Tyndall Spotlight: Anowyesha Dash and Nicolás Enrique Labra Cataldo

Anowyesha Dash


Black-and-white photo of a smiling individual with long hair and glasses, wearing a sleeveless top with a zigzag pattern, standing in front of a door. The photograph captures the essence of Anowyesha Dash's radiant joy in the Tyndall Spotlight.Anowyesha is a PhD researcher associated with Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and Sustainable Consumption Institute. Her research explores a circular business model framework for the seafood sector in India. This follows on from her research study on coastal marine fishing communities in Odisha (India) wherein she conducted a challenges-mapping exercise for institutional strengthening and livelihood development. Through her research, Anowyesha aims to design business models for micro and small enterprise development in the Global South.


Question: What is your research about?

My research focuses on circular business models for the seafood sector in India. The circular economy provides a framework for rethinking production and consumption systems. By incorporating principles from this framework, we can enhance resource efficiency, reduce waste, and create restorative solutions. Business models serve as an effective tool to implement the circular economy in this context.

Question:  What got you into this field of research?

The idea of a circular economy is intriguing and valuable, not just for its impact on resource utilization but also for its systemic nature. While little attention is given to food loss and waste in the seafood sector—the focus of my research—these concepts are central to a circular economy. Personally, I have always been fascinated by coastal ecosystems and their services in terms of food provisioning and cultural aspects. This fascination and the desire to explore it further were significant motivations for me.

Question: Who/what inspires you to do this work?

I am excited by the potential of exploring the role of businesses in the context of developing countries. Beyond the conventional logic of a business model—namely, generating profit—business models can inspire alternative forms of organization. This potential to create innovative and impactful solutions is a significant source of inspiration for me.

Question:  Why did you choose the Tyndall Centre to do your PhD?

I chose the Tyndall Centre for my PhD due to its remarkable diversity of research interests, which aligns with my goals in sustainability studies. The Centre’s strong sense of community and wide networking foster a supportive environment during the PhD and afterwards. It’s a good place to be to ease into academia while also developing industry potential- that is a fruitful combination for me.

Question: Do you have any advise for those who want to do a PhD?

In terms of choosing a PhD, I think choosing the right place for can play out very well. Additionally, choose a topic that you can be involved in and a supportive supervisor. It’s also important to learn how to organise your day, research, and life outside work- I’m still learning!



Nicolás Enrique Labra Cataldo


A person with glasses and a beard, wearing a button-up shirt, stands next to a metal railing in a black-and-white photo, capturing the essence of Nicolás Enrique Labra Cataldo.Nicolás is a PhD researcher in Tyndall Centre for Climate Change research, at the University of Manchester. His research focuses on the evaluation of circular economy policies through a life cycle thinking approach to promote a just transition towards sustainability in developing countries.


Question: What is your research about?

In the Global South a great fraction of waste is managed by an informal sector characterized by their knowledge and experience, but also by their vulnerability and lack of operational standards. In my research, I study informality to identify its key features that makes it so relevant for the waste management systems, quantify its environmental contribution and explore strategies to harness their capacity in the promotion of a circular economy. For this, I work with case studies from Kathmandu and Lalitpur in Nepal, as well as Santiago in Chile. I employ various methods, such as data collection through interviews and the modelling of waste management systems using life cycle analysis.

Question: What got you into this field of research?

In 2014, I had the opportunity to undertake my professional practice in recycling topics in Chile. At that time, various reforms in environmental policies related to waste management were being discussed, and it was the first time I heard about the circular economy. Through this experience, I comprehended the complexity of waste management, including questions such as why waste is generated, who generates it, and why municipalities have different systems. This complexity fascinated me. Additionally, I felt that I could contribute from my profession as a chemical engineer

Question: Who/what inspires you to do this work?

I am passionate about waste as a research topic. As a child, I lived near an open-air landfill. My neighbours and I used to fly kites and play football over the waste, which became a normalized part of the landscape. As I grew older and began to move around my city, it was striking to see that in affluent neighbourhoods, waste was “hidden.” It became evident to me that waste represented social and economic disparities even within the same city. Since then, I have committed myself to studying waste and everything related to it.

Question: Why did you choose the Tyndall Centre to do your PhD?

The interdisciplinary nature of the working groups at Tyndall perfectly aligned with my aspirations: to understand informality from a more anthropological perspective and to evaluate waste management systems with a more engineering-focused approach. Additionally, my objective was to obtain a doctorate in the UK, primarily to improve my academic and everyday English.

Question: Do you have any advise for those who want to do a PhD? 

I believe that in the first year, it is essential to be open to exploring methods, topics, and strategies that can make the process more engaging. To achieve this, I recommend attending academic events related directly or indirectly to your interests across all faculties, even those that seem more distant in disciplinary terms. Additionally, it is very important to engage in extracurricular activities that allow you to mentally distance yourself from the doctorate; my best ideas have come to me while playing football or swimming in the pool.


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