Helen was awarded a 3 year PhD studentship as part of the Urban Futures Doctoral Training Programme in 2009. She began her PhD in January 2010 after successfully completing a Masters in Planning, specialising in historic conservation.
The purpose of her research is to investigate adaptation to climate change at cultural heritage sites in the UK. Her Director of Studies is Mrs Elizabeth Wilson from the Department of Planning, and her second supervisor is Dr Aylin Orbasli from the Department of Architecture. Helen is currently starting the second year of her PhD. She has carried out an extensive literature review on her research area, and is now working on her methodology. She plans to start fieldwork in the summer of 2010, which will involve carrying out research at several UK World Heritage Sites. Interviews will be carried out with stakeholders involved in site management and documentary information will be collected for analysis.
Helen already has some experience in the field, having previously carried out several research projects on climate change adaptation. A key focus of previous research had been the topic of flooding in historic buildings. She authored an article on the awareness of adaptation amongst planning professionals, which was published in Town and Country Planning Journal in 2008.
In 2010 Helen was awarded funding by the Council of Europe to attend a one week Doctoral Course on the Management and Protection of Cultural Heritage at the European University Centre for Cultural Heritage (CUEBC) in Italy. She was also asked to present her research to the Oxford Brookes University Governors.
Previously Helen worked for local government and for the construction industry. Whilst studying at Brookes, Helen has contributed to the MSc module 'Delivering Sustainable Futures' by leading seminars. She has also taught on the Masters course in International Architectural Regeneration. She aims to gain more teaching experience throughout the course of her PhD.