Meet our Green Champion - Prof Lynne Frostick

BY HER own admission, Professor Lynne Frostick was a "lone voice" when she moved to Yorkshire to study the impact of climate change.

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Fourteen years on, that voice is listened to by the UK's most prominent decision-makers, as well as fellow academics and captains of industry.

Climate change is a topic that can no longer be ignored, and Prof Frostick, professor of geography at Hull University, is leading the region's efforts to tackle the problem.

As director of the Hull Environmental Research Institute, she leads a team of 100 academics from different fields in working on the biggest environmental issues facing the world in the 21st century.

She sits on the academic steering group of the 50m Centre for Low Carbon Futures - a meeting of minds from Hull, Sheffield, Leeds and York universities aimed at helping the region to rise to the challenge of climate change.

She established Hull University's Environmental Technology Centre for Industrial Collaboration to help businesses become more profitable by reducing waste and using fewer raw materials.

She is President of the Geological Society and heads a Government group devoted to getting more women involved in science, engineering and technology.

Now she can add the title of Yorkshire Post Green Champion to her impressive CV, but, rather than reflecting on her achievements, she insists she has more work to do than ever.

"We need to understand what the impact of climate change might be on a local and regional scale," she said.

"We can start talking about what is likely to happen, but helping people to understand uncertainty and to prepare for an uncertain future is a challenge.

"We will stop emitting as much carbon dioxide as we are - we have to because of resource constraints, and we will have to change our ways.

"But, whatever we do, we have got 50 to 100 years of climate change ahead of us which will affect this country, and it is uncertain what that effect will be."

Prof Frostick initially trained as a geologist before completing a PhD thesis at East Anglia University on metals and metal erosion in estuaries.

She later took an academic post at Birkbeck College in London and went on to work in Kenya with renowned conservationist Richard Leakey.

After moving to Hull she set up the Centre for Waste and Pollution Research, helping industry to better understand waste science, and spent three years as the university's Pro Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise

She heads a research centre at Hull's submarium The Deep and co-wrote a report into the floods which devastated the city in 2007.