Thursday, September 9
Human-Environment Dynamics
Thursday, September 9
10:00 am - 10:45 am
Live Stream: Join stream



Session Four

Abstracts for each presentation are below and the feedback link. Please take the time to fill out the form. Your feedback will be used to identify the best poster and best oral presentation as well as providing valuable comments for the presenters.

Feedback Link

10:00 Zoe Withey: Down the Drain: Characterization of communal sink drain communities of a university campus

Microorganisms are widely distributed throughout the built environment and even those found in concealed environments such as sink P-traps can have an impact on our health. To date, most studies on sink bacterial communities focused on those present in hospitals with no to little information regarding sinks in residential or communal settings. Here, we conducted a characterization using 16S rRNA sequencing of the bacterial communities of communal restroom sinks located on a university campus to investigate the diversity, prevalence, and abundances of the bacteria that reside in this understudied environment. The study found that community composition and structure were highly variable across individual sinks, and there were marginal differences between buildings and the two different parts of sink examined. Proteobacteria were the most abundant phylum in the sink communities, and the families Burkholderiaceae, Moraxellaceae, and Sphingomonadaceae were found to be ubiquitous across all sinks. Notably, human skin was identified as a primary contributor to the below-strainer sink bacterial community. These data provide novel insight into the sink bacterial communities' constituents and serve as the foundation for subsequent studies that might explore community stability and resilience of in situ sinks.

10:15 Jarmo Kikstra: Quantifying energy needs for modelling multidimensional poverty

Humanity is facing a double challenge, and energy plays a role in both. On the one hand, large populations in many parts of the world observe elevated levels of multidimensional poverty and inequality. Alleviating poverty in many situations requires a growth in energy provision. On the other hand, meeting climate targets means reducing emissions fast, with the energy supply transitions being more less challenging under pathways that reduce energy consumption. Climate mitigation pathways have generally only focused on the latter question, and generally do not include sufficient representation of inequality. Our research uses energy to link multidimensional poverty and climate. We assess gaps and needs using the Decent Living Standards framework.

Decent living deprivations are estimated for 193 countries in 2015, using several heuristics including linear regression, cross-sectional correlation, or averaging depending on the nature of data gaps. Using a simulation model, Multi-Regional Input-Output tables, and Life Cycle Analysis literature we calculate the energy requirements for operating and constructing material prerequisites of a decent life, separate from luxury services.

On a global scale, energy for eradicating poverty does not pose a threat for mitigating climate change, but energy redistribution across the world and strong final energy growth in many poor countries are required. These estimates arguably represent one interpretation, or component, of ‘equitable access to sustainable development’, a foundational principle of climate justice. It provides a method for considering the missing link between planetary boundaries and human development. While providing support to earlier findings that climate mitigation is not fundamentally incompatible with eradicating poverty, these insights should be combined with future research on decarbonization pathways which offer more insight on the implications for transitions that are compliant with the Paris Agreement.

10:30 Caitlin Hinson: When participation matters. Stakeholder engagement in natural capital decision making

Participation - the involvement of stakeholders in decision making, planning, and development of environmental planning projects - is generally considered as a requirement for success. However, focused understanding of specific benefits, successful methods, and outcomes is often overlooked. In the case of river catchments, where the pervasive policy of integrated water management has dominated planning, participation revolves around the themes of power, agency, and responsibility. But when do we know we have done it right? Included the right kinds of people, asked the right questions, and understood why we are doing it all in the first place. This research takes the concept of natural capital, the system of environmental resources that supports society, and applies it to participation in river catchment management. By evaluating the contribution of natural capital in environmental decision making, we can determine when participation matters.

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