Rachael joined ISF in mid-2017 as a Research Consultant and PhD Candidate. Rachael has a background in the environmental and social sciences, with experience in food system sustainability, social theory and research, and waste minimisation and resource recovery across government and non-government sectors.
Rachael’s interdisciplinary PhD research focuses on the role of the built environment and social practices in creating healthy and sustainable indoor living environments in Sydney, Australia. Her research aims to improve our understanding of the social and material dynamics that influence how microbes, chemicals and other environmental factors interact to contribute to polluted indoor environments. The driving purpose of this research is to inform the development of more healthy and sustainable urban environments into the future.
Prior to joining ISF, Rachael worked as a Waste Project Officer in local government, responsible for social change programs to improve recycling and waste reduction. Before this, Rachael worked on international research projects examining global food flows, urban food security, and the drivers of food waste in Australia.
Rachael’s research interests include the circular economy, food waste, and environmental risk, particularly in relation to health and pollution.
- BA/BSc (Hons 1), Australian National University - Bachelor of Arts (International Relations)/ Bachelor of Science (Human Ecology)
- Society for Human Ecology
- Society for Social Studies of Science
- Waste minimisation and resource recovery
- Social theory and research methods
- Systems thinking
- Sustainable consumption and production
- Social Practice Theories
Australia exports some EPS to be recycled overseas, but we have less than one collection point per state. All of this means that The NSW Evironmental Protection Agency estimates that some 12,000 tonnes of EPS is sent to landfill every year. According to the Australian Plastics Recycling survey, about 14% of EPS is recovered for recycling. Most of that is exported – only around 1.6% of all the EPS used in Australia is recycled here.
This is why many researchers are looking for ways to re-purpose EPS, taking advantage of this very useful material and keeping it out of landfill.