The Research Team

There are three researchers working on Eco-Capabilities:

Professor Nicola Walshe

The Principal Investigator on the project is Dr Nicola Walshe.

Nicola is Head of the Department of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment at the UCL Institute of Education. Previously she gained a PhD in Glaciology and taught and worked as Head of Geography in three secondary schools in the UK before going on to lead the Geography PGCE course at Cambridge University. She then became Head of the School of Education and Social Care at Anglia Ruskin University, where she had overarching responsibility for the leadership of education, research and knowledge exchange across both education and social work provision. Nicola is co-convenor of the Environmental and Sustainability Education Research (ESER) network in the European Educational Research Association (EERA) and Secretary of GEReCo (Geography Education Research Collective). Her research interests include environmental and sustainability education, pedagogies at the intersection of nature, the arts and wellbeing, and curriculum and pedagogy within teacher education more broadly.

Dr Zoe Moula

Dr Zoe Moula is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the project. 

Zoe recently completed her PhD in arts psychotherapies as a tool for the prevention of health difficulties in childhood. She has also earned a BEd in primary education, MSc in therapeutic play, and MRes in health research. Her previous work has included teaching and conducting research at schools and universities in Greece, China, and the UK. Zoe is also a research fellow at the Medical Education Innovation and Research Centre (MEDIC) at Imperial College London, where she is collaborating with national and international institutions on research projects related to the impact of Covid-19 on the identity formation of medical students, and the promotion of inclusion and diversity in medical education. 

Dr Elsa Lee

Dr Elsa Lee is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the project.

Elsa has been collaborating with Nicola on research at the intersection of art, Nature and wellbeing for the past five years, culminating in the successful proposal to the AHRC for this project. Elsa is also a Research Associate and Principal Investigator at the University of Cambridge for the ESRC Connecting Water to Global Citizenship via Education for Sustainable Development. She is the PGCE College Tutor for Homerton College at Cambridge. Before completing her PhD in Environmental Education Elsa taught science at secondary schools in the UK and Mexico. Elsa is link convenor for of the Environmental and Sustainability Education Research (ESER) network in the European Educational Research Association (EERA) and trustee and vice chair of the executive board for the National Association of Environmental Education. Her research interests include environmental and sustainability education, global citizenship education, the role of the arts and the outdoors for wellbeing, ethnography and posthuman research within education.

Artist Co-Researchers

We also work with a number of artist co-researchers through Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination (CCI):

Caroline Wendling

Caroline was born in France and moved to Britain after completing her art studies.

Her work explores ideas of place and belonging through layered projects that draw on history and explore local myths, inviting re-imaging of sites. Her daily rural walks from home to Wysing Arts Centre studio feed her multidisciplinary practice. She creates artworks that are fragile and transient in the form of sensory walks/performances and events blurring notion of audiences and performers. She also makes drawings, prints and objects and more recently moving images. She often works with collaborators, specialists in their fields such as children, chefs, musicians, foresters, perfumers and others.

Commissioners include Kettle’s Yard, Whitechapel Gallery, Wysing Arts Centre, and Deveron Projects, and has been awarded five Arts Council England grants. In 2016 she received the Commendation for Arts in Public Spaces for White Wood from the Saltire Society, Edinburgh.

Caroline holds a PGCE from the University of Greenwich and teaches children and adults of all ages for institutions, museums and charities. Her art feeds into her varied education work and vice versa.

Photograph @Jay Parekh

Filipa Pereira-Stubbs

Filipa is a Cambridge based dance artist, dance teacher, and creative practitioner with thirty years experience in dance & health and in community arts. Filipa devises and delivers dance & health programmes, in the community, in clinical settings, in museums and galleries, and outdoors in Nature. Filipa is a core artist with Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination, and works as an independent artist with Kettles Yard and the Fitzwilliam Museum. Ongoing main projects, including ‘Dance for Health’ at Cambridge University Hospitals, and ‘Dance at the Museum’ (Fitzwilliam Museum) hold inclusivity and integration of the arts at the core, finding inspiration in somatic practice and the process of improvisation & imagination, calibrating and bridging perceived cultural differences, age differences and health differences.

Sally Todd

Sally is a visual artist, filmmaker and theatre practitioner. Trained as a sculptor (MA Chelsea School of Art) she works with archive/found film and the site specific, creating sculptural installations with the moving image in response to atmospheres and narratives of place. Sally also devises theatre and, as co-artistic director of indefinitearticles, has a particular interest in making high quality and meaningful theatre for the very young. The company’s show for 3-5 year olds, ‘Claytime’ has toured throughout the UK, USA, Denmark and Lebanon with 700 performances to date. A founding member artist of Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination and experienced art facilitator, Sally has worked with all ages in schools, outdoor settings and cultural centres, in the UK and overseas, and has recently been developing a creative project with the blind and partially sighted at the Fitzwilliam Museum. In 2004 Sally was funded by ACE to visit Reggio Emila and since then has been especially keen on the potential of artist/educator collaboration in developing children’s learning

Hilary Cox Condron

Hilary is a designer, participatory artist and creative producer, delivering high social and environmental impact multimedia projects, interventions, events and exhibitions . Having ran a successful design and illustration studio, Hilary’s activism and passion for social justice through the arts informed her participatory practice and she now has over 20 years experience working with schools, new communities, marginalised groups, museums and cultural venues. Through exploring, sharing and celebrating creativity, culture, stories, heritage and the natural environment, Hilary’s practice nurtures a sense of place and identity, building relationships and vision, and empowering long term, positive change.

Ruth Sapsed

Ruth Sapsed is the Director of Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination (CCI), an arts and well-being charity that cultivates creative communities in Cambridgeshire and beyond. Representing a network of artists, educators, researchers, and professionals, we share a passion for how the arts can transform lives and a belief in the power of democratic forms of community activism. CCI projects collaborate with people of all ages and backgrounds and seek to open up spaces to celebrate difference, curiosity and imagination. Our practice enables everyone to participate as active citizens, who can create and share new ideas and discover ways of being together both now and in the future.