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York Open Research award for Alana Kluczkovski

Alana holding up a bug and smiling

Dr Alana Kluckzovski from our Hybrid Economies research team has received a York Open Research Award for her contributions to the Take a Bite Out of Climate Change initiative. The scheme provides the ‘opportunity to celebrate projects and advocacy initiatives across a variety of disciplines, recognising work which encourages dialogue, reflection and broader thinking about some of the issues involved in open research and its implementation’.

The Takeabitecc team is an interdisciplinary group of researchers from various Universities around the UK, led by the University of York and aiming to raise awareness about the impact of citizens’ own food choices on climate change and to generate support for changes in all food system activities, the food environment and food policy. Food systems contribute to up to 37% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and emissions are increasing. Since the emissions vary greatly between different foods, citizens’ choices can make a big difference to climate change. Public engagement events are opportunities to communicate these complex issues and so in 2019 Take a Bite Out of Climate Change was launched at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition.

Alana has been instrumental in many of these activities as the Public Engagement Coordinator. She has actively developed the activities and materials as well as adapting them for use in workshops run by herself in India, Brazil and Myanmar. During Lockdown the team developed free online resources for school children aged 7–14 years. As a result of this, Alana was awarded a grant from UKRI NERC – Cardiff University to run the project ‘Lowering Impacts on the Climate by Engaging with Wales Local Residents’. This involved outreach activities, adaption of materials and developing interventions in schools in North Wales.  She also coordinated the development of the Pre-COP26 School Food and Climate Summit for 4 secondary schools across the UK, to increase students’ awareness of food climate impacts, providing them with an opportunity to set ambitious climate reduction targets. Then in November 2021, Alana delivered a face-to-face public engagement event where the Takeabitecc team reunited at the Super Science Saturday delivering activities for families at the Oxford Museum.

The initiative has gone on to reach more than 42000 people, including school students, families, and general public.

We have been lucky to benefit from Alana’s public engagement skills, she has since used her expertise to adapt the materials developed by the Takeabitecc team for activities with our FixOurFood in schools’ team. This is a well-deserved award for her contributions to this fabulous initiative.