Meet our new Blog Associate Editor: Valentine Seymour

We are delighted to announce two new Blog Associate Editors who have joined The Applied Ecologist team! In this post, find out more about one of our new recruits, Valentine Seymour.

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Hello.

I’m Valentine, one of the new Blog Associate Editor’s for The Applied Ecologist.

I currently live on the edge of the North Downs in Kent, UK and am a Research Fellow, a Knowledge Exchange Fellow and Academic Tutor at the University of Surrey.

I’ve had a huge passion for ecology (especially rivers) since I was 4 years old and always knew I wanted to work in the environmental field. My other focuses beyond ecology include environmental social science, policy, human-nature relationships, citizen science and conservation management.

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River sampling in South Wales

My PhD and beyond

My PhD, focused on the interface between human health, policy, public engagement and the natural environment. During this time, I especially enjoyed working alongside volunteers and citizen scientists to create a wellbeing impact measurement tool. The experience enabled me to truly understanding the ways in which nature improved and supported their health and wellbeing, as well as making a positive difference to their lives.

At present, I am fortunate to be working on the Advocacy for Capacity for Climate and Environment Social Science (ACCESS) project which aims to address key environmental challenges spanning biodiversity, sustainability, and decarbonisation by enhancing the value of social sciences and interdisciplinary work. Specifically, I will be learning from the experiences of social and natural scientists in climate and environment training, research, policy, and practice.

Before this, my passion for ecology led me to work at various places in different professions. This includes the Woodland Trust where I enjoyed writing campaign articles such as the UK ‘Tree Charter’. I have also travelled across the UK as part of my postgraduate degree, examining methane in rivers and what this means for ecology.

More recently, I have engaged with UK policy makers exploring the consequences of policy on air quality and evaluating the newly rolled out extreme Heat and Cold Weather Alert Systems. It was incredibly rewarding to see first-hand how my research is making a difference to society and how we are adapting to changing weather patterns resulting from climate change.

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Workshop exploring the consequences of policy on air quality

Life outside of work

Outside of work, you are likely to find me at some natural beauty spot in Kent exploring new walks, taking photos or skimming stones on the beach. If it’s raining, then you’ll find me at a local garden centre or visiting museums in Kent with a coffee.

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Engaging in the Into the Night citizen science project

I am also a passionate traveller and enjoy many hobbies, including writing, baking, and gardening.

I am really excited to be joining the team and keen to put a spotlight on citizen science, environmental policy, early career researchers and of course the British Ecological Society’s Special Interest Groups! I am also looking forward to gaining more experience in publishing and engaging with many of you in ecological research and practice.

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