Skip to main content

Who is Cabot Insitute? Sophie Ross-Smith


Sophie Ross-Smith

In conversation with Sophie Ross-Smith, Manager at the Cabot Institute

What is your role at Cabot Institute?

I am the Manager for Cabot Institute for the Environment, responsible for the day-to-day running of the Cabot Institute, contributing to and delivering our strategy, supporting our community, and managing Cabot’s dedicated professional services team.

How long have you been part of Cabot?

I joined Cabot in March 2021 but have enjoyed collaborating with Cabot in my previous roles at the University, so super excited to have joined the Cabot team.

What is your background?

I studied Biological Sciences at Bristol and then went on to work at the University, where I’ve held numerous roles focusing on research and project management, bid development and partnership management. I have working in numerous disciplinary areas from aerodynamics to the future of our communication system to city scale experimentation. I have also managed some of our university key partnerships and keen to grow our partnership within Cabot.  Having worked in lots of different areas, I have a great university network and passionate about bring people together to solve some of the most complex challenges we face today.

Why did you want to join the team?

I find working on interdisciplinary projects inspiring, rewarding and a continuous learning experience, coupled with Cabot’s focus on environmental research and our mission to ‘protect the environment and identifying better ways to live in our changing planet’, it was a team really wanted to join. To wake up every morning and know that what you are doing daily is making our planet a better place to live, is awesome!

What do you think is the biggest environmental challenge facing us today?

Climate change and the implementation of the changes we need to take to tackle our climate and ecological emergency. If you want to find out more about some of our biggest environmental challenges, check out our Cabot Conversations.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Ooh, not sure I can pick a favorite, but here are a few highlights: working with the fantastic Cabot team and Community, meeting passionate and inspiring Caboteers daily, the vibrant and can-do culture of Cabot meaning every day is different.

What are you most looking forward to over the next 10 years of Cabot?

We have an incredible community of over 600 experts, who are working across multiple boundaries to help solve complex environment issues. I am looking forward to continuing to support this community to grow from strength to strength and continuing to help people connect across the University. I think we have an exciting opportunity over the next 10 years to build upon our strong community foundations, to increase our profile and develop partnerships to amplify the impact of our research.  Our pioneering Cabot Master’s by Research Programme, which spans across all faculties, is training our future leaders in global environmental challenges and I’m excited to see how can continue to develop and nurture talent through educational and development opportunities.  I am looking forward to continuing to work with Guy and the rest of our senior leadership team, the Cabot team, our Co-theme leaders, and our wider community to realise our ambition goals.

Find out more about Sophie here.

Popular posts from this blog

Are you a journalist looking for climate experts? We've got you covered

We've got lots of media trained climate change experts. If you need an expert for an interview, here is a list of Caboteers you can approach. All media enquiries should be made via  Victoria Tagg , our dedicated Media and PR Manager at the University of Bristol. Email or call +44 (0)117 428 2489. Climate change / climate emergency / climate science / climate-induced disasters Dr Eunice Lo - expert in changes in extreme weather events such as heatwaves and cold spells , and how these changes translate to negative health outcomes including illnesses and deaths. Follow on Twitter @EuniceLoClimate . Professor Daniela Schmidt - expert in the causes and effects of climate change on marine systems . Dani is also a Lead Author on the IPCC reports. Dani will be at COP26. Dr Katerina Michalides - expert in drylands, drought and desertification and helping East African rural communities to adapt to droughts and future climate change. Follow on Twitter @_k

Urban gardens are crucial food sources for pollinators - here’s what to plant for every season

A bumblebee visits a blooming honeysuckle plant. Sidorova Mariya | Shutterstock Pollinators are struggling to survive in the countryside, where flower-rich meadows, hedges and fields have been replaced by green monocultures , the result of modern industrialised farming. Yet an unlikely refuge could come in the form of city gardens. Research has shown how the havens that urban gardeners create provide plentiful nectar , the energy-rich sugar solution that pollinators harvest from flowers to keep themselves flying. In a city, flying insects like bees, butterflies and hoverflies, can flit from one garden to the next and by doing so ensure they find food whenever they need it. These urban gardens produce some 85% of the nectar found in a city. Countryside nectar supplies, by contrast, have declined by one-third in Britain since the 1930s. Our new research has found that this urban food supply for pollinators is also more diverse and continuous

#CabotNext10 Spotlight on City Futures

In conversation with Dr Katharina Burger, theme lead at the Cabot Institute for the Environment. Dr Katharina Burger Why did you choose to become a theme leader at Cabot Institute ? I applied to become a Theme Leader at Cabot, a voluntary role, to bring together scientists from different faculties to help us jointly develop proposals to address some of the major challenges facing our urban environments. My educational background is in Civil Engineering at Bristol and I am now in the School of Management, I felt that this combination would allow me to build links and communicate across different ways of thinking about socio-technical challenges and systems. In your opinion, what is one of the biggest global challenges associated with your theme? (Feel free to name others if there is more than one) The biggest challenge is to evolve environmentally sustainable, resilient, socially inclusive, safe and violence-free and economically productive cities. The following areas are part of this c