Mrs Heather Anderson


Biological and Environmental Sciences Stirling

Mrs Heather Anderson

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About me

About me

I am a PhD student in Environmental Sciences investigating water poverty in Scotland. My research is interdisciplinary and involves methods from social and natural sciences, using both qualitative and quantitative data. Across my research, work and volunteering activities, I am committed to social justice. I’m driven in my work to understand the mechanisms impeding justice, and to support initiatives to tackle it.


After graduating from the University of Edinburgh with an honours degree in Biological Sciences, I worked at Scottish Water for 7 years. Initially I worked in the metals laboratory, using mass and optical emission spectrometry to analyse water. I was sponsored to complete a part-time masters in Water and Environmental Management at Heriot Watt University. Latterly, I was a strategic planner in the Water Resources team, responsible for managing water efficiency projects and leading Scottish Water’s water efficiency strategy. I was also responsible for compiling the Memorandum of Understanding with SEPA for Enabling Sustainable Economic Growth of water assets in Scotland.

In 2019 I was awarded a Scottish Graduate School for Social Science studentship to complete a 1+3 programme. I spent the first year at the University of Edinburgh, completing a research masters in Human Geography, where my research investigated water poverty in Scotland.

In Autumn 2020, I started my interdisciplinary PhD at the University of Stirling. I continue to investigate water poverty, taking a holistic view of poverty, exploring the equitability of water access, water quality and water affordability.

I have had the privilege of working with amazing communities and individuals through my work and research, who inspire me to continue this work, even when it feels uncomfortable. I consciously reflect on what I do, which helps me to be intentional about how I engage with communities and hopefully, best serve them.

I had a leave of absence between December 2021 and December 2022 for the birth of my son and now work on a 0.7FTE basis.

Other Activities

  • Graduated from the 2050 Climate Group leadership programme in 2018
  • Co-led a transboundary active travel project 2018-2019
  • Served on the board of Tactran as a non-councillor member (also on the executive committee) Dec 2019-Dec 2021
  • Led the Climate Action Group for the Scottish Freshwater Group in 2021


Best Dissertation
University of Edinburgh

Best Dissertation in MSc(R) Human Geography for dissertation: 'Water Poverty in Scotland: A Matter of Justice'