Dr Shivali Fifield
ERCS Chief OfficerShivali has a PhD in Urban Studies and her thesis used environmental justice theory and participatory action research with disadvantaged groups to challenge greenspace inequality in Glasgow. She is Chair of her local community development trust and a director for Greenspace Scotland. Previous to ERCS, Shivali’s professional career focused on developing multidisciplinary front-line services, in both London and Glasgow, in the fields of youth work, rough sleeping and refugee integration. She has worked at a senior level in health, social work and third sector organisations to deliver robust strategic and operational responses to social, environmental and climate justice issues.
Dr Ben Christman
ERCS In-house SolicitorBen also works part-time as a solicitor for a law centre specialising in housing and human rights law. He wrote the 2018 report for Scottish Environment LINK on the feasibility of setting up the Environmental Rights Centre for Scotland. He has published several articles on environmental law, including a number on access to environmental justice in Scotland. He is a trustee of Planning Democracy and a member of the Law Society of Scotland’s Access to Justice Committee.
ERCS Policy & Advocacy OfficerBenji has experience as a researcher, writer and campaigner on social, economic, and environmental justice. He holds an MSc in Environment & Development from the University of Edinburgh, where his thesis explored community resistance to opencast coal mining, and has worked closely with climate, housing and migrant groups across Scotland. Prior to joining ERCS, he worked at Water Witness to strengthen citizen participation and accountability in the water sector, and has conducted research on land and resource politics in India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. In his spare time he enjoys circus, playing mandolin, and hurling himself into the sea.
ERCS Rights OfficerCornell has wide-ranging experience in environmental rights, policy, and science. He has previously worked with racialised groups on environmental and climate justice issues coordinating the Ethnic Minority Environmental Network in Scotland. He has researched land, water and food systems policy in Scotland and Australia. He previously consulted on contaminated lands and environmental impact assessments. Cornell studied environmental science at the Australian National University and completed a thesis in climate science. He enjoys rock climbing, snowboarding, and making music.
ERCS Assistant Legal OfficerPreslava has broad experience in legal research and analysis, as well as in project management. Prior to joining ERCS, she worked on research in the field of renewable energy and greenwashing. Her past work with a Glasgow-based environmental start-up included project management and policy research for saline water farms in the west of Scotland. Alongside working for ERCS, she volunteers for a rewilding charity. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, learning languages, and pickling.
ERCS Finance & Administration OfficerEmma is also Chair of the Love Lenzie community organisation. Before her career break, she practised as a dual-qualified (English/Scots law) solicitor with law centre, in-house and private practice experience. She has an interest in the environment, community work and access to justice. Her favourite activity is skiing in the mountains, ideally in the sunshine!
ERCS ChairLloyd is an experienced environmental policy analyst and advocate. With over 30 years’ experience working for NGOs, Lloyd has a demonstrable track record in influencing legislation and policy development. With NGOs or NGO umbrella groups, primarily in Scotland but also at UK level and overseas, he has worked as an expert in environmental law and policy. Lloyd has worked in areas such as nature conservation, climate change, marine management, planning and environmental justice/governance. He has been engaged in or led NGO arguments in several major planning cases, up to and including Judicial Review. He has presented both written and oral evidence to UK and Scottish Parliamentary Committees and to Public Local Inquiries. He is also skilled in and has experience of organisational and people management, particularly within NGOs and NGO partnerships. He is an Honorary Fellow of both Scottish Environment LINK and the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.
ERCS TreasurerJulie has significant experience of supporting Scottish charities to access vital funding, which she gained through her long-running involvement with Parkhead Citizens Advice Bureau, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Foundation Scotland, the Institute of Fundraising and other organisations. In 2017, she received the Institute of Fundraising’s Scottish Excellence Award for her contributions to fundraising in Scotland. Julie has a keen interest in the natural environment, having grown up in the Scottish Borders. After moving to the east end of Glasgow, she was Treasurer for Shettleston Community Growing Project for many years. She is now the Scotland Coordinator for the Environmental Funders Network to grow the amount of funding for environmental causes across Scotland.
Dr Deborah Long
ERCS Vice-ChairDeborah has been Chief Officer at Scottish Environment LINK, the network for environmental NGOs in Scotland since February 2019. Her role is to ensure the effective delivery of LINK’s strategic vision to deliver a strong coherent voice in pursuit of a sustainable Scotland. Key to this is providing leadership for the staff team and enabling LINK members to take effective action together. Deborah has extensive senior leadership experience in natural and cultural heritage in Scotland, and most recently led a multi-partner international consortium working with citizens, climate and soil scientists and policy makers across Europe to gather, share and use data on soil and land management. Trained as a palaeoecologist, Deborah maintains an active interest in plants and growing and spends as much time as she can outdoors in Scotland and across the world, sea kayaking, cross country skiing and hill walking. When the weather is terrible, she reads.
Tom BallantineTom’s career has encompassed law, environmental campaigning and management. He set up and led an award-winning family law team doing significant work within the Scottish Legal Aid system. He is an accredited family mediator, has worked as a mediation trainer and has co-authored 2 books on excellence in family law. Tom left legal practice in 2010 to focus on environmental campaigning and management. From 2010 to 2022 he chaired the board of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland. He is a founding Trustee of Open Seas a charity campaigning on marine protection. Tom’s other governance experience includes a 20-year period on the board of Friends of the Earth Scotland from 1988 to 2008, including a period as Chair from 1990 to 1992. An Honorary Fellow of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, Tom’s interests include hill walking, cycling, writing and football.
Mary ChurchMary is Head of Campaigns at Friends of the Earth Scotland (FoES). Over the past decade she has led work within FoES and LINK on environmental rights and in particular procedural rights for access to justice on the environment. Working with communities on the frontline of the fracking industry in Scotland, she led FoES’ successful campaign to stop onshore unconventional oil and gas extraction, which included fighting a high-profile public inquiry. She currently works on issues including climate justice and just transition. She sits on the board of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, and is an active founder member of the COP26 Coalition and the Just Transition Partnership.
Jackie ErdmanJackie is experienced at inter-agency working, people management, making strategic change and addressing human rights and social inequalities. She is particularly interested in how environmental issues impact on human health and disproportionately affect marginalised communities. Jackie has worked in Glasgow for 40 years in the area of community development and health in the statutory and voluntary sector. Originally trained as a sculptor at Glasgow School of Art she went on to work with vulnerable young people and then studied community development. She has supported communities on housing campaigns, women’s issues, child poverty, employability and health inequalities. Most recently she worked as Head of Equality and Human Rights for Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board from where she retired in September 2020. She is enjoying retirement by crafting and escaping to her hut in Carbeth as well as continuing social justice work with ERCS and the Scottish Homelesness Network.
Prof Campbell GemmellCampbell is an Honorary Fellow of LINK, a Life Fellow of the RSA, a visiting professor at Strathclyde University Law School and a former environmental regulator in Scotland and Australia, where he was CEO of the Environmental Protection Agencies, first in Scotland, then in South Australia. He has a PhD in glaciology, academic affiliations with the universities of Stirling, Glasgow and South Australia, and is a certificated mediator. He has advised Scottish and UK governments, the OECD and World Bank, and institutions and agencies in Australia and across the EU on environment policy issues: including governance, regulatory practice, air pollution, water regulation, unconventional hydrocarbons and radioactive waste management. He is currently an expert adviser on environmental regulation to the OECD.
Juliet HarrisJuliet is Director of Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights) and Vice Chair of the Children’s Parliament. Over the past decade, Juliet has led work to progress the human rights of children across legislation, policy and practice. Working with children, young people and civil society organisations across Scotland, Juliet has been at the forefront of the successful campaign to make children’s rights binding in law through the incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots law. She is a guest lecturer at the University of Edinburgh and her work on children’s rights has been published widely. When not working, Juliet spends as much time as possible exploring the outdoors, climbing, biking, running or skiing to the most remote places she can find.
Aedán SmithAedán is Head of Policy and Advocacy for RSPB Scotland and a board member of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland. He is chartered town planner and has worked on some of Scotland’s most high profile and contentious environmental planning cases. Aedán has particular experience of reconciling the wildlife and climate impacts of plans and projects and of working with governments and public and private sectors to further environmental objectives.
Clare SymondsClare is the founder and chair of Planning Democracy, an organisation that campaigns for a fairer, more inclusive planning system in Scotland. Clare is also on the executive of the Scottish Community Alliance and is a community councillor. She has worked as a community development and sustainable development officer in both local government and the voluntary sector. She has campaigned for social and environmental change in many ways over the years from the anti-roads protests of the mid 1990’s to campaigning to give communities an Equal Right of Appeal in planning in 2019. She is also a qualified nurse and keen hill runner.
Our associates offer their expertise to inform the development of ERCS’s work programmes.