Ewch i’r prif gynnwys
Emily Cox

Dr Emily Cox

Research Associate

Yr Ysgol Seicoleg

+44 29208 70838
Adeilad y Tŵr, Plas y Parc, Caerdydd, CF10 3AT


Research summary

I am a researcher in environmental  policy and social psychology. I am an expert on technologies to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, focusing on social science dimensions such as public perceptions, policy, and ethics. I am currently working on a Leverhulme Trust project on the public acceptability of negative emissions technologies, working to embed principles of public engagement and responsible innovation in technology development. I am also an expert on energy security, with a PhD in the security of low-carbon electricity systems from SPRU at the University of Sussex. I currently work for the UK Energy Research Centre, researching the social science dimensions of resilience in energy systems. I am interested in the psychology of disruptive events such as blackouts, and I work with energy system engineers to incorporate ideas of social resilience into low-carbon infrastructure development.















Research topics and related papers

Sustainability and  Society: The Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation (LC3M)

I am part of a 10-year project on public attitudes to  Carbon Dioxide Removal technologies, focusing on Enhanced Weathering for carbon  sequestration. We conducted a cross-national survey in three countries, a series of  one-to-one expert interviews, and a series of focus groups with members of the  public in the UK and the US, using deliberative methods to explore complex  attitudes and motivations. The results from this work have been published in leading journals including Nature Climate Change. We work alongside biochemical and geochemical scientists to foster a multidisciplinary understanding of Enhanced  Weathering techniques.

The Resilience of Future Energy Systems

We are interested in how resilient our energy systems are, particularly heat and electricity, and how this might change in the future under various climate change transition scenarios. My role in this project is to assess the social impacts of a lengthy, widespread interruption to energy supplies in the UK. I will be conducting workshops and interviews with experts and lay publics, exploring techniques for visioning future disruptions to energy supply, and assessing the potential for critical infrastructure failure in interdependent sectors. I will be working closely with electrical engineers at the University of Strathclyde, to understand energy system changes and their impact on society.

My other research topics have included:

  • The ethics  of climate mitigation and carbon dioxide removal
  • The energy  impacts of non-energy policies
  • Energy  security in low-carbon electricity systems
  • Risk in  socio-technical transitions
  • The  imperatives for nuclear power investment in the UK
  • The  conflict and security impacts of decarbonisation
  • The role  of the public in delivering the UK’s carbon targets


My current research project is funded by the Leverhulme  Trust for Climate Change Mitigation, and the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC).
My PhD was sponsored by a CASE award, jointly by EPSRC and  E.ON Technologies UK.

Research group

I work as part of the Understanding  Risk Research Group, which includes  researchers from various disciplines and methodological backgrounds. The group  has members from within Cardiff University and also works with institutions  such as Nottingham University, Sheffield University and the University of East  Anglia.


I am a part-time Lecturer in the School of Psychology, teaching Qualitative Research Methods and Social Psychology practical work. In my previous roles I taught Energy  and Climate Policy for 4 years at Master’s level and for 2 years at  Undergraduate level, and I worked for Teach First as a Key Stage 3 tutor. I also worked as a teacher trainer for PhD students and  environmental NGOs. I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA) in recognition of my teaching experience.



October 2017 – present day: Research Associate,  Understanding Risk Group, University of Cardiff

November 2016 – October 2017: events manager, Greenpeace UK

January 2015 – November 2016: Research Associate, School of  Global Studies and Department of Business, Management and Economics, University  of Sussex

January 2013 – September 2016: Associate Tutor, SPRU /  Sussex Energy Group, University of Sussex

October 2014 – February 2016: Research intern, Oxford  University Centre for the Environment

June 2014 – October 2014: Interim policy advisor, Royal  Academy of Engineering

February 2014 – June 2014: Researcher (secondment), E.ON  Technologies, Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station

March 2010 – September 2013: Area network co-ordinator,  Greenpeace UK


2012-2016: PhD in Energy Policy, “Assessing the energy  security of low-carbon electricity systems”. Supervised by Prof Jim Watson (UK  Energy Research Centre), Dr Florian Kern (Sussex Energy Group) and Matt  Copeland (E.ON Technologies UK).

2010-2012: MSc Climate Change and Policy (Distinction),  University of Sussex

Other experience & affiliations

Invited expert panel reviewer for the £20m BBSRC funding call

Editorial board at Frontiers in Climate

Member of the Energy Institute professional body

Advisory Board of Vesta project on Carbon Dioxide Removal in the Dominican Republic

Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Institution rep for the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research (Early Career Network) and member of the Tyndall Council

Policy Associate, Energy-SHIFTS programme, GSI Anglia Ruskin University

Expert advisor for the Royal Society, International Maritime Organisation, UNEP, Royal Academy of Engineering, and National Infrastructure Commission

Designing science communication tools and setting up innovative interdisciplinary collaboration

Member of the consultation team for the Rampion offshore wind farm, East Sussex

Volunteer energy advisor for the Centre for Sustainable Energy

Political lobbyist, campaigner and public speaker for environmental NGOs