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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  People  /  Research Students  /  Mikael Maes

Mikaël J.A. Maes

Contact

Mikael Maes.jpgPhD Candidate

Email: mikael.maes.16@ucl.ac.uk or m.maes17@imperial.ac.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MikaelMaes

Supervisors:
Dr. Ben Milligan (University College London)
Prof. Kate Jones (University College London)
Dr. Mireille B. Toledano (Imperial College London)

Department of Geography
University College London
Pearson Building
Gower Street
London
WC1E 6BT

 

Current Research

PhD Title: On the nature of green infrastructure in relation to human health

Cities have a variety of green structures that are either adjacent to or part of the built urban environment. These green structures—collectively called green infrastructure—conserve natural ecosystems and provide ecosystem services to urban residents. Our understanding of the benefits and disadvantages of green infrastructure is poor. Studies have shown associations between green infrastructure and air quality, physical activity, mental and social health. However, little is known about the underlying mechanisms that provide better health outcomes. How is urban nature perceived by citizens? Are there important non-visual pathways through which citizens receive better health outcomes? To answer some of these questions, I study the associations between children’s mental health and green infrastructure in Greater London in a collaboration with Imperial College London.

Building on these findings, I assess the barriers and opportunities for accounting for health benefits—in particular mental health—of green infrastructure into policy instruments to better understand how nature can be accounted for across government departments and improve the integration of scientific evidence into the policy cycle. This policy work involves a collaboration with DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).

This project is highly interdisciplinary, combining elements from several disciplines such as ecology, health sciences and environmental policy- and decision-making.

 

Biography

Professional experience

2014 – 2016, Environmental Resources Management, Brussels (BE) and Frankfurt am Main (DE)
Environmental Consultant

2015 – 2016 (4 months), European Commission, Brussels (BE)
Trainee

 

Education

2013 – 2014, King’s College London, London (UK)
MSc in Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Management

2011 – 2013, Ghent University, Ghent (BE)
MSc in Biology

2008 – 2011, Ghent University, Ghent (BE)
BSc in Biology

 

Grants and Awards

2016, 4-year scholarship from the London NERC DTP (Natural Environment Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership)

2013, 1-year student support by Rotary District 1620 (BE)

 

Publications

Maes, M. (2016). An exploration of the relationships between landscape metrics and tree diversity in urban forests. In: Francis, R. A., Millington, J. D. A. and Chadwick, M. A. ed. Urban Landscape Ecology: Science, Policy and Practice, pp. 75-90.