Name: Heather PurshouseHPursh

Project Title: The role of insect larvae for the sustainable management of faecal sludge in sub-Saharan Africa

Cohort: 2017/18

Institution: University of Stirling and Durham University

Supervisors:

Biography:

My background is in water, sanitation and health engineering, with previous experience of international public and environmental health research, wastewater network design, and wastewater treatment plant design. My primary research interests are faecal sludge management, menstrual hygiene management, and gender equality in sanitation delivery.

My PhD project will explore the potential role of the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) as a faecal sludge treatment technique. Pit latrines are the primary form of sanitation for more than half the population of sub-Saharan Africa, and latrines in urban and peri-urban areas require periodic emptying. Unsafe disposal of emptied faecal sludge causes serious public and environmental health risks, so finding safe and inexpensive treatment solutions for faecal sludge is very important. Black soldier fly larvae have proven potential in processing large volumes of organic matter, reducing volume, pathogen load, and smell, and are already used to treat municipal organic waste around the world. My project will explore the evidence base for using black soldier fly larvae in faecal sludge treatment from technical, economic, and socio-cultural perspectives.

Publications/Conference talks/Posters:

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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Purshouse, H., Velis, C., Lerpiniere, D., Rutkowski, J., Rutkowski, E. (2017). Application of Social Technology in Brazilian Informal Materials Recovery Facilities. 15th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology, Rhodes, 2017.

Purshouse, H., Velis, C., Lerpiniere, D., Rutkowski, J., Rutkowski, E. (2017). A Typology of Operator Models within the Informal Recycling Sector of Latin America. 5th International Conference on Sustainable Solid Waste Management, Athens, 2017.

Poster: The role of insect larvae for the sustainable management of faecal sludge in sub-Saharan Africa. Edible Insects: the value chain, Ede-Wageningen, The Netherlands, 21-22 March 2018.

Poster: SoCo: Solidary Selective Collection and Inclusive Recycling Analysis Tool. Tools for Inclusion of Informal Recycling Sector in the Global South, Leeds, UK, 15th March 2017.

Get in touch:

Email: h.m.purshouse1@stir.ac.uk

Twitter: @ToiletBugs

Personal webpage: toiletbugstories.wordpress.com

Department webpage: https://www.stir.ac.uk/natural-sciences/staff-directory/postgraduates/heather-purshouse/