Visiting staff

The GSI has benefited from working in collaboration with various Visiting Staff from across a range of academic disciplines and vocational backgrounds. Visiting status is conferred by the Faculty, and all staff sit within one of our three key research themes.

SJ Beard

Headshot of SJ Beard

Dr SJ Beard is a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, working on the contribution of environmental breakdown to global catastrophic risk and how to mitigate this, including climate change, biosphere disintegration, and geoengineering.

Their work covers a wide range of topics, with a particular focus on the evaluation and mitigation of environmental breakdown as a contributor to global catastrophic and existential risk.

They have published research into the ethics of human extinction and future generations; methods to study extreme, low probability, and unprecedented events; the history, present challenges, and possible future for Existential Risk Studies as a field, understanding and addressing the constraints that prevent decision makers taking action to keep us safe; and building existential hope in the possibility of safe, joyous, and inclusive futures for human beings on planet earth.

Their research interests include: Existential and Global Catastrophic Risk; Foresight and Horizon Scanning; Moral and Political Philosophy.

Nigel Cooper

Nigel Cooper

Rev Canon Nigel Cooper joined the GSI as a Visiting Fellow in 2014. He has been the University Chaplain for ARU in Cambridge since 2005, a post he still holds.

He was Rector of Rivenhall and Silver End, Essex, for many years before that, and a visiting fellow at Essex University. Nigel is an Honorary Canon of Ely Cathedral.

Nigel has combined his ecological and church interests in four main ways: Ecological Consultant to the Church of England; promoting general environmental awareness and behaviour; encouraging a spiritual approach to nature and has led ‘nature and spirit’ retreats; and research into the philosophy of nature conservation and related topics.

Bob Evans

Head shot of Bob Evans

In the 1960s Dr Robert (Bob) Evans counted sheep for two years in the Peak District: there were too many of them and they created bare soil and caused erosion.

Bob came to Cambridge in late 1968 to research the use of remote sensing techniques for mapping soils. So started a lifetime of monitoring soil erosion in the UK. Much of the work on erosion in Britain was initiated by a short paper published by Bob in 1971.

In the mid-1980s he organised a scheme monitoring water erosion of arable land in 17 localities in lowland England and Wales. Because, uniquely, there has been much monitoring of erosion in farmers’ fields in Britain, we can compare that information with modelled information and have discovered that models overstate erosion. 

Bob has been an independent consultant since the late 1980s, most of that time also being a Research or Visiting Fellow in Cambridge Universities.

He has worked with government departments, the Environment Agency, a major NGO, companies, farmers and the NFU and on university research contracts, as well as being an expert witness in court.

His work in the uplands helped bring about changes in national grazing policy and he was an advisor to the Royal Commission on environmental pollution when it produced its report on Sustainable Use of Soil in 1996.

Bob now considers that soil erosion, although a problem over the long-term (in causing the loss of a resource) and short-term (causing pollution of water courses by sediment), nutrients and pesticides transported from the land in runoff is the more pressing issue.

Sarah Hafner

Sarah Hafner

Sarah is a research fellow at the ZHAW School of Engineering, where she investigates energy system transitions, applying system dynamics modelling.

In her research, Sarah applies a special focus on the simulation of socio-economic dynamics (e.g. barriers and enablers of different low-carbon energy technologies) and solutions that tackle identified barriers (e.g. new policies, regulations or business models).

Previously, she was a postdoc research fellow at the GSI and contributed to the BEIS-funded research project ‘Economics of Energy Innovation and System Transition’.

Sarah has a background in economics (MSc) and system dynamics (MSc). Sarah’s ESRC-funded PhD investigated policy interventions to scale-up green finance into renewable energy infrastructure and the related macroeconomic implications thereof, using an own developed system dynamics energy-economy model.

Prior to her PhD, Sarah has worked at the Swiss Statistical Office and the German ‘Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)’. She has also held a position as lecturer at the Department of Economics and International Business at ARU.

Her key research interests include: Climate Economics; energy-economy modelling; sustainable finance; energy transitions; energy innovation; system dynamics; complexity and systems thinking; socio-technical frameworks. Find Sarah on LinkedIn

Nick King

Nick King head shot photo

Nick King is a chartered earth and environmental scientist working primarily in professional consulting and the energy industry. He has worked with the Global Sustainability Institute since 2018 on subject areas including energy and global risk and is also affiliated with the Schumacher Institute think tank. He has also presented and written opinion pieces about a number of environmental and systems thinking topics.

Nick has worked for multination consulting firms in the UK and New Zealand in the field of environmental pollution assessment and control, and also spent more than 5 years as a specialist engineer in the UK civil nuclear decommissioning industry, remediating and dismantling legacy nuclear sites.

Roberto Pasqualino

Roberto Pasqualino

Dr Roberto Pasqualino works on the science-policy interface to support systems transformation towards a more just and sustainable society.

Roberto's interdisciplinary background combines extensive training in complexity science, finance, mathematics, computer sciences, dynamic systems modelling, economics and public policy.

Roberto has experience in research projects starting with designing Energy Aware Information Systems within (National Cluster for Intelligent Factories, Ministry of Research & Innovation, Italy), PhD in global system modelling and sustainability (Global Resource Observatory, Peter Dawe Charitable Trust, UK), Researcher Fellow in multi-country financial modelling (CUSP, ESRC funded, UK) and energy policy and innovation (EEIST, BEIS and CIFF Funded, UK).

Roberto's research brings together contributions from the fields of complex theory, finance, dynamic systems modelling and technological innovation, to study the intervention points that trigger self-reinforcing change in systems of governance to catalyse the transition to a sustainable economy.

Daniela Zingler

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Daniela is a researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research. Her focus lies on modeling sustainable system transformations.

Previously, she worked for three years as a Senior Consultant at PwC in the Sustainability Services and Climate Change team. She advised companies on sustainability issues and analysed the financial impact of climate risks and opportunities on business models.

She gained further professional experience at the World Bank in Washington DC in the field of carbon pricing and worked for the European Commission in Brussels on climate change adaptation topics.

Daniela studied Technology and Management (BSc) and Sustainable Resource Management (MSc) with a focus on environmental economics and policy at the Technical University of Munich. During her studies, she spent semesters abroad in Dublin and Barcelona.