This event happened in the past (2018 edition)

Our Future Environment

The Questions

This is an event from the 2018 edition

In this interactive event, a panel of scientists from the Norwich Research Park will take your questions on four big environmental issues: climate change, plastic pollution, mass extinction, and unsustainable farming. What are these problems? What causes them? What can we do to help fix them?

Today’s news is littered with stories of the environmental challenges facing society: microplastics in our oceans, rapid erosion on the Norfolk coast, and the threat of extinction of important species like bees. It is easy to feel powerless when faced with such large-scale problems. Can turning the lights off or choosing to walk really make a difference?

To help explore these issues, the E3i Club have assembled a panel of scientists from around the Norwich Research Park. Their day job is to tackle these issues head on, and they’re here to talk about the choices we face surrounding the future of our natural environment. In this interactive and engaging session, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about how individual choice and democratic pressure can help us solve environmental problems and preserve our environment for future generations. Put your questions to the experts, vote on solutions and join the conversation!

Vicky Dewar-Fowler Vicky Dewar-Fowler is based at the British Antarctic Survey, undertaking a PhD on the implications of zooplankton migration on carbon storage in the ocean. She has previously carried out research into the impacts microplastics are having on marine organisms, and continues to be involved in this area of research.


Sarah BarnsleySarah Barnsley is especially interested in the interdependence of agriculture and the natural environment, as well as the sustainability of farming systems into the future.

Her PhD at the University of East Anglia focuses on meeting the food resource needs of pollinators in farmed landscapes.

Camilla RyanCamilla Ryan is a PhD student based at the Earlham Institute working in the field of conservation genomics on the endangered pink pigeon.

She is particularly interested in how current molecular methods can contribute to conserving endangered species and preventing extinctions.

Lewis SpurginChairing the discussion is Lewis Spurgin, an evolutionary biologist at the University of East Anglia.

He researches how animals adapt to their environments, and is interested in how understanding evolutionary adaptation might help us to conserve endangered species, and to manage crop pests.


This event is organised by the E3i Club: Environment, Enterprise, Engagement and Innovation. We are a group of PhD students on the EnvEast Doctoral Training Program. The aim of the E3i Club is to encourage and provide opportunities for scientists to communicate their work outside of the academic environment. We hope this event will facilitate a constructive discussion between the public and the scientists working on their behalf, enabling us to explore these issues together.

If you come up with any questions for the panel in advance of this event, please email them to James from the E3i Club on

UEANorwich Research Park  
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Saturday 27 October
Venue: The Forum, Gallery
Cost: Free, booking required
Age: 16+

Tickets go off-sale 12 hours prior to the event. Tickets may be available at The Forum’s ticket office on the day.