Sarah is an interdisciplinary LISS DTP PhD student at the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College London, under the supervision of Dr Zoe Harris, Dr Jem Woods and Dr. Po-Heng Lee. She is also supported by the College's Transition to Zero Pollution initiative and is aligned with the NERC-funded SSCP DTP run by the Grantham Institute. Her research sits at the interface between plastic pollution, bio-waste management and renewable energy production and investigates how biodegradable plastics can be used as a valuable feedstock for optimisation of biogas yield in anaerobic digestion.
Her multicultural and interdisciplinary background has led Sarah to seek systems thinking in her research, recognising the need for more integrated approaches to global issues, such as plastic pollution and failures in ever more complex food supply chains.
Her journey into food sustainability bloomed during her Erasmus in Sweden, where she became a Food Waste Hero and Ambassador for OLIO, a food sharing app. Increasingly aware of the environmental impact of food and food packaging, Sarah runs a student-led zero-waste food co-operative at her university, the Imperial Food Co-op, offering organic food produce in bulk or in 100% recyclable packaging.
Prior to starting her PhD, Sarah completed a BSc in Biochemistry at Imperial College, with a sandwich research year at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and an MSc in Environmental Technology, also at Imperial College. Her MSc thesis investigated the environmental footprint of conventional and biodegradable plastic food packaging, ensuring that the promotion of biodegradable plastics within a bioeconomy framework is based on environmentally-sound evidence. Her research won 3rd place at the Dopper Changemaker Challenge competition.
Kakadellis S, Woods J, Harris ZM, 2021, Friend or foe: Stakeholder attitudes towards biodegradable plastic packaging in food waste anaerobic digestion, Resources, Conservation and Recycling, Vol:169, ISSN:0921-3449, Pages:105529-105529
Kakadellis S, Harris ZM, 2020, Don’t scrap the waste: The need for broader system boundaries in bioplastic food packaging life-cycle assessment – A critical review, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol:274, ISSN:0959-6526, Pages:1-14