I am a specialist in water resource management and science communication, who has worked, researched and published in countries across the world. I specialise in investigating the impact of human activity on the water cycle and water quality, including the impact of housing, industry, mining and waste disposal. After an academic career at Exeter and including being Head of the School of Environment, and Director of a National Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at the University of Gloucestershire, I moved into a government funded role at Oxford University, linking industry with researchers nationally and internationally to foster the development of innovative environmental technologies. These spanned across the water, resource and waste management, renewables, agricultural, materials and green tech sectors generally, and I worked with hundreds of businesses from multinationals to SMEs, and with scores of universities.
Periodically, I assisted the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and UK Trade and Investment to promote UK technical expertise internationally. I now work mainly as a consultant (an activity that started 30 years ago), assisting businesses and universities to develop technological innovations that take us closer to being environmentally sustainable. Alongside this, I occasionally assist the police in murder enquiries by identifying the pathways followed by human bodies through river and canal networks.
I have been the Chair of the Institution of Environmental Sciences, and of Society for the Environment, both UK professional bodies; and continues as a Trustee and Director of both.
I am also the first Professor of Environment at Gresham College London. Gresham College was effectively a Tudor ‘Ted’. Founded in 1597, it offered a diverse programme of free English language lectures to the citizens of London, at a time when most students were studying theology through the medium of Latin. Early Gresham professors included Sir Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke. My programme of lectures in the city are free to attend, or may be downloaded from https://www.gresham.ac.uk/professors-and-speakers/professor-carolyn-roberts/. From time to time I appear on TV and radio, in the press and on social media broadcasts, including a recent appearance on ‘The Life Scientific’ on BBC Radio 4, and as an expert to the BBC TV fiction series ‘Silent Witness’.