Sustainability & Equity in Socio-Ecological Systems


Professor Ashton's research group is interested in understanding how socio-ecological systems (human organizations and societies interacting with nature) create value for human and non-human actors, and how their functionality can be sustained in the long term. The group is deeply concerned with how societies allocate benefits and burdens to different groups (particularly those marginalized by race, ethnicity, income and gender), and how organizations can work towards equity and sustainability in their actions.


Professor Ashton's collaboration with Dr. Joe Bozeman III and Professor Thomas Theis of the University of Illinois at Chicago, examining on the environmental impacts of household food spending across US demographic groups, received the 2020 Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP)/Mary Ann Liebert Publishing Award for Publication Excellence in Environmental Engineering Science.

In 2019, Professor Ashton received the Advances in Cleaner Production Network Young Researcher Award, recognizing her collaborative work on cleaner production and education in Latin America and the Caribbean.