Researcher biography


M.Sc. Marine Environmental Science at the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany
B.Sc. Environmental Engineering at the University of Applied Science Bremen, Germany

Project title:

The household as a site of deliberation and resilience: Understanding psycho-social responses of children and families towards a changing marine environment in the Great Barrier Reef 

Project description:

Sharlene explores how households, in particular families and children, experience, feel about, and talk about ecological grief due to climate change. Ecological grief is an emotional reaction due to the loss of valued places, ecosystems, or species, and is a growing threat to the wellbeing of communities across the globe. Currently, the drivers of ecological grief, and strategies for mitigating its effects, are poorly understood. In this project, Sharlene will use qualitative mixed methods to understand how climate change is experienced on a household-level, through children’s and families’ emotions. Furthermore, the project will explore the role of deliberative systems in helping communities to move from grief to empowerment. Exploring deliberative systems on household-level will fill an existing gap in knowledge and will provide new opportunities for exploring the prospects and limits of the role of the household and the family in political decision-making processes and resilience-building for climate change and ecological grief. The project is based on the fact that future political and scientific decisions will highly depend on our children’s point of view and on the experiences and feelings they have towards environmental change today.


Dr. Claudia Benham, Dr. Ans Vercammen