Ellin LEDE, PhD Student in Environmental Science (Australia/United Kingdom)

Ellin Lede is investigating how we can effectively apply behavioural insights to incentivise water conservation behaviour and increase support for water-related climate change mitigation strategies. The research is co-designed and implemented in collaboration with non-academic research partners, such as the UK water sector, and insights from the research have been applied within the UK to encourage a reduction in residential water demand.


Research focus: developing innovative and evidence-based approaches to incentivise water conservation in water-scarce regions in the UK

Global water scarcity is projected to intensify as climatic change alters the hydrological cycle and an increase in population and economic growth leads to a rise in water consumption. Providing adequate freshwater to ensure human and environmental needs are met is set to remain one of our most pressing global challenges. Ensuring a sustainable supply of water will require novel strategies, which will include engaging with end-users to incentivise a reduction in overall water demand. In collaboration with research partners, Ellin designs and pilots evidence-based approaches informed by behavioural science to encourage water conservation behaviour in water scarce regions in the UK.

Ellin has previously worked with different levels of government (the National Government of Vietnam, the City of Paris), as well as within inter-governmental organisations and research teams within the climate change and sustainability sphere. She views her research visit to Germany as an invaluable opportunity to engage with scientists who are at the forefront of research into sustainability and the interaction between climate solutions, societal engagement, and technological innovation. In her future career, she aims to initiate further collaborations within academia, governmental, and private-sector organisations to address sustainability challenges with innovative and evidence-based solutions.

The jury was impressed by her interdisciplinary approach to apply behavioural insights to incentivise pro-environmental behaviour. There is no doubt that by pursuing further research in the environmental science and climate change domain, Ellin will make a significant contribution towards making the world a more sustainable place.