Thesis: 'Who Cares About the Air? Socio-Economic and Demographic Divides in Air Quality Information Acquisition'
Supervisor(s): Melinda Mills and Ridhi Kashyap
Kayla Schulte is a DPhil candidate in Sociology at St. Anne’s College. She is also affiliated with the International Max Planck School for Population, Health, and Data Science. Her doctoral project, supervised by Professor Melinda Mills and Dr. Ridhi Kashyap, is funded by the Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science (LCDS). Before beginning her doctoral research, Kayla worked within the Air, Climate & Energy research program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She holds a BA in Environmental Studies from Franklin & Marshall College and an MSc in Geography from the University of Oxford.
Her doctoral thesis draws upon sociological and human geography theory to develop a methodology for examining engagement with emerging mobile app and web-based sources of real-time air quality information. Her research objectives include generating more socio-demographically granular understandings of who uses real-time air quality information systems, what motivates this use, whether exposures to air pollution are effectively reduced, and which portions of a population are most likely to experience such benefits. Throughout her research she employs a mixture of qualitative and quantitative data sources, including survey responses, computationally derived user-analytics data, and spatially granular estimates of air pollution exposure. Kayla also serves as an advisor for local government authority projects trialling participatory air quality management methodology, specifically involving low-cost air sensor technology and new sources of digital data (see the OxAir Project).
Research interests: Air pollution, inequality, real-time air quality data, demography, knowledge production, digital platforms
Key Publication: Hubbell, B.J., Kaufman, A., Rivers, L., Schulte, K., Hagler, G., Clougherty, J., Cascio, W. and Costa, D., 2018. Understanding social and behavioral drivers and impacts of air quality sensor use. Science of The Total Environment, 621, pp.886-894. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.11.275