Lizzie Biggs

elizabeth.biggs@wadham.ox.ac.uk

Background 

Growing up in a densely populated city environment made me significantly appreciate the  fragments of green space and wildlife that remained in London. This appreciation continued throughout my primary and secondary education, leading me to study Biology at Oxford, where I am completing my integrated Masters.

 

Currently, my research interests lie in human behavioural change towards biodiversity and environmentally friendly consumption, particularly focusing on food consumption within a University Setting.

This links with my wider interest in mainstreaming biodiversity conservation within institutions such as the University of Oxford. Recently, I completed a secondary assessment of the University of Oxford’s Environmental Impacts, modelling the biodiversity impacts and carbon emissions of the university’s operations. This sparked my interest in biodiversity metrics and thinking about how the conservation hierarchy can be used to formulate biodiversity net gain strategies for institutions.

Within my undergraduate degree I enjoyed exploring ethical implications of global conservation strategies, such as EO Wilson’s ‘Half Earth Theory’, focussing on the extent to which it fulfilled criteria for different scopes of distributive justice. In particular I enjoyed applied ecology and evolutionary dynamics of infectious disease modules, and being involved with OxPOCH throughout the later stages of my undergraduate education. The opportunity to explore these modules and be part of a collaborative research group contributed to my current research interests, and I look forwards to developing these further.

 

My Master’s project aims to understand how students make decisions about their lunchtime meal choices, and how different types of descriptive normative messaging affect those decisions. Specifically, the project will investigate how different types of messaging might shift lunchtime meal consumption patterns within college canteens towards more plant-based options. This project is in line with the University of Oxford’s Sustainability Strategy which aims to reduce the carbon and biodiversity impacts of food consumed on campus by 2035.

This project involves carrying out focus groups amongst students, and a randomised control trial across participating colleges.

 

Reports

Biggs, E., Taylor, I., Yearley, T., Bull, J.W. (2021). A secondary assessment of the environmental impact of the University of Oxford’s operations. Wild Business Ltd for the University of Oxford; London, UK.

Taylor, I., Biggs, E., Gray, N., Clark, M., Stewart, C., Grub, H., Ashton, B., Bull., J. W., Milner-Gulland, E. J. (2021). ‘Having their cake and eating it: Approaches for reducing the environmental impacts of food consumption at Lady Margaret Hall.’ Wild Business Ltd for the University of Oxford (Oxford Partnership for the Operationalisation of the Conservation Hierarchy); London, UK.

 

lizzie on a bridge