Climate Hubs Presents… ‘Atmosphere’


Last Wednesday Climate Hubs had its first ‘Climate Hubs Presents…’ showing, of the Leeds-based film ‘Atmosphere’. It was produced and crowd-funded by a group of University of Leeds Students, who had managed to speak to a huge variety of high profile people in the worlds of politics, science and civil society, on the topic of climate change. The attendance was fantastic, with well over a 100 people coming to watch the film and listen to the discussion afterwards.

The film was really well received by the audience, and the discussion was really varied and interesting. The panellists; Cat Scott, Frin Bale and Nick Roxburgh answered questions initially submitted via the hashtag #atmosphereleeds on twitter, and then a standard Q&A with the audience. There were topics such as the media’s responsibility and role with climate change and its rhetoric, to really specific energy and engineering questions, to really broad philosophical questions about the social constructions of the economic system, and the ‘so what can we do’ question!! Also interesting were people’s queries about the film-making process, and the team of PhD students at Leeds who initially had the idea and saw it into fruition.

It was great to see so many people; staff, students and the general public alike, being so interested and engaged with climate change and climate politics, especially in the run up to the COP21 in Paris. With so many people so engaged and passionate about the topic, things might be looking up for the ‘so what can we do’ question!

New Team Member!



I’m Kelly Forster and I recently joined the Sustainability team at the University of Leeds as PA and Project Assistant to the Head of Sustainability.

Having completed a degree in History I decided to return to university in 2013 to study a Masters in Sustainability (Environmental Consultancy and Project Management). Following this, I joined an engineering company working as a Graduate Sustainability and Environmental Consultant, where I worked on a number of projects including sustainable travel planning, biomass audits and procurement.

In my spare time I have a number of interests including cycling and travelling, and have recently started learning to kayak.

I’m really excited about my new role and the challenges it will bring, and hope that I will be able to make a significant positive contribution to the work that is already being done here.

Honey bee talk

This Tuesday there was a really interesting and informative talk presented by Pre Carbo and Jen Dyer from SRI on honey bees and their roles in the hive.

The talk started off with two quizzes – one where the group had to guess which of the animals on the screen were wasps and which were bees, and the second one where we had to decide whether the bees are workers, drones or queens. Hint: the drones (males) have bigger eyes and bodies.


The queen

So how can you tell which one is the queen bee in a hive? Well, it’s important to note that there’s only one queen per colony. They have a larger abdomen than other bees and their legs are red. Queen bees live for the longest in the colony – they can live up to 3-5 years! They are created, fed and groomed by workers and they can lay up to 2000 eggs per day.

A really interesting fact about queens is that the second they emerge from the cell they kill the other unhatched virgin queens in their cells and fight to the death with any other virgins queens hatched at the same time.

Apis mellifera, Queen Honey Bee, side view.

The worker

Workers are females from fertilised eggs. They can live up to 6 weeks during summer and 6 months in winter – this is due to the fact that they work much harder in the summertime. Their roles in the colony differ according to their age.

Workers actually die after stinging mammals because the sting gets caught in their skin and pulls out the bee’s insides when they fly away, but they can retrieve their sting with other insects.


The drone

Drones are males – but unlike workers, they are from unfertilised eggs. They are raised in spring and summer by workers.  Drones only live for a maximum of 25 days but they are likely to die earlier as they die as soon as they mate. Mating the virgin queen is the drone’s only role so if they don’t die before winter comes they are thrown out of the hive when food becomes scarce.


To end the talk, there was another interactive part where we looked at photos of bees from a ‘virtual hive’ and tried to identify various parts of them with our new-found knowledge.

The presentation was really fascinating and I’ve got to say I learned a lot of new information! These talks are a great way to find out more about a wide-range of topics and get involved so I would definitely recommend going along.

To find more events like this, visit our events page:

The next session hosted by SRI on the 21st of October

First blog entry


Hi everyone,

I’m Gina, the new Positive Partner in Society intern. I’m really glad I joined the Sustainability Service – it’s only been a month since I started but I feel like I’ve already learned a lot and really enjoyed working with the team.

I’ve completed two years of International Relations at the university and I’m currently undertaking my placement year at the Sustainability Service. I’m really interested in global development and improving the community in general so it’s great to get first-hand insight into sustainability and its various aspects and see how the university manages its responsibility towards society – which was the main reason I applied for the position.

My main objectives are increasing and supporting student and staff engagement with sustainability in the university and I’m also involved with managing the Service’s communications channels. I produce our monthly newsletter which you can sign up for here:

So far, I’ve worked on Freshers’ Week which included going to Freshers’ fairs and the Discovery Themes Fair where I got to talk to students about the discovery modules from the ‘Creating Sustainable Futures’ theme – these modules are a great way to learn more about sustainability from various angles, whether it’s social, economic  or scientific. You can enrol to these modules regardless of your degree to broaden your knowledge and skills – find out more about them via this link:

I’m really looking forward to this year and can’t wait to get more people involved with sustainability and support initiatives already taking place!

Beginning a new adventure!



Hello (again)!

So, I’m Catherine, and my first month as a Sustainability Intern has literally flown by. I can’t believe how much you can fit in and how fast time goes! So I was involved with the Sustainability Service last year, through working as a Sustainability Architect alongside studying for my Master’s degree, and now I’m fortunate enough to work full time for a great team. My role involves a couple of main projects; Green Impact and Climate Hubs, as well as other bits including carbon management and general helping out with events. I’ve always been interested in climate change so I feel really lucky to be involved in Sustainability at a university, especially at a time when the climate talks in December are so crucial. One of my personal objectives for this year is to raise awareness of climate issues and create a huge buzz around the university around COP21, climate change, and sustainability more generally.

So Green Impact has already kicked off and there has already been such a massive interest in the student project assistant roles, which is great to see such enthusiasm from students, wanting to improve the sustainability of the university while developing their professional skills. Climate Hubs is at an exciting time, with our Climate Hubs Café on divestment next week, and many other interesting events planned in the run up to COP21 in December, so watch this space!

I’m looking forward to being involved in everything sustainability this year, and hopefully get even more staff and students engaged in sustainability, not only in the university but more widely as well!