From research to careers in sustainability and environmental policy

For many researchers with an interest in or experience of environmental science and sustainability, the ability to have impact through policy work is an attractive career prospect. Our panellists bring diverse perspectives from both public and private sector jobs:

Dr. Catherine Gresty: Catherine works in the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit in 10 Downing Street, where she has covered a number of portfolios, including Energy Security, Net Zero and the Environment. Prior to joining No10, she worked at Defra as a Strategy Team Leader, and at Bain & Company as a management consultant. She has a DPhil in Zoology and BA in Biological Sciences from Oxford.

Dr. Sol Milne: Dr. Sol Milne is a conservation biologist specializing in aerial surveying techniques for orangutan conservation in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. As the founder of Wolf Fish Ltd, a UK ecological consultancy, he utilizes drone technology to map ecosystems and collaborate with local conservation organizations. Currently, he leads ARRI (Aerial Recon & Recovery Initiative), a project in Thailand focused on using drones to locate and remove lost fishing gear from coral reefs. Sol serves as the Head of Sustainability at ACUA-Ocean, a UK marine technology company. Here, he develops the sensor array for collecting marine biodiversity and chemical data, via hydrogen-powered unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) for monitoring coastal and offshore environments globally.

Bianca Barilla: As Senior Global Policy Officer at CDP, Bianca engages policymakers and financial regulators worldwide by leveraging the organisation’s global disclosure database of corporate environmental impact towards sustainable economy. Her monthly column, “ESG in pills,” reflects Bianca’s deep insights into global ESG trends. With a blend of professional experience and academic rigor from the University of Oxford, where she pursued an MPhil in Nature, Society, and Environmental Governance at the Geography department, Bianca fuels her passion for driving sustainable transformation in the private sector and beyond.

During this session, the panel will explore how their research experience and skills contribute to their ability to deliver in their current roles shaping and influencing policy and the policy-making process. We will also learn how they were able to leverage their research skillset when making the transition to roles outside academia and hear their advice for those hoping to follow a similar career path.