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Professor Sandra Bell

Emeritus Professor


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Emeritus Professor in the Department of Anthropology  
Member of Durham Energy Institute Advisory Board in the Durham Energy Institute  


Sandra Bell is an environmental anthropologists working on energy related issues and biodiversity conservation. She has previously published on religion and conducted research on the development of Buddhism in Britain for her PhD. Sandra is interested in interdisciplinary research and with Prof Veronica Strang has devised a workshop and associated publication to facilitate research across disciplines (The Institute of Advanced Study).

In 2013 Dr. Bell was awarded the university’s award for Excellence in Doctoral supervision.

Research Projects
  • 2016-2019: PEOple-centred developments and approaches in Practical Learning Environments (PEOPLE)
  • 2016-2017: Forging Pathways to warm and healthy homes for vulnerable households in the London Borough of Haringey
  • 2015-2018: Power from the People? Driving forces and hindrances to becoming a prosumer of electricity in Norway
  • 2014-2015: Energy Savings: from regulation to realisation (Norway)
  • 2010-2013: Co-investigator Customer Led Network Revolution: Smartgrid electricity and new energy practices. Funded by Ofgem.
  • 2011-2012: Co-investigator ESRC Impact Award: Assessing energy vulnerability and equity at the community-scale: developing lessons with communities and stakeholders.
  • 2009-2012: Work Package Leader for Whole-systems Equity Analysis of Building Integrated Photovoltaics for IncluESEV - Interdisciplinary Cluster on Energy Systems, Equity and Vulnerability. Bringing together expertise and research activity from across a diversity of energy, climate change and environment funding programmes.
  • 2004 - 2008: Social ScienceWork Package Leader for an EU Sixth Framework Programme project - EuMon: EU Wide Monitoring Methods and Systems of Surveillance for Species and Habitats of Community Interest. Working with ecologists and managing social science teams in UK, Lithuania, Poland and Slovenia to research the role of volunteers in biodiversity monitoring across EU members states.
  • 2004 – 2005: Principle Investigator Calming Troubled Waters: Making Interdisciplinarity Work funded by the UK ESRC’s Rural and Land Use Programme.
  • 2001-2004: EU Fifth Framework Funded Project Integrated Management of European Wetlands (IMEW). Principle Investigator for this international multidisciplinary project located in the Danube Delta, Romania; the Nemunas Delta, Lithuania; the Saamai Lakes, Finland and Kerkini Lake, northern Greece. 

Research interests

  • Socio-technical systems of energy
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Western Buddhism
  • Environmental anthropology
  • European wetlands

Research groups

Research Projects

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Ethics: environmental anthropology/European wetlands
  • Religion: Buddhism in Britain


Chapter in book

Edited book

  • Sobo, E.J. & Bell, S. (2001). Celibacy, Culture and Society: The anthropology of sexual abstinence. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Journal Article

Supervision students