Lecturer a finalist in Green Gown Awards 2021

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Dr Eleanor Atkins, Lecturer in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, has been shortlisted in the prestigious Sustainability Champion category at the Green Gown Awards UK and Ireland 2021.

Dr Eleanor Atkins, Lecturer in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, has been shortlisted in the prestigious Sustainability Champion category at the Green Gown Awards UK and Ireland 2021.

Since joining Staffordshire University’s academic team in 2019, Elle has advised the University on its biodiversity and sustainability activities although her influence extends beyond the University to local authorities and wildlife trusts.

Elle has played a leading role in the Great Green Gathering and Staffs Does Spring Watch which took place at the University during EU green week and she has also encouraged her students to create biodiverse landscapes on the University campus through the Wild Staffs project.

She added: “Projects we have worked on include producing biodiversity net gain recommendations for several construction projects including the new Catalyst building and Nursery and Forest School. Students were able to apply their academic theory to real work projects and encourage positive changes for the environment, biodiversity and sustainability on their own campus beyond any legal requirement to do so.

“This has also facilitated the link between students’ academic theory and real-world learning, involving them in projects that will impact the environment around them, just as they aspire to do in their future careers.”

Sally McGill, Chief Finance Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Staffordshire University, said: “Elle is an invaluable member of the University’s Sustainability Task Group and has quickly established herself as a go-to for guidance on areas of sustainability, biodiversity and green infrastructure.

“Together with her students, she has also come up with project proposals which are making a tangible difference to our campus environment and will make sure we are on course to achieve our goal of achieving net zero by 2030. She is a sustainability champion and so deserving of this shortlisting.”

This year’s UK and Ireland Green Gown Awards’ Finalists, representing over 862,219 students and 156,000 staff, are proving the value that universities and colleges bring to the economy and society even in the most challenging times.

The Finalists emphasise an institution’s role in enabling and empowering young people to tackle pressing global issues to ensure they have a better tomorrow.

Iain Patton, CEO of the Environmental Association for Universities and College (EAUC) said: "It is clear from the number and quality of applications, that sustainability and the now irreversible sustainability movement is not only resilient but profoundly energised, opportunistic and dynamic!

UK and Irish universities and colleges have turned Covid 19 challenges into opportunities and ensured that every change is a change for sustainability. A reset of our economic and social foundations is happening and the Green Gown Awards are all the more important to inspire and scale change for sustainability. Congratulations to all our finalists."

Maria Scrivens

Communications Manager

t: 01782 294375

m: 07766 520339


Staffordshire University is the Connected University; connected to the needs of students, academic partners, business and society. Our main city campus in Stoke-on-Trent features excellent learning and teaching facilities and good transport links. We have specialist Centres of Excellence in Healthcare Education at Stafford and Shrewsbury.  

We were recognised with a Gold award in the 2019 Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) for delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for students.  

We were shortlisted for University of the Year at the THE Awards 2020 and were named ‘Midlands University of the Year’ at the Midlands Business Awards 2020. 
Staffordshire University has signed up to the Civic University Agreement, pledging to play a leading role in improving the regional economy and enhancing quality of life in local communities. We were recognised in the top 15 for social inclusion in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. We aim to be a leading university for digital technologies building on our proud computing heritage and in 2019 launched Staffordshire University London’s Digital Institute which is committed to preparing students for careers in new and emerging tech industries. 

We are a Top 250 Young University (Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2020) and are connected globally, with more than 11,000 people studying Staffordshire University degrees overseas.