Professor Roy Alexander

Professor of Environmental Sustainability

I am a physical geographer with interests in community-based approaches to sustainability and the geoecology of badlands.  I frequently give talks and advice on community carbon reduction to community groups, local and national government and third sector organisations and also interviews for the media.

Qualifications

BSc Geography (Newcastle), MSc Ecology (Durham), MA (Dublin), PhD (London)

Professional Affiliations

British Lichen Society
Cheshire West and Chester Sustainability Commission
Carbon Leapfrog Project Steering Group 

Teaching

GE6006 Sustainable Futures (module leader)

GE6021 International Fieldwork Experience (Physical Geography) (module leader)

I also teach on a number of other field and classroom-based modules and supervise PhD students.

Research

My major research interests are in community carbon reduction and the geoecology of badlands in SE Spain.

I have run a longitudinal project on community carbon reduction in the village of Ashton Hayes, Cheshire since 2005, mainly using action research with student involvement. This work currently focuses on household behaviour change, energy efficiency and renewable energy and involves collaboration with other universities and the public and private sectors. It has been supported by funding from a variety of sources and has attracted much attention from community groups across the UK and beyond and also from the media. The project was featured in a front-page article in the New York Times in August 2016.

My work in SE Spain examines the distribution and dynamics of biological soil crusts in badlands, their interaction with hydrological and geomorphological processes and the long-term evolution of landforms.  Much of the research is conducted in collaboration with colleagues at the Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas (CSIC) in Almería, Spain, the University of Valencia and several UK universities. It has resulted in many publications and several PhD theses.

Research Funding:

  • Ashton Hayes Community Energy C.I.C. (2012) Carbon savings associated with proposed energy efficiency and generation initiatives. Sponsored by Dept. for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) LEAF Fund. £9,000.
  • Cheshire and Warrington Carbon Reduction and Sustainability Commission (2011) Carbon footprint of the sub region and priorities for action. £3,000.
  • EA Technology Consulting Ltd (2011) Delivering the Benefits of ‘Smart’ appliances (project funded by Dept. for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). £3,000.
  • Ashton Hayes Parish Council (2010) Monitoring and evaluation work associated with DECC-funded Low Carbon Communities Challenge project. £8,000.
  • Sustainable Blacon Ltd (2010-11) Evaluation of Blacon Energy Management Programme. (DECC-funded) £21,189.
  • Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East and Warrington Borough Councils (2009) Support needs of low carbon communities in the sub region. £5,000.
  • Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council (2009) Local Climate Impact Profile. £3000.
  • Carbon Connections UK Ltd (2008-09) Feasibility study to develop a model for the installation and operation of a rural microgrid on the existing power distribution network using Ashton Hayes, Cheshire as a test-bed. £86,558.
  • North West Development Agency via the Cheshire and Warrington Economic Alliance (2008) Extending the baseline of household and community carbon footprint data in Cheshire. £5,500.
  • North West Development Agency via the Cheshire and Warrington Economic Alliance (2008) Community Carbon Footprint Toolkit for Climate Change Pack. £6,000.

Published work

Duruiheoma, F.I., Burek, C., Bonwick, G. and Alexander, R. 2015. The role of anaerobic digestion in achieving soil conservation and sustainable agricultural development in the UK. Journal of Environment and Ecology 6 (2),13-37.

Duruiheoma, F.I., Burek, C., Bonwick, G. and Alexander, R. 2015. Farmers’ perception of soil: Implications for Soil Conservation and Sustainable Agriculture in the UK. Global Journal of Agricultural Research 3 (3), 11-24.

Duruiheoma, F.I., Burek, C., Bonwick, G. and Alexander, R. 2015. Farmers’ interest in Agricultural Technology and Organic farming: Implications for AD Adoption and Sustainable Agriculture in the UK. Environmental Management and Sustainable Development 4 (1), 242-263.

Duruiheoma, F.I., Burek, C., Bonwick, G. and Alexander, R. 2014. Raising awareness of anaerobic digestion in the UK – views of key stakeholders. Journal of Environment and Ecology 5 (2), 258-275.

Calvo-Cases, A.,  Harvey, A.M., Alexander, R.W., Cantón, Y., Lázaro, R., Solé-Benet, A., Puigdefabregas, J. Landscape and landforms of Spain. 2014. In Gutierrez, F. and Gutierrez, M. (Eds) Badlands in the Tabernas Basin, Betic Chain 197-212; Springer Verlag.

Alexander, Roy and Hunt, Tamara. Evaluation of Energy Management Systems Trial in Blacon Smart Energy Community LCCC Programme. Final Report. University of Chester. October 2012. 114pp.

Bevan, J., Alexander, R. and Lazaro-Suau, R. 2012. Transplant experiments to examine the habitat exclusivity of lichen dominated soil crust communities in the El Cautivo badlands, SE Spain. Geophysical Research Abstracts 14, EGU2012-11040, 2012.

Hunt, T. and Alexander, R. 2010. A Local Climate Impacts Profile for Cheshire West and Chester Council. Commissioned report prepared for Cheshire West and Chester Council, 16pp plus appendices.

Ribchester, C., Hunt, T, and Alexander, R. 2010. Carbon Footprints and Fieldwork. UK Centre for Bioscience Bulletin, 29 (4).

Ribchester, C., Hunt, T, and Alexander, R. 2009. “How big’s your engine, mate?” Encouraging active participation in ESD by assessing the carbon footprint of fieldwork. Planet. 22, 27-33.

Barker T., Mageean A., Tweed J., Gillie M., Edwards G., Alexander R. and Bulmer P. (2009) Vision 2050: A Sustainable future for Cheshire West and Chester.  Report for Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council.  Chester Climate Change and Sustainability Ginger Group. Chester, UK.

Gillie, Mary, Carter, Jen, and Alexander, Roy. 2009. A Generic Model for Community Microgrids.  Confidential report to Carbon Connections.  EA Technology Consulting/University of Chester. 56pp.

Gillie, Mary, Carter, Jen, and Alexander, Roy. 2009. A Community Microgrid for Ashton Hayes.  Confidential report to Carbon Connections and Ashton Hayes Parish Council.  EA Technology Consulting/University of Chester. 51pp.

Willis, S., Burek, C. and Alexander, R. 2009. Limestone Pavements: Seeing the whole picture. Earth Heritage 31, 18-19.

Lázaro, R., Cantón, Y., Solé-Benet, A., Bevan, J., Alexander, R., Sancho, L.G., Puigdefábregas, J. 2008. The influence of competition between lichen colonization and erosion on the evolution of soil surfaces in the Tabernas badlands (SE Spain) and its landscape effects, Geomorphology 102, 252-266.

Alexander, R.W., Calvo-Cases, A., Arnau-Rosalén, E., Mather A.E.,  y Lázaro-Suau, R. 2008. Erosion and stabilization sequences in relation to base level changes in the El Cautivo badlands, SE Spain. Geomorphology, 100, 83-90.

Faulkner, H., Alexander, R. and Zukowskyj, P. 2008. Slope-channel coupling between pipes, gullies and tributary channels in young, tectonically-active badlands, SE Spain.  Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 33, 1242- 1260.

Alexander, R., Hope, M. and Degg, M. 2007. Mainstreaming Sustainable Development-A Case Study: Ashton Hayes is Going Carbon Neutral. Local Economy 22 (1), 62-74.

Hope, Max and Alexander, Roy 2008. Squashing Out the Jelly: Reflections on Trying to Become a Sustainable Community.  23 (3), 113-120.

 

Conference papers:

Tamara Hunt and Roy Alexander. ‘Ashton Hayes is going carbon neutral: students as active research partners in a community energy project’ Towards Innovative Energy, Environment and Geography Teaching Workshop. Royal Geographical Society, London. March, 2013.

Roy Alexander and Tamara Hunt. ‘Students as energy consultants: problem based learning activities in a final year Geography module’ Towards Innovative Energy, Environment and Geography Teaching Workshop. Royal Geographical Society, London. March, 2013.

Murphy, G and Alexander, R. Ashton Hayes Smart Village. Low Carbon Networks Fund Annual Conference 2012, Cardiff, October, 2012.

Alexander, R., Hunt, T. and Edwards, G. Learning from evaluation of a low carbon community in Blacon, Chester. Energy and Communities: An International Conference from the EVALOC Project, Oxford, September, 2012.

Bevan, J., Alexander, R and Lazaro-Suau, R.. Transplant experiments to examine the habitat exclusivity of lichen dominated soil crust communities in the El Cautivo badlands, SE Spain. EGU General Assembly 2012, Vienna, April, 2012.

Ged Edwards and Roy Alexander. A community’s story of sustainability. Blacon Sustainability Convention. Chester, November, 2011.

Mary Gillie, Roy Alexander and David Roberts. Community Energy: from Policy to Practice. Paper 0244 presented at CIRED2011, International Conference on Electricity Distribution, Frankfurt, June 2011.

Charnock, G. and Alexander, R. (2010) Ashton Hayes Going Carbon Neutral: Our journey 4 years on. Sustainable Development UK 2010, London, March 2010.

Alexander, R (2009) Ashton Hayes Going Carbon Neutral. Development Trusts Association Annual conference, London, September, 2009.

Gillie, M., Carter, J., Alexander, R. and Charnock, G. Getting the most from Community Generation – an Economic and Technical Model to Control Small Scale Renewable Community Generation and Create a Local Energy Economy. Paper 0190 presented at CIRED, 20th International Conference on Electricity Distribution, Prague, June 2009.