Larisa Alvarez-Caballero

Larisa’s dissertation aims to understanding the relationship between academics’ values and their choice of research.

Photo Credit: Giada Barzaghi


I am in my final year of Ecological and Environmental Sciences (EES) at the University of Edinburgh. Throughout my degree, I have become aware about the importance –and necessity- to conduct interdisciplinary research for implementing real-life solutions. My interests lie on bringing social sciences within the scientific community. Alongside my studies, I have been actively involved in the formation of the society “Community BEES” (which I co-founded in 2016), in conservation activities with “Dirty Weekenders”, and more recently, in the creation of a permaculture and community garden at Kings Building campus. I have also run a project with Mauricewood Primary School (Penicuik) about the impact of climate change.

Project Title

Integrating Geoethics in the School of Geosciences at the University of Edinburgh. A study on individual’s values.

Project description

My research aims to bring social sciences within the School of Geosciences. To do that, I will study geoethics using the Schwartz’ values theory.
Geoethics emerged as a new discipline that reflects on geoscientists’ ethical obligations. It identifies three analytical levels: the self, the relationship with colleagues and the interaction with society. Values serve as guiding principles of what people consider important in life, and are deeply linked to ethics and morality. Understanding the relationship between values and researchers is a step towards bringing geoethics in the scientific community. It is also an interesting topic since Geosciences includes a wide variety of topics that can contrast with one another in terms of researchers’ ethics and values.

I am aiming to analyse and compare individual’s values across different career stages (PhD students, post-doc and academics) from the three institutes of Geosciences: Global Change, Earth and Planetary Sciences and Geography and the Lived Environment. To do this, I will conduct an online survey using Schwartz’s Personal Values Questionnaire (PVQ) complemented with other questions. I will be presenting the project at the 2020 Scottish Ecology, Environment and Conservation Conference in Inverness.

Studying geoethics within the School of Geosciences hopes to shed a light on understanding (i) researchers’ values, (ii) their values reflected in their research, and (iii) the integral part of social sciences within all disciplines.


Aidan Keane (University of Edinburgh, School of GeoSciences)


BSc Ecological and Environmental Sciences