Dr Kathy Fawcett

Dr Kathy Fawcett is Senior Lecturer in Science Communication.

Research, practice and projects

Kathy holds a first class degree in Botany from the University of Bristol, where she also completed her PhD into the effect on plant growth of soils contaminated with heavy metals. After a spell as a research associate studying plant responses to UK fall-out from Chernobyl she spent 13 years as a Secondary Science teacher, including seven years as Assistant Head of Sixth Form. In 2014 she moved to We The Curious Science Centre in Bristol as Education Manager, leading the creative development of a programme of activities and events for 70,000 visitors annually.

Kathy has a particular interest in equity in science, environmental science communication and the interface between formal and informal science learning. She has led many innovative educational projects including On Shaky Ground?, a collaboration on natural and human-induced seismicity funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering and Earth to Mars, a UKSA-funded activity combining astrobiology and planetary mapping with robotics and coding.

She contributed to the AQA General Studies A-level programme, particularly the Science and Society modules and, with then Bristol Lord Mayor Clare Campion Smith, created Bristol Girls Make It, an initiative aimed at promoting girls and women in STEM.

Kathy is currently exploring how science can help school students to become happier, and how storytelling influences awareness, perception and understanding of scientific issues – specifically in the context of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.


Kathy Fawcett is a senior lecturer in Science Communication at UWE Bristol. She teaches at foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate levels, specifically focusing on science in public spaces, including science centres and museums.

Publication, Dissemination and Impact

M.Martin & K.Fawcett (1997). Biological Implications of Metals in the Mendips. Proceedings of the Bristol Naturalist’s Society, 55, 95-112.

N.Willey & K.Fawcett (2002) Selecting plant taxa for phytoremediation. Acta Biotechnologia, v28. Proceedings from Int Society of Env. Biotech, 4th Annual Meeting, Leipzig, May 2001.

N.Willey & K.Fawcett (2002) Phylogenetic patterns in plant uptake of radionuclides. Proceedings of International Congress on Radioecology of Continental Environments, Aix-en-Provence, Sept 2001

N.Willey, K.Fawcett & J.Wilkins (2002) The Use of Phylogeny to Improve Predictions of Radionuclide Uptake by Crop Plants. Report to the UK Food Standards Agency.

N.Willey & K.Fawcett (2002) Flowering plant phylogeny and the uptake of radionuclides. Radioprotection, 37 (C1). pp. 553-557.

N.Willey & K.Fawcett (2005) Species selection for phytoremediation of Cl-36/35 using angiosperm phylogeny and inter-taxa differences in uptake. International Journal of Phytoremediation, 7. pp. 295-306.

N.Willey & K.Fawcett (2006) A phylogenetic effect on strontium concentrations in angiosperms, Environmental and Experimental Botany, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp258 – 269.

N.Willey & K.Fawcett (2006) Inter-taxa differences in root uptake of 103/106Ru by plants, Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Volume 86, Issue 2, pp227 – 240. Publication list

Further information