Katherine is a Senior Research Fellow whose work addresses the human-behavioural component of sustainability. With a PhD in Conservation/Environmental Psychology (University of Michigan), her research centres on quantifying the less-tangible value of the natural environment for human health/wellbeing and on interventions to promote sustainable environmental behaviour.
Research in the United States has identified cognitive barriers to stewardship of the rural landscape (University of Michigan research grants), developed conservation behaviour education activities for a zoo setting (Edna Bailey Sussman Research Internship Grant), and assessed the impact of interaction with nearby nature on hospital nurses’ well-being at work (University of Michigan Integrative Medicine Fellowship).
Within the UK, projects have investigated psychological benefits of biodiversity (a first-ever collaboration between wildlife ecology and environmental psychology; EPSRC grant to CityForm consortium; ongoing collaboration), how to engage households in management of the urban carbon footprint (EPSRC grant to 4M consortium; current), the use of wireless technology to provide personalized feedback to promote sustainable energy use in an office setting (EPSRC Digital Economy feasibility grant; current), and the mental and psychological benefits of walking in nature-dominated spaces (De Montfort University competitive grant; current).
Consultancy work has included development of household questionnaires and energy data analysis for a UK-based large-scale energy saving trial (15,000 UK households) to investigate changes in energy consumption and understanding consumer interaction with different behavior change interventions (including smart meters, real time energy display units, enhanced household energy use information, and energy efficiency advice), and research/questionnaire design to investigate the natural environment’s contribution to the global wellbeing of youth at a science camp (with University of Michigan Medical School’s Student Biomedical Research Program; ongoing collaboration).
Katherine has additional professional experience as an environmental educator working in the United States, the Caribbean and Africa, where responsibilities included field-based teaching, curriculum and program design, training and development, and consultancy.