Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society

Heather Purshouse

Department / group: Biological & Environmental Sciences
Google Scholar URL: N/A

Research interests:

Water and sanitation
Faecal sludge management
Menstrual waste management

Career history:

BEng (Hons) General Engineering, Civil Stream – University of Durham (graduated 2013)
MSc (Eng) Water, Sanitation, and Health Engineering – University of Leeds (graduated 2014)
Variety of water and wastewater related placements in India and Nepal, with WaterAid, The World Bank, and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) (2014-15)
Graduate Civil Design Engineer (wastewater division) – Mott MacDonald (2015-2016)
Research Assistant (solid waste management research group) – University of Leeds (2016-2017)
PhD student – University of Stirling (2017-present)

Active research projects:

Opportunities and barriers for recovering value from faecal sludge in African cities

Sustainable management of faecal sludge from pit latrines and other on-site sanitation systems in sub-Saharan Africa constitutes a serious public and environmental health challenge. My PhD project explores opportunities and barriers for recovering value from faecal sludge using the city of Blantyre, Malawi, as a case study. This includes: examining socio-cultural aspects of reusing human excreta in agriculture; evaluating innovative treatment strategies for faecal waste (such as fly larvae composting); and quantifying the interaction of menstrual waste with sanitation infrastructure and how improvements in the management of menstrual waste can be made.

Recent publications:

Purshouse, H., Roxburgh, N., Jaworski, M., Sleigh, A., Kimani, D., Evans, B. (2017). The effects of water source accessibility and reliability improvements on water consumption in eastern Nairobi. Waterlines. 36(3), 204-215.

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