A Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Manchester, Sarah has diversified from cosmology into agriculture and food research, motivated by the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2017, Sarah founded the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Food Network bringing together academic food research and industry with STFC capabilities across physics and the UK’s largest science facilities.
Sarah led the Take a Bite out of Climate Change exhibit at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition in 2019 and leads the Greenhouse Gas and Dietary Choices Open Source Toolkit which brings together food and greenhouse gas emissions data to inform the public and policy makers.
Sarah is author of over 100 refereed publications which have over 9000 citations and has won multiple prestigious awards in the UK and Europe for her work. Sarah’s book Food and Climate Change – Without the Hot Air will be published in 2020 by UIT Cambridge.
Sarah’s TEDx Talk
Change Your Diet: The Easiest Way To Help Reduce Your Climate Impact
Sarah has been studying dark matter and dark energy for the last 20 years, but when her kids started school she started to think about our own planet in the next 20 years and beyond. She learned about climate change properly for the first time, how it threatens worldwide food production, and how food causes about a quarter of all global warming.
Sarah wanted to know how much each of her food choices was contributing, and why. She delved into the academic research literature, and summarized the results in simple charts. The charts make it easy for the non-specialist to see the impacts of different meal options, and show that some easy food switches can reduce food greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent.
Most of us make many food choices every day, and by changing these we can significantly reduce climate change caused by food, and free up land that can be used to help reduce climate change overall.