• KY16 9AL

    United Kingdom

Accepting Postgraduate Research Students

Personal profile


I gained my first degree, an MA(Hons) in Environmental Geography in 2003 at the University of Aberdeen, immediately followed by an MSc in Sustainable Rural Development (2004). From then until 2006, I worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Aberdeen and the James Hutton Institute (formally the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute) on interdisciplinary EU-funded projects. Having gained experience working as a researcher, I decided academia was for me, and completed an ESRC-Scottish Government funded collaborative PhD studentship in Human Geography entitled ‘Environmental behaviour change: a role for household diaries?’ (2010, University of Aberdeen).

I joined the University of St Andrews in 2010, initially as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Centre for Housing Research, before becoming a Lecturer in Sustainable Development and Geography in 2011, and Senior Lecturer in 2019.

I also hold the following roles:

Research overview

My research surrounds home and its relations with sustainability and wellbeing/health, often in relation to ‘smart’ technologies. I am primarily interested in the experience of home but also how homes are imagined by a diverse range of people, and what this means for the future of home.

Between 2013-2018 I held an ESRC Future Research Leader’s Award ‘Smarter Homes’ when I investigated low carbon living in homes across the UK and Netherlands. The experience of smart technologies has been a key interest of mine and has evolved to also explore technology-enabled care at home, for instance via a RSE Sabbatical Research Fellowship ‘Homes that Care?’ (2019-2021) and Carnegie Trust Research Incentive Grant (2019-2021).

As deputy PI of ISPA: Intersectional Stigma and Place-Based Ageing, funded through the ESRC’s Healthy Ageing Programme (2022-2027), I am working with collaborators to extend my interests around the experience of technologies and home adaptations. With PI Vikki McCall, our Co-I’s and 15 non-academic partners such as Public Health Scotland, the Digital Health and Care Innovation Centre, Care & Repair England, we will be investigating the lived realities of adults with sensory and mobility impairments to understand how different types of stigma (related to age, disability and place) converge to produce added barriers to living inclusively. 

Teaching activity

I am module co-ordinator for:

  • SD1000 ‘What is Sustainable Development’
  • SD3111 ‘Home and Energy Geographies’
  • Vertically Integrated Project (VIP) ‘Environmental Ethics at Work’

I contribute to a range of other modules such as SS5101 ‘Being a Social Scientist’, GD5801 ‘Interrogating Sustainable Development’, SD3000 ‘Contesting Sustainability’, SD2001 ‘Sustainable Development: Frameworks for Implementation’ as well as dissertation supervision.

Academic/Professional Qualification

MA (Hons) Environmental Geography, University of Aberdeen 2003

MSc Sustainable Rural Development, University of Aberdeen 2004

PhD in Human Geography 'Environmental Behaviour Change: A Role for Household Diaries?', University of Aberdeen 2010

Projects from former institutions

Behaviour for Well-being, Environment & Life (BeWEL), 2009-2010.

PDRF on ESRC/MRC/BBSRC funded project (ESRC-led Understanding Individual Behaviour Exploratory Network (UIBEN)), undertaken at Geography & Environment, University of Aberdeen.


The focus of BeWEL was on exploring hitherto under-researched potential links between tendency to undertake pro-environment behaviours and:

 the ways in which people interact with nature 

how exposure to forms of sensory contact with nature (such as visual images and sounds from nature) affects brain function, other physiological responses and feelings of personal well-being

age related changes in brain function and how emotional responses operate.


  (PI: C. Hunter, with CI's: J. Anable, T. Craig, P. Edwards, A. Fischer, A. Murray, L. Phillips, C. Prell, S. Redpath, M. Reed, L. Steg, P. Stollery, S. Thirgood, M. van Vugt, and R. van der Wal). £200K,

Projects from former institutions

Sound Reflections: Understanding the Aural Environment Around Us, 2010

PI on ESRC funded Festival of Social Science award

(With C. Hunter and P. Stollery), £1.2K.

Projects from former institutions

SENSOR: Tools for Environmental, Social and Economic Effects of Multifunctional Land Use in European Regions, 2004-2009.

PGRF (from 2004-2006) on European Commission Funded Project, part of the FP6 programme.

The four year project, brought together teams of researchers from 36 institutes in 15 European countries, as well as China, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. The aim was to develop ‘Sustainability Impact Assessment Tools’ (‘SIAT’) that support ex ante assessment of new policies on six land use sectors: agriculture, forestry, nature conservation, transport infrastructure, energy and tourism. By integrating cross-sector knowledge at a European level, the project provided decision makers with scientifically sound information on regional impacts of land uses changes and policy effects on sustainable development.

(PI Helming, K)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

External positions

Hanover Housing Association (Board Member)

1 Sept 2019 → …


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