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School of Geography

Frances Drake Dr Frances Drake

Contact details

Room Manton 10.107
School of Geography
University of Leeds
University Road
Leeds LS2 9JT   UK


+44 (0) 113 34 33332

Student hours:
Tuesday and Thursday 10:00am - 3:00pm

Research overview

Research interests include

  • Climate change
  • Environmental issues, understanding and citizenship
  • Public understanding of science
  • Governance and the social construction of space in relation to environmental issues

PhD Supervision

I would be interested in supervising PhDs on topics such as:

  • Exploring the role of science in society in relation to environmental issues, for example how the issue of climate change provide discourses that enable some policies and projects to succeed but others to fail
  • I also welcome projects that look at contestation surrounding locally unwanted land-use sites such as wind farms and mobile phones

Previous projects

  • A project looked in detail at the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Change Action Plan. It considered how the re-emergence of the regions as a focus for policy-making affects policies to mitigate climate change. Furthermore it questions to what extent the region is an effective environmental policy-maker.
  • I have investigated the views of local protest groups concerned with mobile phone technology. In particular, the ways in which scientific knowledge is used by all stakeholders to justify their views. This has led to further questions about what it means to be an active environmental citizen and their role in planning policy.
  • An ESRC funded project focused on small and medium sized enterprises (>500) in the UK, France and Germany.  The SMEs were contained within 3 sectors: refrigeration, baking and printing. Individual managers with a responsibility for environmental issues, within each SME, were identified and semi-structured interviews undertaken.  These interviews revealed that SMEs had still to integrate environmental issues into their company policies.




  • Drake F. Belonging to Action: Fracking in the UK Dimensions of Political Ecology 6th Annual Conference, University of Kentucky, Lexington Kentucky, USA, 25-27th February 2016
  • Drake, F.  Van Alstine J. and Bastin C. (University of Leeds, UK) Carbon capture and storage: transforming the Yorkshire and Humber,  9th European Urban & Regional Studies Conference Europe and the World: Competing Visions, Changing Spaces, Flows and Politics University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom, 10th-12th July 2013
  • Drake, F. Regional Energy Responses to Climate Change: The Transition to the Low Carbon Economy: How is it being Interpreted by Regional Agencies, RGS with IBG Annual International Conference, Session Regional and Local Governance of the Low Carbon Economy (1) Royal Geographical Society, London, 1-3 September 2010.
  • Drake, F. Regional Energy Responses to Climate Change: The Shaping of the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Climate Action Plan, RGS with IBG Annual International Conference, Royal Geographical Society, August 2008.
  • The Ngo, A. See, L. and Drake F. 2008: Developing an agent based model of shifting cultivation for Vietnam uplands, RGS with IBG Annual International Conference, Royal Geographical Society, August 2008.
  • Drake, F. Debating the need for mobile phone masts: a rural perspective, RGS with IBG Annual International Conference, Royal Geographical Society, August-September 2005.



  • Supported the organisation and hosting with Dr. M. Purvis and Dr J. Hunt of the inaugural meeting for ESRC Global Environmental Change Business and Environment network, School of Geography, University of Leeds.

Other presentations

  • With funds from HEIF 3 Science and Tourism a range of four leaflets complementing concentrating on a range of locations in Yorkshire; moorlands, forests, rivers and coasts, exploring what climate driven changes a tourist of the near future may witness in these environments.
  • With funds from HEIF 3 Science and Tourism an interactive exhibit to explain to young children what they can do to help slow global warming has been developed. The exhibition is housed at Eureka: The National Museum for Children in Halifax and features an interactive polar bear called Nanuq.