Rebecca is a Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Strathclyde, working between the Departments of Government and Public Policy, and Electronic and Electrical Engineering. She is a multidisciplinary scholar who strongly believes in the importance of research for impact, and in bridging the gap between different forms of knowledge and ways of understanding to advance solutions tackling climate change. She is interested in how people interact with energy systems, and how social science and technological insights can be co-developed to better inform policy.
Previously Rebecca was based in the University of Oxford's Environmental Change Institute (where she managed the Oxford Martin Programme on Integrating Renewable Energy), and before that she served as Deputy Director to the Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago, whose mission is “Sustainability Transitions Through Collaborative Research”.
In addition to her work at the University of Oxford, Rebecca is Science Advisor to See Change Institute. Founded by a close colleague following years of their collaborative work, the research institute, which is based in the USA, was formed around the idea that combining social science with innovative engineering and design can leverage the power of individuals and communities towards solving the world's most pressing social and environmental problems.
See Change Institute works with government, private, and nonprofit partners on program strategy, implementation, research, and evaluation related to energy efficiency, sustainability, social justice, and arts and media.
The Institute's guiding principles acknowledges that, while there is no clear recipe for social change, a methodological approach that leverages key insights from behavioural science combined with practical knowledge gained from on-the-ground experience is the best path to success.
Rebecca believes that the role of an academic goes beyond simply understanding the world, and alongside her work as a researcher is actively involved with encouraging and promoting dialogue between academics, industry, government, and the wider public.
In addition to her academic work, Rebecca serves as a Member on Ofgem’s Electricity Network Innovation Competition Expert Panel. She co-chaired the New Zealand 2050 Pathways Calculator steering committee, sat on the leadership council for the Garrison Institute's international Climate Mind and Behaviour Program, co-convened the Energy Cultures 2016 International Conference, and sits on the Behaviour Energy and Climate Change Conference Committee. She regularly gives talks at student, community, and business events, and has been frequently invited by the media to give interviews on her work.