Dr Rosie Robison

Senior Research Fellow

Global Sustainability Institute

Faculty:Faculty of Science & Technology

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Consumption and change

Rosie researches how sustainable lifestyles - the ways we consume energy, food, goods, and travel experiences - fit within society. Her work explores personal journeys of change towards lower consumption, and tools to facilitate change, from the latest apps to mindfulness. Having led a number of interdisciplinary networks, she looks at how different communities can work together, as well as how they can constructively disagree.

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rosie.robison@anglia.ac.uk

Background

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Rosie is a permanent member of academic staff at the Global Sustainability Institute. She has led the Consumption & Change research theme at the GSI since 2011. She draws primarily on social science approaches (psychology, science & technology studies, psychosocial studies, human geography), informed by her technical training in applied mathematics.

She is currently Work Package lead for, and part of the 3-person team coordinating, the €2m Horizon 2020 project SHAPE ENERGY - Social sciences & Humanities for Advancing Policy in European Energy. This Platform seeks to support better integration of energy-related social sciences and humanities into the policy process.

With a track record in digital sustainability and smart technologies, Rosie was Principal Investigator (2015-2017) of the £193k EPSRC Balance Network, exploring how digital technologies are changing how we live and work. She was also Co-Investigator (2013-2015) of the EPSRC Digital Epiphanies project, researching digital tools to increase reflection and help support self-directed changes in behaviour. She co-leads (with Chris Foulds) a research project on iMeasure – a web-based tool which allows householders to track their long-term energy use.

An experienced facilitator, Rosie regularly leads interdisciplinary workshop programmes, and has overseen a number of edited collections as outputs from these events (see Publications). Her facilitation approach is informed by psychosocial understandings of group and interpersonal dynamics (cf. the Carbon Conversations course).

Rosie has a strong interest in science communication, and accessibility of research. Before joining Anglia Ruskin, Rosie was an EPSRC-funded fellow at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology where she focused on sustainable travel, and in particular electric vehicles. Rosie carried out her postgraduate (Masters and PhD) research in Applied Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, studying fluid dynamics (from Antarctic ice shelves to fuel-efficient aeroplanes). Whilst a PhD student, Rosie co-founded the Young Researchers in Mathematics conference.

Research interests

  1. Sustainable consumption and policy – why do we use energy, food, water, transport, goods in the ways we do? Ultimately, what is consumption for, when not simply for survival? How do society and (local/national/international) policies co-evolve with consumption patterns?
  2. Consumer change – when and how does personal or societal level change take place? How might new 'smart' digital tools, or therapeutic-inspired interventions (e.g. group work, mindfulness) enable us to consume more sustainably? What are the links between consumption and wellbeing?
  3. Interdisciplinary and cross-sector research – how are different disciplines able to work well together, and understand each other? How can tensions be recognised and navigated? How do we acknowledge the contributions other communities make?
  4. Science/research communication and participation – how can both the process and outputs of research be better disseminated? How can those impacted by research feed into the design of research questions and methods?

Areas of research supervision

  • Marina Martinez (2015-), 'The emergence of alternative food businesses: Sustainability transitions in food provision'
  • Lauren Stabler (2016-), 'Envisioning Sustainability: A regional review of the East of England'

Teaching

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Rosie teaches qualitative research methods for the GSI's MSc Sustainability, and supports the Dissertation module. She guest lectures on ARU courses such as the MSc in Consumer Psychology, and Sustainable Technologies Master's module. She has acted as external marker/examiner/supervisor for the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, the University of Cambridge Master's on Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment, and UCL's Interaction Centre. She regularly hosts undergraduate and Nuffield sixth-form student research placements. She has previously supervised a number of University of Cambridge mathematics undergraduate courses.

Qualifications

  • PhD Fluid Dynamics, University of Cambridge
  • MMath (Part III), University of Cambridge (Distinction)
  • BA Mathematics, University of Cambridge (First class)
  • PGCert, Higher Education, Anglia Ruskin University

Memberships, editorial boards

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Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

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Rosie has won grant funding from the EU (Horizon 2020 energy work programme), UK research councils (EPSRC, ESRC), the Newton Fund, as well as undertaking consultancy work for a number of organisations.

For a fuller record of all past and current projects, please see the GSI’s Consumption & Change projects page

Selected recent publications

(NB. Organised across four topics; refereed journal/conference papers indicated by *)

Sustainable consumption, energy policy

  • Foulds, C. and Robison, R. (in press). The SHAPE ENERGY lexicon: interpreting energy-related social sciences and humanities terminology. Cambridge: SHAPE ENERGY.
  • Mourik, R., Jeuken, Y., de Zeeuw, M., Uitdenbogerd, D., van Summeren, L., Wilhite, H., Robison, R., Heidenreich, S., Blahová, M., Pidoux, B., Kern-Gillars, T., Arrobbio, O., Throndsen, W., Fox, E., Nikolaev, A., Radulov, L., Sari, R., Sumpf, P. and Balint, L., 2017. Energy efficiency and using less – a social sciences and humanities annotated bibliography. Cambridge: SHAPE ENERGY.
  • Sumpf, P., Klemm, M., Throndsen, W., Büscher, C., Robison, R., Schippl, J., Foulds, C., Buchmann, K., Nikolaev, A. and Kern-Gillard, T., 2017. Energy system optimisation and smart technologies – a social sciences and humanities annotated bibliography. Cambridge: SHAPE ENERGY.
  • Buchmann, K., Robison, R. and Foulds, C., 2017. Transport sector decarbonisation – a social sciences and humanities annotated bibliography. Cambridge: SHAPE ENERGY.
  • *Robison, R.A.V. and Foulds, C., 2017. Creating an interdisciplinary energy lexicon: Working with terminology differences in support of better energy policy. Proceedings of the eceee 2017 Summer Study on Consumption, Efficiency & Limits, paper 1-267-17. 29 May - 3 June 2017, Presqu'ile de Giens, France.
  • *Foulds, C., Robison, R.A.V., Macrorie, R., 2017. Energy monitoring as a practice: Investigating use of the iMeasure online energy feedback tool, Energy Policy, 104, pp.194-202.
  • *Jansson‐Boyd, C.V., Robison, R.A.V., Cloherty, R. and Jimenez‐Bescos, C., 2016. Complementing retrofit with engagement: exploring energy consumption with social housing tenants. International Journal of Energy Research. 41(8), pp.1150–1163.
  • Buchanan, K., Robison, R., and Whittle, C., 2016. Are you ‘in’ or are you ‘out’? Considering inclusive and exclusive features of digital energy management technologies and wellbeing. In Macrorie, R. & Wade, F (Eds). Daily life, digital technologies and energy demand, Sheffield, London.
  • Ivanova, P., Foulds, C. and Robison, R.A.V., 2016. Technologies and sustainability: how developers account for the end-user. Global Sustainability Institute Briefing Note.
  • *Robison, R.A.V. and Jansson-Boyd, C.V., 2013. Perspectives on sustainability: exploring the views of tenants in supported social housing. Sustainability, 5(12), pp.5249-5271.
  • *Johnstone, S., Robison, R.A.V. and Manning, R., 2013. Delivering social sustainability outcomes in new communities: the role of the elected Councillor. Sustainability, 5(11), pp.4920-4948.
  • Howarth, C, Robison, R.A.V. and Wiles, E., 2013. Delivering a Promotional Domestic Green Deal Assessment Programme in Cambridgeshire. Evaluation for South Cambs District Council, May 2013.
  • Robison, R.A.V. and Nath, C., 2010. Electric Vehicles. Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology POSTnote no.365.

Personal change, self-reflection, wellbeing

  • Robison, R., Foulds, C., Lertzman, R. (Ed.s), (in press). Behaviour Change from the Inside Out: applications of psychosocial ideas to sustainability. GSI, ARU: Cambridge, UK
  • Robison, R., (in press). On “sustaining an attitude of uncertainty” in research: an experiment in self-interviewing. In Robison, R., Foulds, C., Lertzman, R. (Ed.s) Behaviour Change from the Inside Out: applications of psychosocial ideas to sustainability. GSI, ARU: Cambridge, UK
  • Morley, J., & Robison, R., 2016. A nation of addicts? Exploring disciplinary perspectives on digital dependence. In Macrorie, R. & Wade, F (Ed.s) Daily life, digital technologies and energy demand, Sheffield, London.
  • Robison, R.A.V., 2015. Why can't they see sense? Supporting change in others. In Robison, R. (Ed.) Sustainability: new questions, new answers. Global Sustainability Institute, ARU: Cambridge, UK.
  • Robison, R.A.V. (Ed.), 2015. Sustainability: new questions, new answers. Global Sustainability Institute, ARU: Cambridge, UK.
  • *Fleck, R., Cox, A.L. and Robison, R.A.V., 2015. Balancing Boundaries: Using Multiple Devices to Manage Work-Life Balance. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp.3985-3988. ACM.
  • *Jones, A.W., Qian, Y. and Robison, R.A.V., 2014. Exploring individual lifetime wellbeing: an optimal year of birth. Journal of Sociology Study, 4(9), p.802.
  • Mariyadas, M. and Robison, R., 2014. Reflecting on Reflexivity: Factors surrounding email stress and control at work. Global Sustainability Institute Briefing Note 4.
  • Robison, R.A.V., 2013. Allow yourself some time to reflect. So What? magazine article on self-reflection.

Science communication, scientific process

  • Robison, R., 2017. Physics Imagination Retreat. Pennsylvania: Imagination Institute, University of Pennsylvania.
  • *Robison, R. and Shuckburgh, E., 2013. Communicating Climate Science, Weather, 68(4), p.87.
  • Robison, R.A.V., 2012. What would make you read this article? So What? magazine article on climate science in the media.
  • Findlay Brooks, R. and Robison, R.A.V., 2012. Who do you think you are? So What? magazine article on identity and consumption.
  • Robison, R.A.V. and Findlay Brooks, R., 2010. West Africa: the Climate of Change. University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, November 2010.
  • Wade, L. and Robison, R.A.V., 2012. The Psychology of Trust and its Relation to Sustainability. Global Sustainability Institute Briefing Note 2.
  • Shuckburgh, E. F., Robison, R.A.V., and Pidgeon, N., 2012. Climate Science, the Public and the News Media. Living With Environmental Change, September 2012.

Applied mathematics: fuel efficient aero-engines, Antarctic ice retreat

  • *Robison, R.A.V. and Peake, N., 2014. Noise generation by turbulence–propeller interaction in asymmetric flow. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 758, pp.121-149.
  • Robison, R.A.V., 2011. Turbulence Ingestion Noise of Open Rotors. PhD thesis.
  • *Robison, R.A.V. and Peake, N., 2010. Propeller Unsteady Distortion Noise, 16th AIAA/CEAS aeroacoustics conference, Stockholm.
  • *Robison, R.A.V., Huppert, H.E. and Worster, M.G., 2009. Dynamics of viscous grounding lines. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 648, pp.363-380.

Recent presentations and conferences

  • Robison, R. and Foulds, C., 2017. Perspectives on the social, political and cultural dynamics of energy: Developing a collective agenda for the social sciences and humanities, Paper presentations at the RGS-IBG conference on Decolonising geographical knowledges: opening geography out to the world. 30 August 2017, London, UK.
  • Robison, R. and Foulds, C., 2017. Creating an interdisciplinary energy lexicon: Working with terminology differences in support of better energy policy, Paper presentation at the eceee 2017 Summer Study on Consumption, Efficiency & Limits. 1 June 2017, Presqu'ile de Giens, France.
  • Robison, R., Mourik, R. and Ortar, N., 2017. Shaping energy policy: the good, the bad and the ugly of interdisciplinary energy research. Solutions workshop at the eceee 2017 Summer Study on Consumption, Efficiency & Limits. 30 May 2017, Presqu'ile de Giens, France.
  • Robison, R., 2017. Impact in real research projects. Residential course for Reseach Funding Observatory beginners. 31 March 2017, Cambridge, UK.
  • Foulds, C. and Robison, R., 2017. SHAPE ENERGY scoping workshop: Energy research, social sciences & the humanities: current landscapes and future directions for Europe. 24 February 2017, Cambridge, UK.
  • Robison, R. and Kirk, D., 2017. Digital lives: new ways of working and living interdisciplinary workshop on future research directions. 10 January 2017, Cambridge, UK.
  • Furnham, V., Robison, R., Natalini, D., Vennegoor, M. and Sciabarra, A., 2016. Can scientific research or art really change anything? Panel discussion for Arts Council funded project. 4 August 2016, ONCA gallery, Brighton, UK.
  • Robison, R. and Foulds, C., 2016. Constructing policy feedback on energy feedback: when is feedback 'working'?, Paper presentation at the TEDDINET Energy Feedback Symposium, University of Edinburgh. 4-5 July 2016, Edinburgh, UK.
  • Robison, R. and Kirk, D., 2016. Beyond Balance. Culmination conference of the Balance Network project. 27 June 2016, London, UK.
  • Robison, R., 2016. Balancing Act: academic working in the digital age. British Antarctic Survey Women in Science seminar. 14 June 2016, Cambridge, UK.
  • Robison, R., 2016. The interdisciplinary researcher: belonging everywhere and nowhere. Keynote at Arts + Science: Belonging Symposium. 21 March 2016, Cambridge, UK.
  • Robison, R., Royston, S., Mitchell, T. and Hughes T., 2015. Sustainable Societies: unusual questions, extraordinary answers. ESRC Festival of Social Sciences event. 12 November 2015, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK.
  • Foulds, C., Robison, R. and Macrorie, R., 2015. Energy monitoring as a practice: Investigating use of the iMeasure online energy feedback tool. Faculty of Science and Technology Annual Research Conference. 7 July 2015, Chelmsford, UK.    
  • Foulds, C., Robison R. and Macrorie, R., 2015. Energy monitoring as a practice: Investigating use of the iMeasure online energy feedback tool. Presentation at the Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference 2015: Contested Natures – new strategies, ideas and dialogues? 9-11 June 2015, Trondheim, Norway.
  • Robison, R., 2015. It All Adds Up: Celebrating Women across the Mathematical Sciences. Combining Career and Family, panel discussion, University of Oxford, 17 April 2015.
  • Robison, R., 2014. Could feeling less anxious about climate change help us do more? Norah Boyce lecture series. 21 January 2014, University of the Third Age (U3A), Cambridge, UK.
  • Robison, R., 2013. Uncomfortable conversations... why discussing the big issues is so hard. Cambridge Festival of Ideas. 23 October 2013, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK.
  • Robison, R., 2013. Personal monitoring of household energy use: who chooses to do it and what impact does it have? 10th Biennial Environmental Psychology conference. 23 September 2013, Magdeburg, Germany.