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Professor Harriet Bulkeley in front of trees, looking off-camera

A Durham University expert on climate change has been appointed to the governing body of the European Research Council (ERC).

Professor Harriet Bulkeley, from our Geography Department, is a multi-award-winning researcher, whose work focuses on environmental governance and the politics of climate change, energy and sustainable cities.

She is one of five researchers based across Europe who will join the Scientific Council, the governing body of the ERC, from January 2023.

About Prof Bulkeley…

Harriet Bulkeley gained her PhD from the University of Cambridge, where she subsequently held a Junior Research Fellowship and Leverhulme Research Fellowship before joining Durham in 2003.

She was appointed a full professor in 2010 and since 2018 has held a joint appointment with Utrecht University, in the Netherlands.

Prof Bulkeley has written extensively on the politics of energy transitions, smart cities, urban sustainability, biodiversity and nature-based solutions, publishing 15 books and edited collections and more than 70 papers. She has been included in the Highly Cited Researchers list of the top one per cent of researchers internationally four times since 2016.

She has won multiple awards, served on many prestigious bodies and committees and provided expert advice and undertaken research for, among others, the UK Government, European Commission, UN-Habitat and the World Bank.

In 2019, she was elected as a Fellow of the UK Academic of Social Sciences and as a Fellow of the British Academy.

‘Huge honour’

The ERC Scientific Council comprises 22 distinguished researchers who represent the European scientific community. Its main role is setting the ERC strategy and selecting the peer review evaluators. Members are appointed for an initial period of four years.

The other new appointees are: Prof Thomas Henzinger, of the Institute of Science and Technology, Austria; Prof Leszek Kaczmarek, of the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Poland; Prof Luke O’Neill, from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland; and Prof Bjorn Ottersten, University of Luxembourg.

On her appointment, Prof Bulkeley said: “It’s a huge honour to be appointed to this role and I am looking forward to supporting the ERC fulfil its mission to fund high risk, high gain research especially across the social sciences.”

Find out more

  • Read the ERC announcement
  • Discover more about Prof Bulkeley’s work
  • Read Prof Bulkeley’s thoughts on the COP15 conference
  • Our Department of Geography is one of the leading centres of geographical research and education in the world. We are ranked 15th in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021 and third in the Complete University Guide 2023. Our department researches climate change, environmental governance, landslides, natural hazards, geopolitical conflict and territorial dispute, migration, energy poverty, urbanisation and more.