage:  From Doctor Faustus to Copenhagen (2006; paperback edition 2012) and Ibsen and Early Modernist Theatre, 1890-1900 (1997).  Her research interests focus on the interactions between theatre and science, the concept of interdisciplinarity, and the relationship between modernism and theatrical performance, and she has published widely on these areas in Modernist Cultures, Theatre Research International, Women:  A Cultural Review, American Scientist, Ibsen Studies, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, and other journals.  She recently chaired an interdisciplinary panel on glaciology and the arts at the Smith School for Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford, and organized and chaired a panel on "Darwin and the Theatre" for the Darwin Festival in Cambridge, 2009.  With the support of a Leverhulme Research Fellowship she is completing a book on theatre and evolution since the 1840s.


REBECCA STOTT is a Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at UEA and the author of several books which engage with the history of science: two novels, Ghostwalk and The Coral Thief, a study of Darwin's extended study of barnacles Darwin called Darwin and the Barnacle and a creative non-fiction study of the history of his predecessors called Darwin's Ghosts: In Search of the First Evolutionists. With Steve Waters she is the Director of the UEA Centre for Writing and Science and is an affiliated scholar at the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge.


ZOË SVENDSEN As Director of METIS, Zoë collaborates with other artists to create interdisciplinary projects utilising small spaces to make immersive audience experiences. These have focussed on contemporary political subjects such as capitalism and poker; climate change; the relation between the real and the virtual. Directing/dramaturgy projects include 3rd Ring Out, which received a TippingPoint Commission Award and The Gate/Dance Umbrella commission, The Difference Engine. As dramaturg she works with institutions such as the Young Vic (The Changeling) and the National Theatre (Edward II). Zoë is also Associate Artist with Company of Angels, a script reader in the literary department at the National Theatre, and an honorary research fellow at Birkbeck's Centre for Contemporary Theatre.


RO RANDALL is a psychotherapist, interested in human responses to climate change and the powerful affects that attach to the subject - not just the familiar, outright denial but also the anxiety, distress, despair and grief which are often hidden behind defences of disavowal, apathy, disinterest and projection. She is the originator (with Andy Brown) of the award-winning Carbon Conversations project ( which runs facilitated, psychologically based small groups aimed at helping people address their impact on climate change. She is co-author of the Carbon Conversations handbook and associated materials. She is a founder member of the Climate Psychology Alliance. She writes, lectures and runs workshops on psychological aspects of climate change and her blog is at


STEVE WATERS is a playwright whose plays include The Contingency Plan (2009), a double-bill of plays about climate change that played to great acclaim at the Bush theatre London and have subsequently been adapted for radio (Radio 3) and currently for film.  His other plays include Ignorance/Jahiliyyah (Hampstead 2012), Little Platoons (The Bush, 2011) and World Music (Sheffield Crucible/Donmar Warehouse 2003/4).  His plays for radio include The Air Gap (October 2012, Radio 4).  He has also written The Secret Life of Plays (2010); all his books and plays are published by Nick Hern Books.  Steve has blogged for The Guardian (The Secret Diary of a Playwright) and is a lecturer in creative writing at UEA.


ROSS WILSON is a lecturer in the School of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. He is the author of Subjective Universality in Kant's Aesthetics (2007), Theodor Adorno (2007), and Shelley and the Apprehension of Life (2013). He is currently working on a book, Is Art Alive?, which seeks to answer its title's question, and he is the organiser for the core module, ‘Evaluating Nature', on UEA's MA/MSc in Environmental Sciences and Humanities.


BOB WARD is Policy and Communications Director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at London School of Economics and Political Science. His responsibilities include managing the media profile of the Institute's chair, Nicholas Stern (Lord Stern of Brentford), who is the former chief economic adviser to the UK Government and author of the influential Stern Review on the economics of climate change. Bob joined the Institute in November 2008 from Risk Management Solutions, the world's leading provider of computer models for quantifying the risk of catastrophic events, where he was Director of Public Policy. He worked at the Royal Society, the UK national academy of science, for eight years until October 2006, where his responsibilities included leading the media relations team. He has also worked as a freelance science writer and as a science reporter for ‘The Daily Telegraph'. Bob is a Fellow of the Geological Society, and has a first degree in geology and an unfinished PhD thesis on palaeopiezometry. He is a member of the executive committee of the Association of British Science Writers and the board of the UK's Science Media Centre.


PAUL WARDE joined UEA as a Reader in Early Modern History in 2007, after a research fellowship (1999-2001) and lectureship (2001-7) at the University of Cambridge.
He works on the environmental, economic and social history of early modern and modern Europe. His interests focus in particular upon the use of wood as a fundamental resource in pre-industrial society; the long-term history of energy use and its relationship with economic development, and environmental and social change; the history of prediction and modeling in thinking about the environment; and the development of institutions for regulating resources and welfare support. In 2008 he was a winner of the Phillip Leverhulme Prize.

Paul runs two projects at the Centre for History and Economics, Magdalene College, Cambridge:

  • History and Sustainability and Ecology, economy and society 1500-2000