Dr Rosie Robison

Senior Research Fellow

Global Sustainability Institute

Faculty:Faculty of Science & Technology

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Consumption and change

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Rosie is interested in sustainable consumption (energy, food, travel, consumer goods), personal journeys of change, and the facilitation of these. She is an interdisciplinary researcher, drawing on approaches from psychology, sociology, psychosocial studies, and applied mathematics. She has led the Consumption & Change theme at the GSI since 2011.

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Rosie is currently Principal Investigator of the EPSRC-funded Balance Network, supporting a network of academics around the themes of work-life balance in the digital age. She was also co-investigator on the EPSRC-funded Digital Epiphanies project, exploring the use of digital tools to increase reflection and help support self-directed changes in behaviour. She currently co-leads (with Chris Foulds) a research project analysing monitoring data from iMeasure – a web-based tool which allows householders to track their long-term energy use. The Consumption & Change theme generally run one workshop each year on a different topic, linked to the production of an edited collection (see Publications).

Before joining Anglia Ruskin, Rosie undertook a fellowship at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology where she focused on sustainable travel, and in particular electric vehicles. Her briefing note was sent to members of both houses of parliament.

Rosie carried out her PhD research at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP) at the University of Cambridge, where she specialised in fluid dynamics. Her PhD was on the noise generated by the fuel-efficient Open Rotor aircraft engine. While a PhD student, Rosie co-founded the Young Researchers in Mathematics conference, a large annual event for early career mathematicians. During her Masters she worked on an experimental study of the motion of ice shelves, at the Institute of Theoretical Geophysics, DAMTP.

Research interests

  • Consumer change – when and how does personal change take place? How is change enabled at the individual level? And how can we understand organisational/societal change?
  • Tools for change – how are new digital technologies changing the way we live? What can therapeutic-inspired interventions (e.g. group work, mindfulness) teach us about consuming more sustainably?
  • Interdisciplinary research – how can different disciplines work well together? How can tensions be recognised and navigated? How do we acknowledge the contributions each discipline makes?
  • Science/research communication – in what situations is better dissemination of existing knowledge needed, and how can this be done? What can researchers learn from other communities?


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Rosie contributes to our MSc Sustainability.


  • PhD Fluid Dynamics, University of Cambridge
  • MMAth, University of Cambridge
  • BA Mathematics, University of Cambridge
  • PGCert, Higher Education, Anglia Ruskin University

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

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For an up-to-date record of all past and current projects, please see the GSI’s Consumption & Change projects page

Selected recent publications

Robison, R., Foulds, C., Lertzman, R. (Ed), (in prep). Behaviour Change from the Inside Out: applications of psychosocial ideas to sustainability. GSI, ARU: Cambridge, UK

Buchanan, K., Robison, R., & 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.

Morley, J., & Robison, R. (2016). A nation of addicts? Exploring disciplinary perspectives on digital dependence. 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., 2015. Why can't they see sense? Supporting change in others. In 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.

Robison, R. A., & Peake, N., 2014. Noise generation by turbulence–propeller interaction in asymmetric flow. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 758, pp.121-149.

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.

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.

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. 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. and Shuckburgh, E., 2013. Communicating Climate Science, Weather, 68(4), p.87.

Robison, R.A.V., 2013. Allow yourself some time to reflect. So What? magazine article on self-reflection.

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.

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.

Robison, R.A.V., 2011. Turbulence Ingestion Noise of Open Rotors. PhD thesis.

Robison, R.A.V. and Findlay Brooks, R., 2010. West Africa: the Climate of Change. University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, November 2010.

Robison, R.A.V. and Nath, C., 2010. Electric Vehicles. Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology POSTnote no.365.

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

Balancing Act: academic working in the digital age. British Antarctic Survey Women in Science seminar, 14 June 2016.

The interdisciplinary researcher: belonging everywhere and nowhere. Arts + Science: Belonging Symposium, 21 March 2016.

Sustainable Societies: unusual questions, extraordinary answers. ESRC Festival of Social Sciences event, Anglia Ruskin University, 12 November 2015.

It All Adds Up: Celebrating Women across the Mathematical Sciences. Combining Career and Family, panel discussion, University of Oxford, 17 April 2015.

Could feeling less anxious about climate change help us do more? Norah Boyce lecture series, University of the Third Age (U3A), Cambridge, 21 January 2014.

Uncomfortable conversations... why discussing the big issues is so hard. Cambridge Festival of Ideas, Anglia Ruskin University, 23 October 2013.

Personal monitoring of household energy use: who chooses to do it and what impact does it have? 10th Biennial Environmental Psychology conference, Magdeburg, Germany, 23 September 2013.