Dr. rer. pol. (Doctor of Economics), Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany.
M.A. Political Science (major), British Studies (minor), Communication and Media Sciences (minor), University of Leipzig, Germany.
Kevin Grecksch is an experienced postdoctoral researcher and currently British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies. He is a social scientist who specialises in water governance and climate change adaptation. His research interests include water governance, climate change adaptation, governance of societal transformation processes, property rights and the governance of natural resources, sustainability and ecological economics. His British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship project deals with sustainable underground regulation in the UK.
His previous work at the CSLS was part of the multidisciplinary ENDOWS (ENgaging diverse stakeholders and publics with outputs from the UK DrOught and Water Scarcity programme) and MaRIUS (Governance of Water Scarcity and Drought in the UK) project that engages legal scholars, economists, human geographers, hydrologists, and climate scientists in the development of a more risk-based approach to governance of drought. This video explains the work and aim of ENDOWS and this video explains the results of Kevin's worktask in the project. Kevin was also the PI of a John Fell Fund supported project on Managing drought and water scarcity – Strategies and options for the UK’s large industrial water consumers.
Kevin is very passionate about public engagement with research and his research impact. He has organised two successful drought walks in Birmingham and London, walking and discussing issues of drought and water scarcity with stakeholders at places where drought happened. Recently he has contributed two insightful blog articles for the University of Oxford's Science blog (see left-hand column, scroll down) and his research on drought and water scarcity is now a lesson plan for Year 10 GCSE Geography students. He has also contributed ideas to a primary school story book about a drought super hero. For two years in a row, Kevin has contributed to the Pathways to Law programme, giving an introductory lecture into socio-legal studies to A-Level students.
Prior to joining the CSLS, Kevin was postdoctoral researcher and projects coordinator at the University of Oldenburg’s Centre for Environmental and Sustainability Research (COAST) where he coordinated projects on sustainable bioenergy supply chains and marine energy potentials. In summer 2013, Kevin was visiting researcher at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Before joining COAST, he was doctoral researcher and lecturer in Ecological Economics at the University of Oldenburg's Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, where he worked on the governance of climate change adaptation.
His current and previous teaching includes social science research methods, climate change adaptation, water resources management, environmental policy and politics, corporate environmental and sustainability strategies, property rights and natural resources and practical projects in sustainability.
Kevin is a Research Fellow of the Earth System Governance Project. The Earth System Governance Project brings together a large network of social scientists interested in global environmental change and its governance challenges.
Kevin is a member of the Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA), the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE) and the European Society for Ecological Economics (ESEE). Both, ISEE and ESEE, are organsisations dedicated to advancing understanding of the relationships among ecological, social, and economic systems for the mutual well-being of nature and people. In 2010 Kevin was conference manager for the ISEE 2010 Conference on "Advancing Sustainbility in a Time of Crisis" hosting more than 800 participants in Oldenburg and Bremen, Germany.
CURRENT AND PREVIOUS RESEARCH PROJECTS
Reflecting about ‘Swimming camels’ on the North-East Coast of England: Knowledge, translation and global challenges (British Academy/Royal Irish Academy Seed Funding)
principal investigator (March 2020 - September 2020)
British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow Kevin Grecksch has recently been awarded British Academy seed funding for a project on ‘Reflecting about ‘Swimming camels’ on the North-East Coast of England: Knowledge, translation and global challenges.’ This scoping activity, which I will undertake with three colleagues, will answer the question whether it is possible to build a conversation about global phenomena such as development, migration, climate change, that involves the way in which local communities understand, interpret and experience these phenomena? This research is an interdisciplinary collaboration spanning four disciplines in Humanities (Sociolinguistics, Translation Studies) and Social Science (Development Studies, Socio-Legal Studies) to consider the feasibility of a translation-based framework that can respond in an adaptive way to global challenges in a variety of contexts, such as disaster, migration, climate emergency, in which the global south and north intersect. We are considering case studies from our respective contexts from the Global South and North bringing together our expertise utilising a transdisciplinary lens of translation. We intend translation as a process that bridges gaps between languages (interlingual), within the same language (intralingual) and between different systems of symbols and beliefs (intersemiotic): translation as a methodology to co-create useful knowledge.
Out of sight – out of regulation? Ensuring Sustainable underground governance in the UK (British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship)
principal investigator (February 2018 - ongoing)
The project advances theoretical and practical perspectives on underground governance in the UK. It bridges scholarly perspectives and practitioners’ experiences to develop new governance modes for underground space use including increased recognition in land use planning. In the light of increasing claims on the underground space for fracking, transport, geothermal energy or carbon capture and storage, I assess the question how an improved and sustainable governance of underground spaces can be ensured to protect for example drinking water. Geological underground models deliver only frameworks for possible uses and we do not know much about the context between geological characteristics and the human uses, demands and changes of underground space. Moreover, governing underground space can be complicated as it involves conflicting objectives and regulatory frameworks. One key objective of this research is to conceptualise a new approach to underground governance and regulation that takes into account its diverse uses and various stakeholders’ claims on underground resources.
ENDOWS (ENgaging diverse stakeholders and publics with outputs from the UK DrOught and Water Scarcity programme), (funded by: UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC))
postodoctoral researcher and work task leader “Innovation, communities and corporate water” (April 2017 – March 2019)
ENDOWS primarily addresses the third of the RCUK Drought and Water Scarcity Programme’s Scientific Goals: to ‘Develop methods to support decision making for drought and water scarcity planning and management and to assess opportunities through management (including community and public responses) to reduce their occurrence and severity’. ENDOWS will entail working with a wide variety of stakeholders and wider publics to identify where further development of the programme is required to significantly increase the beneficial impact of the programme on drought planning, management and impact reduction. My task develops an in-depth understanding of a range of water companies’ water efficiency campaigns with water users in public sector organization settings, such as tenants in housing association accommodation and staff working in hospitals, councils and schools. The objective is to understand what aspects of these schemes tie them to a specific organizational and geographical context, and which aspects make these schemes more widely applicable, and therefore candidates for a ‘best practice’ approach that could be rolled out to a wider range of organizations. Public sector organizations can contribute to development of collective community social norms that value water and contribute to efficiency savings.
Managing drought and water scarcity – Strategies and options for the UK’s large industrial water consumers (funded by: John Fell Fund, University of Oxford)
principal investigator (February 2017 – October 2017)
This research seeks to shed light on a new and underexplored issue in water resource management: how large UK water consumers such as thermal power stations, pulp and paper mills, and the food and drinks industry prepare for water shortages. These industrial abstractors are often forgotten in academic research and policy debates which are focused on domestic consumption of water. Businesses need water in order to maintain supply chains and production lines, yet water consumers are discussed in a general sense with limited distinction between the public and private sectors, and the different types of large private industrial abstractors who have different needs and organisational histories in dealing with water. This research aims to answer the question whether those industries have strategies and plans to first of all react to drought and water scarcity and second if they already apply any proactive measures to prevent potential disruptions from drought and water scarcity.
MaRIUS - Managing the Risks, Impacts and Uncertainties of Drought and Water Scarcity (funded by: UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), www.mariusdroughtproject.org)
postdoctoral researcher (2015-2018)
MaRIUS engages legal scholars, economists, human geographers, hydrologists, and climate scientists in the development of a more risk-based approach to governance of drought. A risk-based approach will enable the development of management measures whose costs and impacts are in proportion to the probability and consequences of water scarcity, informed by a mature understanding of droughts from the perspectives of a range of communities and stakeholders. My responsibilities included the identification, assessment and development of innovative drought governance options. A video presentation of the final results is available here.
Pre CSLS projects:
I-AM – Integrated Assessment and Management of GroenGas Supply Chains (funded by: EU-INTERREG IVA, www.groengasproject.eu)
project coordinator and co-investigator (2014-2015)
I-AM analysed the overall results of the “GroenGas” (GreenGas) project. In collaboration with Dutch colleagues (University of Nijmegen, University of Groningen) bioenergy supply chains in the Netherlands and Germany were modelled, compared and criteria were being evaluated to improve future bioenergy supply chains.
DELaND – Decentralised Energy Landscapes in the Netherlands and Germany (funded by: EU-INTERREG IVA, www.groengasproject.eu)
project coordinator and co-investigator (2014-2015)
DELaND, a subproject of “GroenGas”, collaborated with biogas plant owners to assess the possibilities of using residual and locally available biomass to reduce the use of maize as digestate and to reduce long transports of biomass to the biogas plant. This was supported by an analysis of the potential of residual biomass in the study regions and stakeholder forums to discuss the use of until now unused biomass.
MAP-MEP – Mapping and Communicating Marine Energy Potentials (funded by: EU-INTERREG IVB, www.mapmep.eu)
project coordinator (2014-2015)
MAP-MEP was a joint project with Marine Scotland and energyvalley Groningen, the Netherlands. The aim of the project was to visualise (via webGIS and mobile apps) and to communicate the marine energy potential of the North Sea region. This enables stakeholders to become aware of available marine energy potential within their region in order to form future energy partnerships.
nordwest 2050: Perspectives for Climate Adaptive Innovation Processes in the Metropolitan Region Bremen – Oldenburg (funded by: German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), www.nordwest2050.de)
co-investigator and doctoral student (2009-2014)
northwest2050’s main objective was to formulate a climate change adaption strategy (“Roadmap of Change”) for the study region. I have been involved as a co-investigator in several activities. My main responsibilities were within the Governance working group where we assessed the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of different policy sectors (in my case the water sector). Basis for our analysis was the so called Adaptive Capacity Wheel (Gupta et al., 2010), which we extended to include psychological factors in the adaptive capacity analysis. This was followed by an analysis of the potential for governance innovations in the region. Our final result was a so called “Roadmap of Change Governance” which gives recommendations for public authorities on how to adapt to climate change.
Clim-A-Net – The North-South-Network on Climate Proofing of Vulnerable Regions (funded by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), www.climanet.uni-oldenburg.de)
scholarship holder, summer school lecturer (2011-2014)
Clim-A-Net had project partners in Tanzania and South Africa. Besides attending workshops and teaching at the project’s summer school I have been a scholarship holder researching in South Africa for three months.