University of St Andrews



I graduated with an MA (Hons) in Environmental Geography in 2003 followed by an MSc in Sustainable Rural Development in 2004, both from the University of Aberdeen. Before embarking on my PhD in 2006, I worked for a variety of organisations (including the University of Aberdeen, Macaulay Land Research Institute, and Aberdeen City Council) undertaking research and teaching duties. This included a 12 month period as research assistant on the EU FP6 SENSOR project.

My PhD was the first of its kind: an ESRC and Scottish Government Collaborative Studentship, from which I graduated in November 2010 (University of Aberdeen). In it, I explored the topic of ‘Environmental Behaviour Change: A Role for Household Diaries?', and worked closely with the Scottish Government Environment Social Research Team, spending three months working in Government in Edinburgh. 

Towards the end of my PhD I started working as a Research Fellow on the ESRC/BBSRC/MRC funded project BeWEL: Behaviour for Well-being (June 2009-September 2010). I moved to St Andrews in October 2010 as a Research Fellow working on the ‘Housing and Environmental Sustainability’ theme within the Centre for Housing Research, University of St Andrews, taking up the position of Lecturer in Sustainable Development and Geography in September 2011. 



  • Deputy Director, Centre for Housing Research
  • Honours advisor for Sustainable Development
  • Member, School Ethics Committee
  • Member, Royal Geographic Society & Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG) Planning Environment Research Group (PERG) Committee


Research Interests

As a social scientist, my main research interests surround the relationship between people and the environment, and the sustainability of this relationship. Currently I am PI on a prestigious ESRC Future Research Leader Fellowship Grant (2013-2017), 'Smarter Homes: a netnographic approach to low carbon living'. My broader research interests surround:

  • Low carbon living and domestic energy prosumption
  • Personal well-being, what it means to be well and how this may influence sustainability
  • Innovative online (qualitative) research methods 


Teaching Interests

  • SD3221 Do Good Lives Cost the Earth? (module co-ordinator)
  • SG3201 Method, Field, Data: unit 2 Qualitative Methods for Social Scientists (unit co-ordinator)
  • Supervise dissertation and review essays in sustainable development, human geography and/or qualitative methods


Postgraduate Students

Current Students

  • Katherine Ellsworth-Krebs (Lead Supervisor, with Professor Allan Findlay)
  • Tom Smith (Lead Supervisor with Dr Dan Clayton)
  • Megan Carras (Lead Supervisor with Dr Sharon Leahy)
  • Rachel Creaney (Lead Supervisor with Dr Kim McKee)

Previous Students

  • Rebecca Folly: ‘The subjective experience of Muslim Women in Family-Related Migration to Scotland. Supervised with Dr Emilia Ferraro.