Kerry BOBBINS, Master of Science in Geography (South Africa)

Kerry holds an MSc in Geography from Rhodes University. Through her research she tackles issues related to equitable and sustainable resource provision, and aims to raise awareness around the benefits of incorporating ecosystem services and green infrastructure in urban Areas.

Current position: PhD candidate at University College London, UK

Research focus: Sustainable development and green infrastructure

Kerry’s participation in the Green Talents competition in 2014 bolstered the impact of her research and allowed her to connect with experts in her field. Particularly, the insights she gained during her research stay at the German Institute of Urban Affairs in Berlin significantly shaped her work. Kerry also benefited from the exposure generated by the competition. She was recently recognised as one of the Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans and selected as an International Social Science Council World Social Science Fellow.

2016 Commonwealth PhD Scholarship
2015 Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans
2015 International Social Science Council World Social Science Fellow

CV as submitted for the Green Talents award (2014):


Research focus: Use of Green Infrastructure for sustainable policy-making in the fields of environmental management and resource planning

As a researcher at the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO), Kerry Bobbins is investigating ways of integrating Green Infrastructure and the principles of social sustainability into the city-region’s resource planning.

Tackling the issue of equitable and sustainable resource provision in South Africa’s Gauteng City-Region (GCR) is a huge challenge for scientists, politicians and administrators alike. As a co-leading researcher at the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO), Kerry’s mid-term goal is to develop a Guideline Green Infrastructure Plan for the GCR by 2016. The Guideline Plan will look at ways to address the current difficulties in relating scientific research and the sustainability knowledge base to concrete decision-making by the relevant administrative stakeholders in the region.

Kerry’s work at the GCRO involves building a case study for the provision of Green Infrastructure (GI) to solve storm water challenges of the GCR. The results of this study will be scaled up and used to illustrate the kinds of quantifiable benefits that GI and ecosystem services can provide for the region. In the current project phase, Kerry is also involved in dynamic seminars with local, regional and national policy-makers in order to sensitise them to GI and sustainability issues. Kerry hopes to build a body of research upon which to base her PhD studies after the completion of her current project in 2016. In the long term, Kerry would like to play a role in the governance of environmental resources and infrastructural reform in South Africa.

The Jury was particularly impressed by the breadth of Kerry’s practical experience and believes that her aim of benefiting from the experience of established practices at the interface between science and policy in Germany during her stay will serve her well in the future.