I am a Distinguished Professor of Distributed Systems in the School of Computing and Communications at Lancaster University and also Head of Environmental Digital Strategy at the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH).
My research focuses on how digital technology can support our understanding and management of the natural environment, looking at a range of areas of innovation including cloud computing, data science/AI and the Internet of Things. I am also acutely aware that innovations in the digital space can have a detrimental impact on the planet, e.g. through increasing energy use/carbon emissions (hence the PARIS-DE project). In my spare time, I run a smallholding with my wife Lynne and enjoy walking with our ever-expanding number of border collies.
My role on the team
I am a principal investigator of PARIS-DE, co-leading the project with Prof Marina Jirotka. I also co-lead the work packages looking at instantiating our design framework in the cloud, building on prior work on virtual labs (collaborative spaces in the cloud), as well as ensuring we maximise our impact from this important research.
Why I wanted to join the team
While I am an enthusiast about technology, I am also deeply concerned about the detrimental impacts of technology on our planet. I am shocked that my community (the distributed systems community) created blockchain, for example, without any real concern about its associated emissions. In short, through promoting responsible innovation, I want technology to become part of the solution space not the problem space when it comes to the climate emergency.