I am an interdisciplinary social scientist working at the intersection of energy, environment and society. I have 17 years' experience working in academia on societal challenges and the role of energy and environmental technologies and social innovations as enablers of socio-economic and environmental change in different cultural and political-economic contexts; mostly as social science lead on large-scale transdisciplinary and transectoral research collaborations. My research interests focus on developing integrated sustainability assessments of low carbon energy systems, incorporating different stakeholder (academic, policy, public, industry etc) assessments of the socio-economic, environmental, ethical, cultural and policy dimensions of implementation pathways.
My work is industry and policy facing, developing practical recommendations, socio-technical innovations and governance tools for the sustainable production, implementation and use of low carbon energy services and products across different scales and geographic contexts. It aims to transform energy access through examining how productive uses, business models, natural resource management, local/regional governance arrangements, end-user and stakeholder interactions, and local capacity building can support delivery of a broad spectrum of SDG's.
In my interdisciplinary teaching I use a range of case studies that reflect the interests and knowledge base of students to enable students to develop a reflexive understanding of the social,… read more
Principal or Co-Investigator on 25 competitive research grants, consultancies and studentships worth a total of £12.4M from the following funding bodies: BBSRC, British Council, ESRC, EPSRC, European… read more
ANNA CLEMENTS, SCOT WHEELER, ALISON MOHR and MALCOM MCCULLOCH, 2019. The Service Value Method for Design of Energy Access Systems in the Global South Proceedings of the IEEE. 107(9), 1941-1966
PATRICIA THORNLEY and ALISON MOHR, 2017. Policy Frameworks and Supply Chain Accounting. In: CLAIR GOUGH, PATRICIA THORNLEY, SARAH MANDER, NAOMI VAUGHAN and TEMITOPE FALANO, eds., Biomass Energy and Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS): Unlocking Negative Emissions (In Press.)
A. MOHR, O. SHORTALL, R. HELLIWELL and S. RAMAN, 2016. How Should Land Be Used? Bioenergy and Responsible Innovation in Agricultural Systems. In: I. GORDON, G. SQUIRE and H. PRIN, eds., Food Production and Nature Conservation: Conflicts and Solutions Earthscan (Routledge). 204-222
In my interdisciplinary teaching I use a range of case studies that reflect the interests and knowledge base of students to enable students to develop a reflexive understanding of the social, economic, environmental and political context of energy innovation and energy use. I use interactive seminars and a mixture of group and individual work to create a safe and encouraging environment where students can hone the abilities they already have and create new knowledge (e.g., introduced blended learning methods such as the 'flipped classroom'). The use of this approach has been singled out as a highlight in student evaluation surveys.
Energy Systems & Policy (PG, 20 credits) / Energy Technology & Society (PG, 10 credits)
The aim of the module is to provide an overview of historical lessons and contemporary debates on the relationship between energy supply and use, technology development, public policies and modern societies. The module explores the social, ethical, economic and public policy aspects of the development, embedding and transformation of modern energy systems. Students will be introduced to current issues relating to the supply and demand for energy, the technologies involved (e.g., fossil fuels, nuclear, bioenergy, renewables, hydrogen) and how these might be assessed from different disciplinary perspectives (sociology, science and technology studies, economics, development studies, geography, and public policy studies). These will be framed in terms of the overarching concept of 'energy systems' and students will be encouraged to make connections between different perspectives. Topics may include: energy security and energy policy at national and global levels; electricity markets; energy and the environment; relationship between fossil fuels, geopolitics and modern lifestyles; energy technologies and risk assessment; public policies around sustainable energy transitions and climate change mitigation; public perceptions of energy technologies; social practices of energy use; and energy access, energy poverty and development.
Principal or Co-Investigator on 25 competitive research grants, consultancies and studentships worth a total of £12.4M from the following funding bodies: BBSRC, British Council, ESRC, EPSRC, European Commission, GCRF, Leverhulme Trust, MRC, Scottish Government, UK Government, Wellcome Trust.
Co-I, AHRC/GCRF, Inherited Soil Surveys: Transdisciplinary Appraisal in Zambia (InSTAnZa) (2019-2021)
If agriculture is to develop sustainably in a changing climate then decisions on policy and land management must be based on sound information about the soil, its composition, properties and status. Because the soil is variable this information is hard to obtain. Many countries in the Global South, with challenging problems in agricultural development, have a legacy of soil surveys from the colonial and post-colonial periods. Zambia has an inheritance of soil surveys dating back to the 1930s when Colin Trapnell and colleagues undertook a series of traverses across the country, examining vegetation, farming practices and the soil. This culminated in a national Vegetation and Soil Map published in 1947. The InSTAnZa project will investigate whether this information could be used to address contemporary problems, for example, by identifying the soils where conservation agriculture interventions might have the biggest impact.
The InSTAnZa project sets out to address this challenge from different perspectives. A pedological dimension will study of legacy surveys regarding the ongoing validity of soil data, the contemporary relevance of the soil classifications used and how new data and old maps might be integrated - could this legacy information be deployed to help us address contemporary problems? A historical dimension - what priorities and policies framed the survey, and its terms of reference? Whose voices dominated the framing of these questions, and who was not heard? Legacy soil surveys must also be read in their social context alongside other factors that influence decisions on land use, the social development of science and technology, and the overall social context in which science influences policy.
Co-I, GCRF, Implementation of Bio-Rural Energy Scheme (IBRES) in Ghana (2018-2019)
The IBRES project is funded under the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and aims to develop a decentralised bioenergy electricity generation system for rural communities using cocoa pod husks (CPH) as a fuel in a gasification system. The project integrates technical and socio-economic components to create small scale bio-power electricity generation systems, develop guidelines for demonstrating full scale bioenergy schemes and their integration into rural communities, investigate stakeholders' perceptions of the bioenergy schemes and develop community cooperatives and governance structures appropriate to the local communities in cocoa producing regions.
Co-I and Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellow, Making Energy Public/s (2013-2016)
This project investigated the role of intermediaries (people, processes and technologies) in making the transition to alternative energy systems more public, drawing on case studies of community energy access for socio-economic development in Kenya and Bangladesh. The project focused on the role of transitions research and researchers based in the global North in facilitating a just transition to low carbon futures for energy impovershied communities in the global South. One of nine projects in the Leverhulme Trust funded 'Making Science Public' research programme, the project was a collaboration with the EPSRC/DfID/DECC Solar Nano-Grids (SONG): an appropriate solution for meeting community energy needs? project led by the University of Loughborough and in partnership with the United International University (Bangladesh) and SCODE (Kenya).
Social and Ethical Dimensions of Bioenergy (2009-2013) within the Lignocellulosic Conversion to Bioethanol (LACE) project (2009-2013)
LACE was one of six scientific projects in the BBSRC Sustainable Bioenergy Centre (BSBEC) which focused on second-generation approaches to biofuels. The social and ethical dimensions work drew on STS-influenced methods of sustainability assessment and responsible innovation to assess the local-global sustainability impacts of a UK domestic vision for biofuels.