About us

The Environmental Justice Research Unit (EJRU) was founded in 2016 to facilitate research into the social and political dimensions of environmental degradation within the School of Law and Politics. This institutional-level combination of law and politics enables us to pursue original research that challenges disciplinary boundaries and delves into a wide variety of environmental justice considerations.

As well as research, our members contribute to the School’s extensive undergraduate and postgraduate teaching provision in the field of the environment, and we welcome student membership and participation. Our PhD students are fully integrated into the work of the unit, enabling us all to benefit from their research presentations and other initiatives.

Our Events

The Unit hosts and supports a range of events:

  • Monthly gatherings: The group gets together once a month for members to share and discuss works-in-progress, project ideas and funding proposals.
  • International video-speaker series: In these tri-annual events we host leading figures in environmental law and politics via Skype. These events are recorded and available on our listen again page.
  • Student and staff workshops and conferences: We facilitate and support a range of staff and student events.

If you are interested in joining the group or would like to be one of our video-speakers, please email Hannah Hughes (hughesh8 at cardiff.ac.uk) or Ben Pontin (pontinb at cardiff.ac.uk).

Our Ethos

We do not simply want to discuss and theorise environmental justice, we want to practice it. As such, we support the Cardiff Environmental Law Foundation Clinic, which advises the public on how to use law to protect the environment. And in order to reduce the environmental impact of our activities, we host our speakers via Skype and offer locally sourced produce served on re-usable materials.

Our Members

Below is a list of our members and their core environmental concerns and research interests:


Hannah Hughes

Biodiversity; Climate change; Culture; Knowledge and power; Pierre Bourdieu; Research methods; Sustainable development in Wales and Wales as an environmental actor.

Ben Pontin

Climate change; Environmental law; Environmental law history; Nature conservation; Politics of environmental law.

Staff members

Jennifer Allan

Biodiversity; Climate change; Chemicals; Waste; Negotiations; Non-state governance; Framing; Regime complexity.

Richard Caddell

Coastal habitats; Climate change; Fisheries; Human Rights and the Environment; Law of the Sea; Marine conservation; Marine mammals; Migratory species;  Polar law;  Wildlife law.

Valerie Fogelman

Biodiversity loss; Environmental liability; Financial security for environmental liabilities and responsibilities; Future of environmental and nature conservation law.

Anna Grear

Critical legal theory; Environmental and climate justice/injustice; Human rights and environment; Legal subjectivity; Materiality; Vulnerability.

Dorothy Kwek

Comparative political thought; Decolonial and postcolonial theories and methods; Indigenous and First Nations ideas and praxis.

Ricardo Pereira

Biotechnologies; Environmental crime; European Union regulation; International environmental law; Marine species conservation; Natural resources management; Indigenous peoples’ rights.

Ludivine Petetin

Agriculture; Animal welfare; Food; Regulation of new technologies (like hydraulic fracturing and agricultural biotechnologies); Rural development; Trade.

Caer Smyth

Ecological justice; Environmental justice; Expertise; Legitimacy; Participatory governance; New materialisms; Rationality.

Elen Stokes

Futures; New technologies; Regulation; Risk.

Postgraduate student members

Harry Conway

Capacity building; Foucauldian governmentality, power and knowledge; Neoliberal agenda; Patent and property rights; Sustainable development; Technology transfer.

Thesis: UNFCCC Paris Agreement and The Neoliberal Agenda: A case of Adaptive Technology for Developing Countries

Mulugeta G. Sisay

Climate change; Emission regulation; Environmental justice; Instrumental choices; Legal culture; Sustainable transportation.

Thesis: Smart Instrument Mixes to Reduce GHG Emission from Road Vehicle Transport and to Stimulate Greening in Ethiopia.

Valeria Tolis

Climate change mitigation; Global environmental politics; EU climate change action; Discourse theory; Discourse analysis; Lacanian discourse analysis.

Thesis: The EU climate change mitigation discourse under the Paris Agreement regime