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Dr Rachel Slater

head and shoulders picture of Rachel in her office

Profile summary

Professional biography

Dr Rachel Slater is a Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Resource Management based in the School of Engineering and Innovation. She is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Waste Management and was a Trustee of the Community Composting Network. She holds a PhD in organic waste management, an MA in Environmental Law and Policy and a First Class Joint Honours Degree in Environmental Management and Business Administration.

Rachel first joined the Open University as a research student back in 1998. After completing her PhD she worked as a Research Fellow for several years before her current role as Lecturer. Before joining the OU Rachel worked in the commercial waste and recycling sector.

Research interests

Rachel’s research and scholarship focuses on social and policy aspects of environmental and resource management, particularly waste, recycling and composting.  Recent project areas include: the role of partnerships for innovative approaches to re-use, recycling and composting; decentralised biowaste systems and community composting; public attitudes and participation; recycling scheme performance; and social value from recycling and composting.

Most of Rachel’s research is underpinned by collaborative and trans-disciplinary ways of working using participatory and stakeholder engagement methods and she has carried out research with policymakers and practitioners in the public, private and community sectors.

Teaching interests

Rachel’s teaching reflects her research interests focusing on environmental management and sustainability. She was part of the team that produced U116 Environment: Journeys through a changing world and co-chairs presentations. Over a thousand students a year have studied U116 since its launch in 2009, and in 2012 the team received an OU Teaching Award for inspiring, innovative, student-centred introduction to environmental studies. Rachel is production chair and co-author of the 2nd Edition of U116 due in 2017. Rachel has also authored on other courses including T319 Environmental Management 2 and T867 Managing for sustainability.

Rachel is also one of the STEM Faculty accessibility leads which involves supporting colleagues in designing, developing, producing and delivering more accessible and inclusive courses.