Professor Carolyn Roberts

Professor Carolyn Roberts

  • Frank Jackson Professor of the Environment (2014-2018)

Professor Carolyn Roberts is an independent water and environment consultant, formerly an academic and currently the Proposed Class Representative for a legal action against six English water companies for sewage pollution. She has also worked on numerous murder inquiries for the police, where bodies are lost or found in rivers and canals. Professor Roberts was the first Frank Jackson Professor of the Environment at Gresham College from 2014-2018.

She was formerly a Director at the University of Oxford's Environmental Sustainability Knowledge Transfer Network, linking businesses and universities nationwide. Her research concerned engagement between the scientific community and local authorities on flooding. Previously, she was Co-Director of the Centre for Active Learning (CeAL) at the University of Gloucestershire and Head of the School of Environment.

As a water resource management specialist, Professor Roberts’ main interests lie in minimising the impacts of development activities, like mining or waste disposal, on the water environment. She has extensive experience in hydrological consultancy for public and private agencies. Her research has involved tracking the movement of corpses in rivers (for the police) and advising local government on flood management (after the UK’s 2007 inundations), both notably motivating issues. Her work generates fascinating material for learning about human impacts on the water environment.

As well as innumerable academic papers, Professor Roberts has authored, joint authored and edited four books with broadly pedagogic themes. She has spoken around the world on water management and sustainability-related projects undertaken in the UK, Europe, North and sub-Saharan Africa and Bangladesh, and increasingly on the issues and challenges of science communication. She was national Chair of the Society for the Environment, is a Vice President of the Institution of Environmental Sciences, Fleet Warden and a Trustee of the Worshipful Company of Water Conservators and was formerly Chair of the Higher Education Academy’s Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences Subject Centre Advisory Board.