PSI researchers


Dr Peter Barbrook-Johnson

Pete joined PSI in June 2016 as a Research Associate. He is currently working on the ESRC/NRF/Newton Fund funded ISULabaNtu project concerning community-led upgrading of informal settlements in South Africa, the H2020 MIN-GUIDE project, concerning EU mineral policy, and the ESRC funded Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity across the Nexus. In addition to his research activities, Peter is part...

read on


Martha Bicket

Martha joined PSI in May 2012 and is a Senior Research Fellow in sustainability policy. Her current work includes the analysis of paradigms and public acceptability for the EU-funded FP7 project DYNAMIX, where she is exploring: how underlying societal paradigms and public acceptability affect resource-use policy effectiveness and feasibility; and the optimal design and sequencing of policies for...

read on


Dr Kevin Burchell

Kevin is an interpretive social scientist, with a focus on producing research that is of value across academic, policy and practitioner domains. His research interests are in: public engagement and public dialogue, community and participatory action research, domestic energy, climate adaptation and resilience, smart meters, behaviour and practice, domestic energy and knowledge, and critical...

read on


Dr Simon Dresner

Simon’s expertise is in the social and economic aspects of sustainability. His book The Principles of Sustainability was published by Earthscan in 2002 and an updated second edition was published in 2008. In the area of environmental taxation, he coordinated an EC research project on social responses to ecological tax reform policies (PETRAS), worked on a project about ways to remove regressivity...

read on


Ben Fagan-Watson

Ben Fagan-Watson is a Senior Research Fellow at the Policy Studies Institute (PSI). He has a range of research interests, including:

Evaluation: Ben is one of the core team running the new ESRC-funded £3m Centre for Evaluating Complexity Across the Nexus, which is exploring new methods to evaluate the effectiveness of UK environmental policy. From 2017-2021 he is leading the process evaluation...

read on


Dr Isis Nunez Ferrera

Isis is an architect and researcher specialising in urban planning, design and international development. Her experience includes 10 years of practice, research and fieldwork on urban design and regeneration schemes, diversity in the built environment, urban transport, slum upgrading and community-led development in Honduras, Brazil, India, Turkey, Kenya, Ecuador, Colombia and the UK. She has...

read on


Dr Ritsuko Ozaki

Ritsuko is a sociologist and has worked on the diffusion of environmental innovations with a particular focus on user adoption and consumption. She joined PSI in October 2016 and currently works on the project Urban Infrastructural Innovation and Sustainable Lifestyles, which is funded by the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) in Japan. This project explores different pathways to...

read on


Ben Shaw

Ben joined PSI in October 2006 and became Director in June 2015, having previously served as Acting Director since October 2013. He has nearly 20 years’ experience of working on environmental issues at the interface of research and policy. Since joining PSI, he has worked on research projects investigating eco-innovation, environmental tax reform, public responses to environmental policy, the...

read on


Professor Fred Steward

Fred joined PSI in October 2009. Prior to this, he led innovation research at the business schools of Brunel University and Aston University. Seconded to NESTA in 2008, he has advised government departments in the UK, Europe and China on innovation and sustainability. During 2009, he was seconded to Advantage West Midlands to develop a bid to the European Institute of Innovation & Technology for...

read on


Robin Vanner

Robin joined PSI in 2003 and has 12 years of experience as a researcher and consultant in the field of environmental policy. In this time he has developed a wide range of expertise in sustainability and economic assessment. He is currently responsible for developing a research programme in pro-environmental behavioural change from the perspective of paradigms of thinking. His expertise as an...

read on


Tom Watson

Tom joined PSI in 2012 and is currently working on the evaluation of the Heat Networks Investment Project, a £320 million capital investment programme run by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy which aims to boost heat network growth in the UK. He has a background in energy systems research and is also interested in cycling and creating liveable cities. He leads the...

read on