Personal profile

Research Statement

Dr Amanda Slevin is an environmental social scientist, educator and researcher who researches, teaches and writes about some of the most pressing challenges facing our socio-ecological world. Amanda's research centres on complex society-environment interactions and she is skilled in qualitative and mixed methods research. Her cutting-edge, policy- and practice- engaged research focuses on important issues such as multi-level climate action; climate breakdown and inequalities; energy conflicts and just transition; sustainability praxis; policy frameworks, decision-making and practices surrounding climate action and hydrocarbon extraction; political economy and society-environment interactions; ideology and resource management; transformative pedagogy; community activism; community and stakeholder participation in decision-making and multi-level climate action.

As Director of Queen’s Centre for Sustainability, Equality and Climate Action (SECA), Amanda plays a leading role in efforts to advance collaborative teaching, learning and research on pressing socio-ecological issues, for example, she co-founded SECA in 2019 and she initiated and co-delivers QUB’s first cross-Faculty, interdisciplinary module on sustainability, climate change and just energy transitions (PAI1010). Since joining QUB in March 2018, Amanda has held several academic positions and she is a Funded Investigator and Research Fellow with the interdisciplinary, tri-jurisdictional Co-Centre for Climate, Biodiversity and Water (February 2024 to present). From Autumn 2022 - Spring 2024, Amanda worked as a Research Fellow with the interdisciplinary GroundsWell project and she was previously employed as a Policy Fellow, as part of the UK-wide Place-based Climate Action Network (2019-2022), based in the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics. She joined QUB as a Lecturer in Social Policy with the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (2018-2019).

Amanda's research goes beyond academic analysis to informing empirical pathways for a just transition to fairer, healthier and more sustainable societies and is in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, notably SDGs 7, 10, 11, 12 and 13, and QUB’s new Strategy 2030. Amanda actively collaborates with varied partners to translate sustainability and climate policy into action on the ground, e.g. through PCAN, she co-founded Belfast Climate Commission (co-chaired by QUB and Belfast City Council) and she chairs its Community Climate Action Working Group. As Chair of Climate Coalition Northern Ireland (2020-22), Amanda worked closely with cross-community, cross-party MLAs, legal experts, CCNI members and key stakeholders to develop NI’s first Climate Change Bill, contributing to activities which culminated in the passing of NI’s first Climate Change Act in June 2022.

Since her first contribution to research in 2003, Amanda's innovative and often interdisciplinary research has consistently focused on complex social and environmental issues. For example, ongoing interdisciplinary evidence synthesis research on development pressures and drivers of biodiversity loss (Dec. 2024 to present). Her Irish Research Council funded PhD (2009-2013, UCD) entailed the first academic, multi-level study of Irish state hydrocarbon extraction and its consequences for communities and wider society, analysed in the context of international political economy. Outputs from her doctral study include her monograph Gas, oil and the Irish state: Understanding the dynamics and conflicts of hydrocarbon management (2016, 2017, Manchester University Press), other publications on  hydrocarbon extractivism and climate action, and policy-engaged outputs such as expert advice to Oireachtas Committees (2011-2018), and members of the NI Assembly and UK Parliament (2020 to present).

Alongside her socio-ecological endeavours, Amanda has undertaken research on broader social, economic and political issues within contemporary society and was involved in ‘Generation What’, a pan-European research project on the views and experiences of nearly one million 18-34 year olds. Working with colleagues in UCD's School of Sociology, Amanda was part of the research team that analysed findings of the survey completed by over 33,000 young people in Ireland; she also provided analysis of the Irish findings in a RTÉ 2 documentary which was televised in October-November 2017.

Amanda deliberately uses her expertise and skills to advance multi-level socio-ecological action, and alongside academic outputs, she often organises, co-organises and participates in community engagement events, writes accessible articles, engages in public debate via media interviews, and collaborates with myriad partners. Her track-record of impact encompasses about 200 outputs, incl. invited high-level inputs to climate and energy policy (UK, Irish and NI Governments); innovative student and stakeholder engagement like the award-winning ‘Creating our Vision for a Greener Future’; co-edited book ‘Addressing the climate crisis: Local action in theory and practice’(Palgrave MacMillan, 2022); her book ‘Gas, Oil and the Irish State’ (MUP, 2016, 2017) and associated public book launches attended by several hundred people.

Amanda's qualifications include her PhD in Sociology (UCD, 2013), MA and HDip in Adult and Community Education (both with first class honours, MU, 2006-8); BA Hons in Community Development (first class honours, LYIT, 2006). She completed postgraduate studies in 'Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development' with the University of Oslo (2010) and conducted primary research on Norwegian state hydrocarbon management while in Norway. She has also undertaken a wide range of professional training related to learning technologies, blended delivery, community leadership, youth work, advice and guidance. Amanda's professional experiences mirror her academic interests and she has previously worked in higher education institutions across the island of Ireland (National University of Ireland Galway, University College Dublin, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland), adult and community education organisations (An Cosán Virtual Community College and Donegal Vocational Education Committee [Donegal ETB]), numerous community and voluntary sector groups.

Research Interests


Anthropogenic climate change; policy frameworks, decision-making and practices surrounding climate action and hydrocarbon extraction; energy conflicts and just transition; ideology and resource management; transformative pedagogy; community activism; community participation in decision-making.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • HM Sociology
  • HT Communities. Classes. Races
  • JF Political institutions (General)


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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