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Dr Stuart Capstick

Dr Stuart Capstick

Research Fellow

School of Psychology

Tower Building, 70 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT


I am interested in how people understand and act on climate change. What determines our level of interest and concern about this topic? How can we involve people in creating a better, low-carbon society? How can the necessary sense of urgency about climate change be translated into meaningful and far-reaching emissions reduction?

I am a theme lead for the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations, a 5-year investment from the Economic and Social Research Council. I am also active within the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, and an author on the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change. I co-edit one of the topic domains for the journal WIREs Climate Change.


Undergraduate education

BSc Psychology, Plymouth University

Postgraduate education

Master in Research Methods, University of Bath
PhD in Psychology, Cardiff University


March 2015 – present: Research  Fellow, School of Psychology, Cardiff University

November 2011 – February 2015:  Research Associate, School of Psychology, Cardiff University

October 2008 – October 2011: PhD  student, School of Psychology, Cardiff University

June 2006 – February 2007:  Research assistant, School of Pharmacy, University of Otago, New Zealand.

















Research topics and wider interests

I mostly work within the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST Centre). I co-lead the Centre's 'trialling' theme together with Wouter Poortinga, which aims to develop ambitious yet practical approaches that can bring about emissions reduction and positive social change in real-world settings. For example, we are working with the climate action organisation Possible to develop projects with communities, and with the Welsh Government to co-design new policy.

I am interested in the role of research culture and universities in responding effectively to the climate emergency. Together with others in the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, I have proposed approaches for pursuing a low-carbon research culture. These have been picked up by others, including a 2015 Nature editorial. I am an active member of the Tyndall Centre, being a member of the Tyndall Council and co-leading the 'accelerating social transitions' theme with Claire Hoolohan and Charlie Wilson.

In 2019, I joined the research team for the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change, and continue to work as part of the working group considering public and political engagement with health and climate change.

I have an ongoing interest in cross-cultural understanding of climate change and environmentally-significant behaviours. I worked for a number of years with Nick Nash and Lorraine Whitmarsh within the CASPI project to examine the cultural, contextual and personal factors underpinning sustainable lifestyles and how 'spillover' may occur between different pro-environmental behaviours.

As part of the Climate Communication Project, I have previously worked with researchers from the natural and social sciences, and practitioners from climate change organisations, to promote better communication of climate change. Other research I have carried out, in which I maintain an active interest, includes the role of personal experience on climate change perceptions; public understanding of ocean acidification; use of artistic approaches to communicate climate change; applying social science techniques to exploring water use practices in Africa; and the ways in which people’s views on climate change have developed over time.

Media activities

I occasionally find my way into the media, for example a 2014 article  for The Guardian.