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Martina Fisk

About Me


I am a shared PhD candidate at UCL Geography and UCL STS (Science and Technology Studies). In my research I combine a long-standing interest in how scientific evidence for policy making is produced with a new-found fascination with the role of science in the creation of territory. For my PhD project I investigate the geo-politics of carbon accounting which is the calculation of CO2 emissions caused by nation states, companies, households, products, etc.



Department of Geography
University College London
North-West Wing, Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT




Prof. Andrew Barry (UCL Geography)
Dr. Jack Stilgoe (UCL STS)

PhD Research

The Geo-Politics of Carbon Accounting

My PhD project is a comparison of the national greenhouse gas inventories of the UK and Germany, which are responsible for measuring their country’s national CO2 output and reporting it to the United Nations. Even though the emissions data these inventories produce form the basis for all international and domestic climate policy evaluations and decisions they have not yet been closely investigated by social scientists. I aim to produce a comprehensive analysis of how these inventories are produced and acquire legitimacy, with a focus on how decisions are made concerning measurement methodology and quality management. Conceptually, the project is based on an interdisciplinary approach that combines ideas from the field of science studies on the role of scientific measurements in policy-making with literature on the geopolitics of the atmosphere.

Carbon accounting is an essential tool for governing the atmosphere as it enables partitioning the remaining space for greenhouse gas emissions within the 2 °C global temperature target. My aim is to understand the historical, political, and practical factors that influenced the development and standardisation of carbon measuring methodologies. This will not only provide insights into how society makes sense of climate change but can also help us thinking through how to govern other internationally shared non-terrestrial territories like outer space, the deep oceans, and cyberspace.

This research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).


I am a postgraduate teaching assistant for the following modules:

Space & Society (1st year BSc Geography)

Geopolitical Events (3rd year BSc Geography)

Other stuff I'm up to

Co-Chair UCL Environment Domain Early-career Network (EDEN)

Member of UCL Carbon Accountability Working Group


Academic Background

PhD Candidate in Human Geography, University College London, since 2017

M.Sc. Science and Technology Studies, University College London, 2015-2016

M.A. Climate & Society, Columbia University, New York City, 2012-2014

B.Sc. Geographical Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin, 2007-2012


Professional Experience

Research Fellow at Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, Berlin (Working Group ‘Assessments & Scientific Policy Advice’), 2010-2011

Intern at German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Berlin (Division for International Climate Policy), 2012