I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow working on the ERC Project Toxic Expertise: Environmental Justice and the Global Petrochemical Industry since September 2017. Within this project, I carried out a spatial, social and inter-firm corporate network analysis of the largest global petrochemical corporations, using a company dataset and network analysis software. An accessible online article discussing some of the results can be found here. I am currently writing up the results of a case study on public risk perception in two communities adjacent to the large petrochemical complex in the port of Antwerp (Belgium). This study makes use of a residents' survey carried out in Spring 2019, supplemented with in-depth interviews with local stakeholders and citizens.
My research has always focused on environment-society interactions, using both quantitative and qualitative methods and collaborating with stakeholders from the public sector and civil society. Before I started my PhD, I worked on several rural policy research projects on behalf of Flemish government departments. I applied different spatial analysis techniques to explore urbanization and helped developing a set of rural policy indicators. In my doctoral dissertation, entitled “Living Cities: Reconnecting Environmental Health and Urban Planning”, I introduced an environmental justice approach to deal with environmental health concerns in urban policy, based on interviews, spatial data analysis, documentary analysis and a residents’ survey. For this research I worked together with local government administrations and with a local citizen initiative.
My future research interests lie in the interrelated concepts of environmental and social justice, and a further exploration of the interdisciplinary fields of environmental pollution, urban health and urban policy. From September 2019, I will take up a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Sheffield, working on social justice and urban air pollution policies.