Welcome to my website


I am Associate Professor in Geography at the University of Exeter, UK. My research explores the social science dimensions of climate variability and climate change, particularly in terms of climate change communication and public engagement. My work examines the diverse places in which people experience climate change in their everyday lives: from personal attachments to valued places, to interactions on social media. From 2012-2017, I held an ESRC Future Research Leader Fellowship titled ‘Visualising Climate Change’.

I convene an interdisciplinary second year module Climate Change: Science and Society. I supervise six inspiring PhD students based in a diversity of departments (Geography, Psychology, Computer Science). I have co-supervised a further three PhD students to completion. I welcome approaches from potential PhD students who wish to carry out research in an area aligned to my interests.

I was awarded the 2011 UK Scopus Young Researcher Award 2011 (Social Sciences) a prize given to the most highly-cited early-career researchers, based on citation data and jury assessment. My H index = 25 (as of October 2018).

I have had two year-long periods of maternity leave (2015-16 and 2017-18), returning to work part-time (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday). Please note these days when getting in touch.

I’m on twitter @SaffronJONeill.


Research video: ‘Visualising climate change’

I’m currently visiting the Center for Technology and Policy Research (CSTPR) at the University of Colorado-Boulder. As part of my visit, I took a seminar: ‘Place Attachment, Performance, and Climate Change Adaptation’ on Wednesday. The presentation drew on research done in collaboration with Dr Sonia Graham at the University of Melbourne, investigating how participant-created images (in this case, photos) can be used to engage and empower people to imagine climate adaptation futures. Click through to the CSTPR page for the seminar abstract.

I’m always interested in finding new ways to communicate my research, so I’ve been working with Tom Lowe at Polygraph Productions to help make my research more accessible. The research I presented in the CSTPR seminar is summarised in the short video below. Thanks to all the participants who were filmed – they used the photo-elicitation project to offer some great insights into living with flooding and sea-level rise.

Visualising Climate Change from Tom Lowe on Vimeo.