A Booterstown local feels ‘honoured’ to have been named ‘Researcher of the Year’ 2018.

Anna Davies is a professor at Trinity College Dublin and was awarded for her research in environmental governance and sustainability.

Anna told Dublin Gazette it is an “absolute honour” to receive the award.

“This award is incredibly important to me. It was very nice to take a moment to reflect on my research and its impacts.

“The award has already increased my profile internationally as the networks and organisations that I work with, such as The International Science Council, have spread the word beyond Ireland.

“I hope it also increases the credibility of my interventions in the policy arenas that I work with locally, nationally and internationally.”

Anna completed a PhD and postdoctoral position on sustainable communities at Cambridge University in the late 90s and went on to a lectureship at Kings College in London.

She came to a lectureship in the Geography Department in Trinity in 2001 as an early career researcher and she said she has “never looked back.”

“When I arrived, it was a very productive time to be a researcher in Ireland and particularly in my area of expertise which is focused on how we, as a society, make decisions about the environment.

“I am particularly interested in who decides what kinds of values count in these decisions. This is an issue that is as important now as it was back at the turn of the century, with issues of climate change and biodiversity loss even higher on the policy agenda.

“I am particularly interested in how grassroots community actions can influence policies and outcomes.

“We see that here in Ireland in many ways, for example where communities come together in reaction to policy changes, such as with the protests against the water charges, for example.

“There are also examples where community initiatives are proactively pushing for more sustainable ways of living. I’ve been involved with The Rediscovery Centre in Ballymun for more than a decade and they do incredibly important work around recycling, reuse and the circular economy.”

So, what is next for Anna Davies. She is passionate about passing on a “sustainable planet to our children and grandchildren” and she is working on another project called Climate Smart which looks at how using smart technologies could help encourage communities to get more involved in planning climate change adaptation strategies.

“One thing that concerns me is that stipends for PhD students haven’t gone up since 2006 and we all know how difficult it is to find affordable accommodation in Dublin. We could be losing many talented researchers because they simply cannot afford to live in Dublin.”