I am interested in how individuals, groups and collectives perceive the challenges of global environmental change, how they engage and respond to them.  As an environmental social scientist, I examine the relationships between individual perceptions and understandings of environmental issues - specifically climate change, its causes and consequences over different timescales - and behaviours.  An important component to my work is the appreciation and interaction with the societal context in which individuals operate; hence my focus also on adaptation and resilience, communication, environmental policy and decision-making, sustainable development.  I pursue these strands drawing from a variety of social science disciplines including psychology, sociology, political sciences, science and technology studies.

My recent work has involved the exploration of individual and institutional engagement with climate change both in terms of mitigation and adaptation; the role of social capital in adaptation; public attitudes towards current energy use and future energy options; the construction of climate and energy discourses; the evolution of climate change policy; conceptualisations of time and the future. I have published extensively in peer-reviewed journals, including Nature Climate Change, have co-edited “Adaptation to Climate Change” (with Neil Adger and Karen O’Brien, 2009, CUP) and “Engaging the public with climate change: communication and behaviour change” (with Lorraine Whitmarsh and Saffron O’Neill, 2010, Earthscan). I serve on the editorial board of the academic journal Wiley Interdisciplinary Review (WIREs): Climate Change; I am member of the Science, Society and Sustainability (3S) Research Group and of the Tyndall Centre


Career History

  • 2013 -date University of East Anglia, Senior Lecturer
  • 2006-2013 University of East Anglia, Lecturer
  • 2003-2006 Univesity of East Anglia, Senior Research Associate
  • 1999-2003 University of East Anglia, PhD
  • 1997-1999 University of East Anglia, Research Associate
  • 1995-1996 Lancaster University, Masters European Environmental Policy
  • 1992-1995 University of East Anglia, BSc (Hons) Environmental Sciences

PhD Positions

Click here for current PhD opportunities in the School of Environmental Sciences.  However, feel free to email me to discuss projects outside these areas and alternative sources of funding.

Key Research Interests

Individual, social and institutional understandings of, and responses to energy issues, and climate change; participation in decision-making and engagement; sustainability; environmental policy and politics.

Significant Publications

  • Benson, D., Lorenzoni, I. and Cook, H. (2015) ‘Evaluating social learning in UK flood risk management: an ‘individual-community interaction’ perspective’. Environmental Science & Policy. DOI:10.1016/j.envsci.2015.05.013
  • Capstick, S., Lorenzoni, I., Corner, A. & Whitmarsh, L. (2015) 'Prospects for radical emissions reduction through behaviour and lifestyle change.' Carbon Management, 5 (4): 429-445
  • Landström, C., Hauxwell-Baldwin, R., Lorenzoni, I. Rogers-Hayden, T. (2015) Experts' views on the (mis)understanding of scientific uncertainty by policy makers, media and the public. Science as Culture.
  • Chilvers, J., Lorenzoni, I., Terry, G., Buckley, P., Pinnegar, J.K. & Gelcich, S. (2014) 'Public engagement with marine climate change issues: (Re)framings, understandings and responses’, Global Environmental Change 29: 165-179. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.09.006

  • Lorenzoni, I. and Benson, D. (2014) Radical institutional change in environmental governance: explaining the origins of the UK Climate Change Act 2008 through discursive and policy streams perspectives. Global Environmental Change. 29: 10-21. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.07.011

  • Benson, D. and Lorenzoni, I. (2014) Examining the scope for national lesson drawing on climate governance. Political Quarterly, 85: 202–211. doi: 10.1111/1467-923X.12080

  • Whitmarsh, L., O'Neill, S. and Lorenzoni, I. (2013). Public engagement with climate change: What do we know and where do we go from here? International Journal of Media and Cultural Studies 9, 7-25.
  • Adger, N., Quinn, T., Lorenzoni, I., Murphy, C. and Sweeney, J. (2013) Changing social contracts in climate change adaptation. Nature Climate Change 3: 330-333. Doi:10.1038/nclimate1751
  • Turnpenny, J., Jones, M. and Lorenzoni, I. (2011) Where Now for Post-Normal Science? A Critical Review of its Development, Definitions, and Uses. ST&HV, 36(3) [May 2011] pp. 287-306.
  • Rogers-Hayden, T., Hatton, F., Lorenzoni, I. (2011) Energy Security' and 'Climate Change': Constructing UK Energy Discursive Realities, Global Environmental Change21(1): 134-142.
  • Wolf, J., Adger, W.N., Lorenzoni, I., Abrahamson, V. and Raine, R. (2010) Social capital, individual responses to heat waves and climate change adaptation: an empirical study of two UK cities, Global Environmental Change20: 44-52.
  • Lorenzoni, I. and Hulme, M. (2009) Believing is seeing: laypeople's views of future socio-economic and climate change in England and in Italy, Public Understanding of Science18: 383-400. doi: 10.1177/0963662508089540
  • Adger, W.N., Dessai, S., Goulden, M., Hulme, M., Lorenzoni, I., Nelson, D., Naess, L-O., Wolf, J. and Wreford, A. (2009) Are there social limits to adaptation to climate change? Climatic Change 93: 335–354;DOI 10.1007/s10584-008-9520-z
  • Bickerstaff, K., Lorenzoni, I., Pidgeon, N.F., Poortinga, W., Simmons, P. (2008) Reframing nuclear power in the UK energy debate: Nuclear power, climate change mitigation and radioactive waste. Public Understanding of Science 17: 145-168. DOI: 10.1177/0963662506066719

Publications: EPrints Digital Repository

Teaching Interests

I currently convene:

ENV 4006B Sustainability, Society and Biodiversity

I co-convene:

ENV 5002B Environmental Politics and Policy Making

I also teach on:

ENV 5003A Climate Change: Science and Policy

ENV 5033B Energy and People

ENV 7038B Science, Society and Sustainability

ENV 7025A Sustainable Consumption

ENV MB3Y Research Skills


I also supervise masters and MSci students undertaking their dissertations, and PhD research students (currently Adam Kennerley, Maud Borie, Jordan Harold, Clare Shelton, Jonas Schoenefeld,  Brendan Moore)

Professional Activities

  • Member of Editorial Board of the academic journal Wiley Interdisciplinary Review (WIREs): Climate Change 2008 to date

Key Responsibilities


  • BSc/MSci Environmental Geography and Climate Change Course Director, School of Environmental Sciences
  • Equality and Diversity Committee, School of Environmental Sciences
  • Promotions Committee, School of Environmental Sciences
  • Disability Liaison Officer, School of Environmental Sciences
  • Year Abroad Placement Directory deputy, School of Environmental Sciences
  • Academic Adviser, School of Environmental Sciences