Sustainability, assessment, communication, and complexity in the new era

Caroline Taylor

EarthShift Global

Dr. Caroline Taylor is Director of Research & Development at EarthShift Global. Over the course of more than 20 years in modeling and analysis, a decade of it in energy and sustainability, she has worked with a range of stakeholders spanning industry, science and policy. Caroline has participated in international scenario and resource modeling efforts, among them renewable technology initiatives in emerging economies and a variety of international working groups. These consistently and repeatedly highlight the importance of equity and communication for sustainability, so she strives to advance the inclusion of both qualitative and quantitative elements in the decision making process through developments in modeling and the visual representation of data.Caroline is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Global Change Biology: Bioenergy and a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California Berkeley. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Classics and Chemistry from the University of California at Irvine, a Doctorate in Chemistry (Chemical Physics) from the University of Chicago, and was a post-doctoral scholar at Cornell University.

Marcelle McManus

University of Bath

Dr. Marcelle McManus is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath. Her particular interest is in sustainability and life cycle impacts, with particular regard to renewable energy production.Marcelle's current research interests include investigating the life cycle environmental impact of various products and systems, primarily related to renewable energy and products. Detailed assessment of the environmental impact of these systems is required in order to ensure we are making the best, most effective use of the resources we have. Specifically, she is interested in the use of Life Cycle Assessment to determine the impact of various micro energy generating systems, the production and use of bioenergy, carbon capture and the production of renewable materials.

Joule Bergerson

University of Calgary

Dr. Joule Bergerson is an Associate Professor in the Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Department and the Centre for Environmental Engineering Research and Education in the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary. Joule's primary research interests are systems-level analysis for policy and decision making of energy system investment and management. The focus of her work is developing tools and frameworks for the assessment of prospective technology options and their policy implications from a life cycle perspective. To date, her work has addressed fossil fuel derived electricity, oil sands development, carbon capture and storage renewable energy and energy storage technologies. Project researchers on Joule's team work with scientists, engineers and members of the business community who are developing new energy technologies, to develop and refine techniques for prospective life cycle assessment. These techniques help prioritize research and development activities, by identifying technologies – or optimal combinations of technologies – that would provide particularly large life cycle benefits.

Hanna Breetz

Arizona State University

Dr. Hanna Breetz is a Senior Sustainability Scientist in the  Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and Assistant Professor in the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. Hanna is a political scientist who studies the political economy of alternative energy, focusing on biofuels and synthetic fuels. Her research investigates both the drivers of alternative energy policy - including the role of interest groups, decision-making institutions, and information about science and technology - as well as the impact of energy policy on innovation and technological change.


The increasingly charged environment surrounding sustainability, climate and renewable energy is exacerbating both the difficulties in assessment and communication and the urgency of addressing them. Policymakers,... [ view full abstract ]


  1. Caroline Taylor (EarthShift Global)
  2. Marcelle McManus (University of Bath)
  3. Joule Bergerson (University of Calgary)
  4. Hanna Breetz (Arizona State University)

Topic Areas

• Advances in methods (e.g., life cycle assessment, social impact assessment, resilience a , • Decision support methods and tools , • Public policy and governance


TS-2 » Special session: "Sustainability, assessment, communication, and complexity in the new era" (09:45 - Tuesday, 27th June, Room E)

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