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Introducing the 2023 Student Sustainability Architects - Part 3!

Blog Posts
Highlights 2022-2023
Student Sustainability Architects

We have recruited our new cohort of Student Sustainability Architects, who are part time paid positions at the University. The Architects support and deliver projects that help the University achieve its strategic objectives.

These four Student Sustainability Architects have a focus on enhancing and monitoring the biodiversity on the University estate and residences. If you missed our past two blogs on our other Architects, check out their roles on Sustainable Careers and Curriculum, as well as Circular Economy and Awareness.

Our Architects will be working hard on delivering their projects all year, so make sure you are following our social channels for frequent updates!

Julie Mathes

An image of our Student Sustainability Architect Julie Mathes

Project title: Edible campus and gardening projects coordination

School: School of Earth and Environment

Degree: MSc Sustainability and Consultancy

About me:

Growing food is much more than just gardening - it is a process of learning, of being outside, of connecting with each other, and most of all, connecting with ourselves. This is what the participating in a permaculture course this summer has taught me. And this is what has motivated me to become a part of the "Edible Campus and Gardening" project, for which I am very excited!

My interest in sustainability emerged during my time in high school, but in recent years I have developed a particular passion for sustainable food production (and consumption). What we eat has a large impact on the planet’s and our own health, and therefore I believe it is very important to engage with this topic not only theoretically, but also practically. In a society where supermarkets and take-aways are dominating our everyday food supply, we are becoming more and more disconnected from the food we consume. This also closes our eyes to the environmental and social impacts that our food choices have. My goal as Sustainability Architect is to work together with the student community to restore our connection to food. How? By engaging with each other and the ecosystem around us during gardening sessions, and hopefully by creating little food forests around campus. And the best part is the result of all this: delicious and healthy food with minimal negative impact on the environment – a win for everyone!

Dearbhla McSherry

A photo of Dearbhla McSherry, who is wearing a hi-vis jacket with a sampling kit

Project title: Biodiversity Action Planning

School: Earth and Environment

Degree: Environmental Science

About me:

I will be working on Biodiversity Monitoring in Residences. I am very excited to undertake my project and apply the skills I have learnt in my degree. I am also eager to engage and promote biodiversity in residences with the students that live on site.

Elizabeth Cawrey 

A photo of the Student Sustainability Architect Elizabeth Cawrey, who is wearing a hi-vis vest and a black beanie

Project title: Supporting Biodiversity Monitoring on the University Estate

School: School of Earth and Environment

Degree: Environmental Science

About me:

I’m working on the project Supporting Biodiversity Monitoring on the University Estate. I’m passionate about sustainability and environmental issues, with a keen interest in biodiversity. I’m hoping to get more people engaged with sustainability and monitoring wildlife at the University of Leeds! 

Sam Brooke

A photo of Sam Brooke sat on a boulder in the countryside, wearing grey walking clothes with a camera around his neck.

Project title: Gair Woods volunteer coordination and delivery

School: Earth and Environment

Degree: Sustainability and Environment Management (Integrated Master’s)

About me:

Hi! I'm Sam and I'll be Student Sustainability Architect for the Gair Wood woodland project. We'll be creating a new forest in the north of Leeds as part of the wider White Rose Forest project seeking to restore woodland in Yorkshire. I'm particularly passionate about ecology and biodiversity, so I can't wait to see how the site develops over time, hopefully becoming a thriving ecosystem which everyone can benefit from.

Keep up to date on the latest news

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. Our Active Travel work links to the following SDGs:

    • Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities
    • Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production
    • Goal 13: Climate action
    • Goal 15: Life on Land