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Helen Hoyle

Sensing Biodiversity: Understanding the relationships between sensory biodiversity traits, human aesthetic response and mental wellbeing in urban green spaces.

Transdisciplinary placement

Healthy Places, Healthy Planet

University of Sheffield

Research Interests

I have expertise at the intersection of nature and human wellbeing, informing policy and practice to plan, design and manage green infrastructure (GI) to address the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and mental wellbeing prioritised by the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I believe passionately in the need to work closely with policy makers, practitioners, and communities, the people juggling these priorities on the ground in real places. A theme running through all my work has been a focus on stakeholder perceptions and values. My research investigates the role of aesthetics and colour in human reactions to green infrastructure. My earliest high-profile research culminated in the delivery of the London 2012 Olympic Park perennial meadows. I have since prioritised socio-ecological challenges in deprived, diverse areas. My research focuses on reducing health inequalities and the value of green social prescribing and I continue to work with the Parks Service and local primary school in the High Town ward of Luton, Bedfordshire, connecting children and the wider community with nature and promoting pro-environmental behaviours. I have also collaborated with parkrun, investigating the motivations, perceptions, and wellbeing benefits of physical activity in different natural environments.

Educational Background

BA Geography. MA Landscape Architecture. PhD: Human happiness v urban biodiversity? Public perception of designed urban planting in a warming climate.


Can be seen here. 

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