Dr. Polina Ermolaeva is an Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology of Kazan Federal University. She also currently serves as Leading Research Fellow at the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia; an Associate Research Fellow for the project ‘Soviet Climate Science and its Intellectual Legacies’ (2017-2020) and an Associate Member of Urban Initiative both led by the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham. Previously she served as Visiting Researcher at the University of Birmingham (2014), Australian National University (2013), Colorado State University (2008). Polina led over 50 global projects for the modern-day challenges of sustainability, climate change, societal transformations, stakeholder engagement, transportation and mobility, social policy for such organizations as UBER, the World Bank Foundation, Open Society Foundation, British Petroleum, Fulbright, IREX, Russian Scientific Foundation and others. She has taught a broad array of courses at both the undergraduate level (Environmental Sociology, Urban Sociology, General Sociology) and the postgraduate level (Data Analysis with SPSS, Social Statistics), in large and small classes, to both English and Russian speaking students. She has published more than 80 publications, including 4 books, 30 peer-reviewed articles.
Polina’s research interests center on urban sustainability, societal transformations research, climate research, environmental governance, co-designing, digital society.
Her current research is closely aligned to issues around urban sustainability and city-scale transformative change. She is currently a principle investigator on a project analyzing Russian cities’ structural socio-environmental transformations in the technological, institutional and political sphere in regard to international standards of ‘sustainable’ cities. Drawing on a range of perspectives such as green urbanism, sustainability transitions, STS, circular economy, urban metabolism, citizens-centric design Polina explores contemporary examples from Russia and locate them in international contexts. The results of the project is in the development of an integrated interdisciplinary model for assessing the degree of transition of Russian megacities to the standards of a ‘sustainable’ city. The ideological origins of the project arise from her study on urban metabolism that explored the mutual transformations of social, environmental and technological change and the development of the quantified metabolic model of the material flow in the city of Kazan, Russia as the output. The results are framed in the concept of city as a ‘socio-bio-technical system’ as an interdisciplinary theoretical instrument for analysis of urban open systems of nonlinear relations and the interaction of technical, natural and social components as the processes of metabolic transformations.
The other area of Polina’s interest is the environmental governance and citizen-centric research. She conducted the social and environmental mapping of the city via employment of GIS, sociological methods and artificial neuron network analysis. The created social and environmental maps of the city of Kazan were different from the administrative urban zoning in a way that they were based on citizens` perception of the environmental risks and spatial heterogeneity.