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Photo of Dr Nick Kirsop-Taylor

Dr Nick Kirsop-Taylor

Lecturer in Public Policy and Administration

 My career has been focused on working in the field of environment and climate policy in the public, voluntary and latterly higher education sectors.

As an academic I work as an environmental governance scholar with a particular interest in how the state, voluntary organisations and public agencies engage with and contribute towards environmental good governance. I co-authored the (2022) Edward Elgar Handbook of the Governance of Sustainable Development and am currently writing my first monograph – Governance in the age of Nature Restoration (Amsterdam University Press – due 2025).

I was previously the Secretary of the Political Studies Association’s Early Career Network and am currently an Associate Editor of the Journal Environmental Policy and Planning. I was previously the founding Director of the Systems Thinking Practitioner Degree Apprenticeship at Exeter and served for a year as Deputy-Director of Policy@Exeter.

In addition to my work as an educator and researcher in the department I am the Environment and Climate Advocate for the HASS Faculty at the University of Exeter. The University of Exeter is a nationally and globally leading institution in the research and education about nature and climate, and we have an ambitious 2030 net-zero commitment to meet. I see my role as the Faculty Champion is to support and advocate for our faculty’s journey of change towards this target, but more widely towards realising our institutional ambitions to become the leading higher education institution in the UK for environment and climate research and education.

Research group links

Research interests

I have a problem-orientated and interdisciplinary research agenda that builds upon and reflects my professional experiences and academic interests. This agenda is currently engaged across three broad themes:


1) The changing nature of environmental governance, policy, and the (nation) state;

2) Public administration-orientated research into environment-facing bureaucrats and public agencies; and

3) The contemporary environmental voluntary sector: its role, governance contributions, and changing dynamics.


I have previously secured research funding from the EPSRC and the ESRC. Im currently a co-Investigator on the ESRC-funded ACCESS programme: exploring the many ways in which the social sciences can contribute towards the big societal challenges of the climate and ecological crises. 

Research supervision

I am open to approaches from potential PhD students on subjects related to my research agenda. In particular, doctoral research situated within public policy and administration theory in addressing environmental and climate challenges/questions.

Research students

I am currently co-supervising Ibrahim Bornoma based within the University of Exeter (Politics) and the Environment and Sustainability Institute; and Alina McGregor based within the University of Exeter (Mathematics) and the Institute for Data Science and Artifical Intelligence. 

External impact and engagement

Through my role as Environment and Climate Advocate for HASS I am work with a variety of internal and external partners contributing towrads and supporting out faculty net-zero transition. Additionally, my research agenda has historically and continues to work closely with external partners in the nation al environmental voluntary and regulatory sector; and with the wider community of land and environmental managers engaged in nature restoration and ecology. 


Prior to becoming an academic I worked in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the British Government (2004-2010) and then in multiple policy-facing environmental voluntary roles in the third sector (2011-2014). These professional experiences have contributed towards an academic identity that is intensely problem-orientated, with a keen focus on working partnerships with external partners to deliver research with rigour, impact and value.

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