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A Director of the Carbon Neutral Futures Initiative and a responsible investment adviser have recently been appointed.

This is a critical appointment. Emily is the ideal person to lead this initiative.

Professor Stephen Toope, Vice-Chancellor

Dr Emily Shuckburgh OBE has been appointed the first Director of Cambridge Zero, the Cambridge carbon neutral futures initiative. Emily is a climate scientist at the British Antarctic Survey, where she has spent more than a decade researching the role of the polar oceans in climate regulation. She is also a fellow of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, an associate fellow of the Centre for Science and Policy, and a Fellow of Darwin College.

After undergraduate studies in mathematics at the University of Oxford and a PhD in applied mathematics at Cambridge, Emily conducted postdoctoral studies in atmosphere and ocean dynamics at the ­École Normal Supérieure in Paris and at MIT. She is a fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society and co-Chair of their Climate Science Communications Group. She has acted as an advisor to the UK Government on behalf of the Natural Environment Research Council.

Emily Shuckburgh said: “Climate change is one of the most pressing problems facing humanity. The University of Cambridge has an opportunity to use its position as one of the world’s foremost academic institutions to take a leading role in finding ambitious solutions to this complex issue.

“Cambridge already has many groups working on climate-related research. This Initiative aims to bring together these groups to tackle this urgent global challenge holistically. This is about addressing every aspect of a sustainable future – the impact it will have on our lives, our work, our society and our economy – and ensuring decisions are based on the best available knowledge.”

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen J Toope, said: “This is a critical appointment. Emily is the ideal person to lead this initiative, which will pool research from across the University to address the greatest challenge the world faces today. She brings unique expertise and passion to this complex issue. We are lucky to have her.”

Separately, Dr Ellen Quigley has been appointed to work with the Chief Financial Officer to establish a programme of research into responsible investment. Ellen is a researcher with expertise in sustainable investment and economic education and policy. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Endowment Asset Management at the Judge Business School, and a research associate at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, Cambridge. She was formerly a Senior Programme Manager at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and served as the Socially Responsible Investment Officer for Cambridge University Students Union 2015-16.

Ellen studied English and American Literature and Language at Harvard University, followed by an MSc in in Nature, Society and Environmental Policy at the University of Oxford and a PhD in Education at Cambridge. While at Cambridge, she co-founded Positive Investment Cambridge and Positive+Investment.

Updated 01 October 2019 with the name of the Cambridge Carbon Neutral Futures Initiative



24 April 2019


Dr Emily Shuckburgh, OBE