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Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Planning theory for progressive planning;
Health and the built environment;
Social dimensions of the low carbon energy transition;
Public participation, activism and equality in planning governance.

1992 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile


Dr. Geraint Ellis is a Professor in the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen's University, Belfast. He also holds the position of Adjunct Professor, Department of Geography, Western University, Canada. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), was a member of the Assessment Panel for UoA 13 for REF2021, and currently sits on the Assessment Panel for the Economic and Social Research Council.. In 2018 he was also appointed by the Taoiseach (Prime Minister of Ireland) to the  National Economic and Social Council (NESC).


His key research interests are in planning and sustainability, renewable energy, planning governance and healthy urban planning. He has published widely on these topics and is a Co-Editor of the Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning (http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/cjoe20/current, Twitter: @JrlEPP) and a founding member of the Editorial Board of Cities and Health journal.


He joined Queen's in 1998, having previously worked for community and environmental organisations in the east end of London (1990-1993), acted as a planning and community development advisor to the Government of Lesotho in Southern Africa (1993-1996) and the Cross River Partnership in central London (1996-1998).


Geraint is active in the Northern Ireland voluntary sector, having been a Board Director of Belfast Healthy Cities , a founder member of Transition Town Whitehead and the current Chair of a refugee support group, Whitehead Small World Group. He was also previously a director of Transport 2000 (NI), Sustainable NI, Community Technical Aid (now Community Places). He has also provided planning advice to the Traveller Movement (NI) and Friends of the Earth (NI). He also acts as the Irish contact for the International Network of Urban Research and Action ( INURA ), has been an advisor to the Centre for Education in the Built Environment ( CEBE) and a member of the UK's Sustainable Development Panel. For over ten years he held the position as the National Expert for Ireland on the International Energy Agency's Task 28 Working Group on the Social Acceptance of Wind Energy.


He has been the Course Director for both the BSc Environmental Planning and the M.Plan in European Planning and previously coordinated the School's Erasmus Programme and other internationalization initiatives, including an exchange programme with Indian Planning Schools.


You can follow Geraint on Twitter @gellis23

Research Statement

Geraint's research interests lie in the broad field of spatial planning and sustainability, with a particular emphasis on environmental governance, renewable energy, marine spatial planning, environmental justice and equality issues in planning. He has also written and research on pedagogy in planning and environmental education. He has been involved in a range of research projects funded by UK research councils and others, with his most recent projects focussing on renewable energy and the walkability of built environments. 


Geraint is currently the module coordinator for the following:


Planning and Climate Change (EVP2009)

City Futures (EVP7040)



He has coordinated a range of other modules and regularly contributes to other modules, including Legal Studies in Planning (EVP3010), Independent Research Project (EVP3011), and Planning Skills and Ethics (EVP8012).


He supervises around 10 undergraduate and Masters students every year on their dissertations and currently has six Ph.D students as supervisees.




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 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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