Dr Saska Petrova

Senior Lecturer

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Research interests

My research addresses current debates in human geography, political ecology and energy studies, with the aid of evidence from a wide range of places and communities.

  • I have investigated how the transformative governance of forests and nature protection in post-socialist and post-colonial countries can lead to systemic disadvantage, and how top-down regulation is resisted and challenged from below.
  • My work on the everyday experiences of precarity and vulnerability has explored how energy politics and patterns of energy consumption shape low carbon transformations in Eastern Europe, Southern Africa and China.
  • I have drawn attention to the institutionalisation and contestation of regimes of austerity with regards to energy politics and the rendering of new ‘infrastructural subjects’ across various European countries.

Past and current research projects include:

  • 2021-2024. Co-I. Low Carbon Futures Studentship. Universities of Manchester and Melbourne. £150k;
  • 2021-2025. PI for UoM. Power up!Social energy market players to tackle energy poverty. Horizon 2020. €2m;
  • 2021-2022. PI for UoM. Gender, Race & Social Inclusion – Net Zero Transitions. The Carbon Trust. Service contract;
  • 2019-2023. Co-I. POWERTY: Renewable energies for vulnerable groups. Interreg Europe. €1m;
  • 2018-2021. Co-proposer. European Energy Poverty: Agenda Co-Creation and Knowledge Innovation . European Co-operation in Science and Technology. €700k;
  • 2016-2019. Co-supervisor. Practices on the move: Investigating trajectories of water and energy consumption in China. NWDTC CASE/Unilever Studentship. £50k;
  • 2016-2019. Co-I, Work package lead. Urban transformation in South Africa through co-designing energy services provision pathways. ESRC/Newton fund. £500k;
  • 2016-2019. PI. Domestic nexus: unpacking the interconnectivity of energy and water demand. UoM Humanities - SIRF. £14,107;
  • 2016. Co-organiser. Funding for a workshop on ‘Urban Infrastructural Innovation and Learning’. UoM JDS Conference Fund Award. £2,275;
  • 2013-2014. PI. EVENT- Energy vulnerability and alternative economies in Northern Greece. Royal Geographical Society. £2,985;
  • 2013-2014. Co-I. CHARISMA-Community approaches to retrofit in Manchester. UoM Humanities - SIRF. £25k;
  • 2013-2014. Co-I. InterDEW-Inter-disciplinary demand forecasting for energy and water. UMRI. £33,132;
  • 2012. Co-I. Postgraduate Symposium on Household Energy Consumption, Technology and Efficiency. Midlands Energy Graduate School. £1300;
  • 2011-2013. Co-I. InTreAct - Investigating residential and business energy consumption via student-led action research. Higher Education Academy. £29,625.



Research and projects