Biography

I am an environmental social scientist and have worked with colleagues from a wide variety of fields and disciplines. The main emphasis of my research is on social dimensions of risk and has covered issues including agricultural biotechnology, industrial hazards, radioactive waste management and natural hazards. Details of current and recent projects can be found under the Research tab. 


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.

 

All Publications

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Güiza, F., Simmons, P., Burgess, J., McCall, M.

(2016)

Chronic institutional failure and enhanced vulnerability to flash floods in Cuenca Alta del Río Lerma,

in Disasters

40

(1)

pp. 112-133

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Young, J., Searle, K., Butler, A., Simmons, P., Watt, A. D., Jordan, A.

(2016)

The role of trust in the resolution of conservation conflicts,

in Biological Conservation

195

pp. 196-202

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Bergmans, A., Kos, D., Simmons, P., Sundqvist, G.

(2015)

The participatory turn in radioactive waste management: Deliberation and the social-technical divide,

in Journal of Risk Research

18

(3)

pp. 347-363

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Moncaster, A., Simmons, P.

(2015)

Policies and outcomes for UK sustainable schools,

in Building Research and Information

43

(4)

pp. 452-464

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Young, J. C., Watt, A., Jordan, A., Simmons, P.

(2015)

Conservation conflicts in Natura 2000 protected areas,

in Conflicts in Conservation : Navigating Towards Solutions.

Cambridge University Press

ISBN 9781107603462

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Bergmans, A., Elam, M., Simmons, P., Sundqvist, G.

(2014)

Monitoring and the Risk Governance of Repository Development and Staged Closure: Exploratory Engagement Activity in Three European Countries.,

European Commission

(Other report)

(Published)


Hicks, A., Barclay, J., Simmons, P., Loughlin, S.

(2014)

An interdisciplinary approach to volcanic risk reduction under conditions of uncertainty: A case study of Tristan da Cunha,

in Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS)

14

pp. 1871-1887

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Stone, J., Barclay, J., Simmons, P., Cole, P. D., Loughlin, S. C., Ramón, P., Mothes, P.

(2014)

Risk reduction through community-based monitoring: the vigías of Tungurahua, Ecuador ,

in Journal of Applied Volcanology

3

article no. 11

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Kallenbach-Herbert, B., Brohmann, B., Simmons, P., Bergmans, A., Barthe, Y., Martell, M.

(2014)

Addressing the Long-Term Management of High-level and Long-lived Nuclear Wastes as a Socio-Technical Problem: Insights from InSOTEC,

European Commission

(Other report)

(Published)


Young, J., Jordan, A., Searle, K., Butler, A., Chapman, D., Simmons, P., Watt, A.

(2013)

Does stakeholder involvement really benefit biodiversity conservation?,

in Biological Conservation

158

pp. 359-370

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Young, J. C., Jordan, A., Searle, K. R., Butler, A., Simmons, P., Watt, A. D.

(2013)

Framing scale in participatory biodiversity management may contribute to more sustainable solutions: Scale framing in participatory biodiversity management,

in Conservation Letters

6

(5)

pp. 333-340

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Butler, C., Simmons, P.

(2013)

Nuclear power and climate change: just energy or conflicting justice claims?,

in Energy Justice in a Changing Climate : Social equity and low-carbon energy.

Zed Books

pp. 139-157

ISBN 9781780325767

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Bergmans, A., Elam, M., Simmons, P., Sundqvist, G.

(2012)

Monitoring the Safe Disposal of Radioactive Waste: a Combined Technical and Socio-Political Activity,

UEA Repository

(Working paper)

(Published)


Bergmans, A., Elam, M., Simmons, P., Sundqvist, G.

(2012)

Perspective on radioactive waste monitoring: confirmation, compliance, confidence building, and societal vigilance, Thematic Issue: Guaranteeing Transparency in Nuclear Waste Management - Monitoring as Social Innovation,

in Technikfolgenabschatzung - Theorie und Praxis/Technology Assessment - Theory and Practice

21

(3)

pp. 22-28

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Bergmans, A., Elam, M., Simmons, P., Sundqvist, G.

(2012)

A socio-technical perspective on repository monitoring - 12229,

UEA Repository

(Paper)

(Published)


Venables, D., Pidgeon, N., Parkhill, K., Henwood, K., Simmons, P.

(2012)

Living with nuclear power: Sense of place, proximity, and risk perceptions in local host communities,

in Journal of Environmental Psychology

32

(4)

pp. 371-383

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Bergmans, A., Simmons, P., Barthe, Y., Meyer, M., Sundqvist, G., Schroder, J., Martell, M., Kallenback-Herbert, B.

(2012)

International Socio-Technical Challenges for Geological Disposal (InSOTEC): Project aims and preliminary results – 12236,

UEA Repository

(Paper)

(Published)


Henwood, K., Pidgeon, N., Parkhill, K., Simmons, P.

(2011)

Researching Risk: Narrative, Biography, Subjectivity,

in Historial Social Research/Historische Sozialforschung

36

(4)

pp. 251-272

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Latawiec, A., Swindell, A., Simmons, P., Reid, B.

(2011)

Bringing bioavailability into contaminated land decision making: The way forward?,

in Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology

41

(1)

pp. 52-77

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Parkhill, K., Henwood, K., Pigeon, N., Simmons, P.

(2011)

Laughing it off? Humour, affect and emotion work in communities living with nuclear risk,

in The British Journal of Sociology

62

(2)

pp. 324-346

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


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Key Research Interests

My research interests include: the relationship between technical experts and 'lay' publics and stakeholders; multi- and inter-disciplinary research practice; public and stakeholder participation in science, technology and risk decision-making; public understandings of and responses to risk (associated with both technological and natural hazards); place and risk; social vulnerability and resilience to natural hazards; risk framing processes; science in society; participatory technology assessment; and institutional and organisational responses to risk.

The technological strand of my research has been focused on the nuclear energy sector, in particular on issues associated with radioactive waste management. I am currently co-organiser of an ESRC-funded Seminar Series, Nuclear Futures, which is examining the challenges of radioactive waste management from an interdisciplinary perspective. Recent work in this field has included two research projects funded by the European Commission's Framework 7 Programme. The first, MoDeRn, was an interdisciplinary project on monitoring of geological repositories. The second, InSOTEC, employed a socio-technical perspective to analyse the challenges to geological disposal. Related research has included: exploring the potential for whole-system equity analysis of nuclear power as part of the EPSRC/ESRC-funded Interdisciplinary Cluster on Energy Systems, Equity and Vulnerability (InCluESEV); a comparative study of stakeholder involvement and participation in the field of radioactive waste management (CARL), with research partners from Belgium, Finland, Slovenia and Sweden and international consortium funding; and a study of local experience of living with nuclear power stations, in collaboration with colleagues at Cardiff University and funded as part of the ESRC Priority Network in Social Context and Risk Response (SCARR). I have also been involved in related work for the Government's Committee on Radioactive Waste Management and for Defra.

The natural hazards strand of my research is currently focused on volcanic risk. I am co-investigator on a five-year NERC/ESRC-funded project on Strengthening Resilience in Volcanic Areas (STREVA), which is led by UEA and involves colleagues from the Schools of Environmental Sciences and International Development, together with partners from five other UK research institutions and international collaborators from the Caribbean, Colombia and Ecuador.

I welcome enquiries about potential projects related to any of the research areas listed, and including topics related both to technological risk and to natural hazards.

Publications: EPrints Digital Repository

 

Research Group Membership

PhD students

Charlotte Monteil

Gurpreet Padda

 

Teaching Interests

I currently teach on the following modules:

  • ENV-4001A Global Environmental Challenges
  • ENV-4006B Sustainability, Society and Biodiversity
  • ENV-5031B Social Research Skills
  • BIO-6018Y  Science Communication
  • ENV-7038B Science, Society and Sustainability
  • ENV-7119Y Research Skills

I also co-teach an annual ESRC-funded postgraduate research workshop on interdisciplinary environmental research.

Professional Activities

I am a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal for Risk Research, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and a member of the European Sociological Association and the Society for Social Studies of Science.

Key Responsibilities

  • Director of Postgraduate Research