UCL Research Domains


Domain Co-Chairs

Environment Domain Co-Chairs

The co-chairs of the Environment Domain are Professor Nick Tyler (Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering) and Professor Dan Osborn (Earth Sciences)

Professor Nick Tyler

As the founder of PAMELA and Director of the UCL Centre for Transport Studies, Nick’s research interest focuses on the way people interact with their immediate environments with a view to improving the design of transport built environment. He also works on low-carbon technologies for transport systems. 

Nick set up the Accessibility Research Group within the Centre for Transport Studies, with a team of researchers investigating many aspects of accessibility and public transport. The group has a total research portfolio of more than £40million for projects directed towards making the world more sympathetic to people's needs and creating a sustainable future for both people and planet. including the PAMELA pedestrian environment laboratory, which is being used to develop models for accessible pedestrian infrastructure, and which is being enhanced as part of the Government's UKCRIC programme, to create a new larger facility called PEARL. His work is highly transdisciplinary, and his team includes and works with, apart from civil and mechanical engineers, psychologists, architects, musicians, philosophers, neuroscientists, artists, urban designers, planners, economists, ophthalmologists, audiologists and orthopaedics. He is a co-founder of the UCL Universal Composition Laboratory (UCL2), which undertakes multisensorial spatiotemporal design.

Nick holds a PhD from University College London, where his thesis was on a methodology for the design of high capacity bus systems using artificial intelligence. He was on the winning team for the EC-funded ‘City Design in Latin America 2000: The European City as a Model’ competition, for the design of the transport interchange at Federico Lacroze in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is currently part of the UK involvement in the Chinese Low Carbon Cities Development project. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Ciivil Engineers, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He was appointed a CBE in the New Year's Honours 2011 for services to technology and elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2014.

He is involved in projects in several countries in Latin America, Japan, China and continental Europe, as well as in London and elsewhere in the UK.

Professor Dan Osborn

I have a long term interest in how knowledge and research are translated into policies and decisions. My interest was stimulated by my undergraduate and postgraduate studies at UCL in Pharmacology. I was soon busy working with others to change government policy on postgraduate education. I then moved from MRC funding to NERC where I was allowed scope to develop and work on the significance of the pollution of seabirds. Again, this meant working with others to change policy approaches and then taking part in the implementation of that new approach. It also led to Nature publications. Doing interesting research and changing policy can be complementary. In the 1980s, I spent two years seconded to what we now call Defra working in partnership with experts in planning, economics and public administration to advise Ministers and senior officials on new policy lines to protect human health and the environment. This work on pollution control and trends in emissions indirectly led to an interest in how chemical accidents at large industrial plants could be prevented and follow-up work developing technical aspects of legislation in Europe.  Latterly, the links between people and their environment have moved centre stage for me as it seemed clear that approaches to risk and environmental resources were not delivering sustainable outcomes fast enough to deal with the challenges arising from a growing population and a changing climate. I felt more attention was needed on the people-environment dynamic. Following a period working for NERC in senior management roles, running research programmes, government-RCUK partnerships and fostering early work on what became the UK National Ecosystem Assessment, I’ve returned to UCL to see how our knowledge of global systems and natural resources plays out at the local level. I’ll be interested to see what policies and implementation measures may be needed to help people and communities live well in a sustainable fashion. I am currently, with colleagues from LSHTM, UCL and elsewhere, working as lead contributor to a chapter of the evidence report for the upcoming UK Climate Change Risk Assessment.

Strategic Research Facilitator for the Environment Domain

Dr Becca Burns

Becca joined UCL as the Strategic Research Facilitator for the Environment Domain in July 2018, having previously worked at the Royal Society and Lancaster University. Becca has a keen environmental interest- she studied a degree in Physical Geography and was awarded a PhD in Environmental Science from the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation, based at Lancaster University. Her previous research interests include: icelandic glaciology, glacial meltwater hydrogeochemistry, climate change and environmental applications of mass spectrometry. 

Becca provides support for the domain both in terms of wider community/ capacity building and assisting the development of grant proposals. You can contact Becca via Environment@ucl.ac.uk or for specific proposal support book a 1:1 session.