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Dr Katherine Irvine

Senior Research Fellow

Queens Building 1.05

tel +44 (0)116 207 8711
Fax +44 (0)116 257 7977

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.

Selected Publications
Dallimer M, Irvine KN and et al, Biodiversity and the feel-good factor: understanding associations between self-reported human well-being and species richness, BioScience, Vol 62, Issue 1, (2012), ISSN: 0006-3568
Wallace A, Irvine KN, Wright AJ and Fleming PD, Public attitudes to personal carbon allowances: findings from a mixed-method study, Climate Policy, Vol 10, Iss 4, pp 385-409, (2010), ISSN: 1469-3062
Wallace A, Fleming P, Wright AJ and Irvine KN, Home energy efficiency grants and advice: Findings from the English midlands, Local Environment, Vol 15, Iss 5, pp 403-417, (2010), ISSN: 1354-9839
Irvine KN, Devine-Wright P, Payne S, Fuller RA, Painter B and Gaston KJ, Green space, soundscape and urban sustainability: an interdisciplinary, empirical study, Local Environment, Vol 14, Iss 3, pp 155-172, (2009), ISSN 1354-9839
Davies ZG, Fuller RA, Loram A, Irvine KN, Sims V and Gaston KJ, A national scale inventory of resource provision for biodiversity within domestic gardens, Biological Conservation, Vol 142, Iss 4, pp 761-771, (2009), DOI: 10.1016
Fuller RA and Irvine KN, Interactions between people and nature in urban environments, in KJ Gaston (Ed), Urban Ecology, British Ecological Society and Cambridge University Press, pp 134-171, (2009), ISBN-13: 97805217609
Irvine KN, Fuller RA, Devine-Wright P, Payne S, Tratalos J, Warren PH, Lomas KJ, Gaston KJ, Ecological and psychological value of urban green space, in M Jenks and C Jones (Eds) Dimensions of the sustainable city, Springer Science, Netherlands, (2009), ISBN 978-1-4020-8646, (in press)
Warber SL and Irvine KN, Nature and spirit, Measuring the Immeasurable, Sounds True, Inc, Boulder, Colorado, pp 135-155, (2008), ISBN: 9781591796541
Bernardini C and Irvine KN, The ‘nature ’ of urban sustainability: private or public greenspaces?, in A Kungolas, CA Brebbia and E Beriatos (eds), Sustainable Development and Planning III, WIT Press, Vol 2, pp 661-674, (2007), ISSN: 978-1-84564-10, Available from
Fuller RA, Irvine KN, Devine-Wright P, Warren PH and Gaston KJ, Psychological benefits of greenspace increase with biodiversity, Biology Letters (Recommended by Faculty 1000 review immediately post-publication), Vol 3, No 4, pp 390-394, (2007), DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.20, Available from
Irvine KN and Warber SL, Greening healthcare: Practicing as if the natural environment really mattered, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, Vol 8, Iss 5, pp 76-83, (2002), ISSN: 1078-6791
Irvine KN and Kaplan S, Coping with change: the small experiment as a strategic approach to environmental sustainability, Environmental Management, Vol 28, Iss 6, pp 713-725, (2001), ISSN 0364-152X, Available from
Irvine KN, Saunders C and Scott-Foster J, Using evaluation to design exhibits for behavior change, Visitor Studies: theory, Research, and Practice, Vol 8, Iss 2, pp 47-56, (2000), ISSN: 1064-5578

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