Lecturer, Department of Biology
In large, complicated systems sometimes small things can have outsized and/or unintended impacts. One of the best examples of this is the recent development of the Antarctic Ozone Hole. Ozone loss is driven by compounds that were used because of their limited biological activity. These biologically non-reactive, low concentration compounds (< 1 part per billion) became extremely chemically reactive when placed in the stratosphere, leading to catastrophic loss of ozone which is predicted to take more than a century to repair.
There are many more examples where novel solutions have led to unpredictable (and undesirable) outcomes. Often the socially disadvantaged have suffered the most from these unexpected outcomes, leading to greater inequality in access to energy as well as clean air and water.
The Redeker Lab engages in multidisciplinary approaches that develop and explore solutions to global developmental challenges (providing quantitative analytical methods when needed). We are currently involved in several projects exploring:
i) How well do developmental/technological solutions (such as anaerobic digestors, AD) work at various population scales? For instance, would AD waste management work better at a local scale than city scale? Are modular approaches more efficient when major disasters and disruptions are considered? Can modular approaches address social inequality?
ii) How do prior experiences affect delivery of technological interventions? Often new technology is touted as a solution for intractable social challenges (such as waste management/energy production
As part of a multi-disciplinary group (led by E. Jones) Kelly is exploring the implementation of one technological solution and whether an intervention in the process to engage all viewpoints leads to more robust and effective outcomes.
iii) How do solutions involving changing land use affect environmental/social services and function? The Redeker Lab explore how changing land use (particularly coastal and agricultural lands) affects ecosystem function (particularly pollution retention/remediation, carbon storage, and agricultural pest control), considering other non-environmental perspectives (i.e.- how these changes may impact human health and social inequality).