Latest Research News

New at Leuphana: Sustainability Scientist Prof. Dr. Paul Upham

04/18/2016 Since October 2015 Prof. Dr. Paul Upham is Professor of Human Behaviour and Sustainable Development at the Institute of Environmental and Sustainability Communication of Leuphana University of Lüneburg. The research interests of the British scientist center on social psychology and related governance of low-carbon energy transitions.

Since October 2015 Prof. Dr. Paul Upham is Professor of Human Behaviour and Sustainable Development at the Institute of Environmental and Sustainability Communication of Leuphana University of Lüneburg.

In his research projects Upham focuses on the public opinion on energy and climate change in the context of socio-technical transitions. “What I am interested in is how new, low carbon energy technologies and practices can be more quickly socially embedded. It is this aspect of sustainable development that I focus on and as a research problem it requires drawing on a wide range of fields.”

For this reason Upham works in a socio-technical transitions framework, which can accommodate insights from, for example, social psychology, institutional and organisational studies, social theory and governance.
“So while much of my work uses methods familiar to social psychology, my aim is to interpret this knowledge in the light of structural accounts of society, particularly the co-evolution of society and technology, and particularly in relation to energy and climate change,” Upham emphasizes.

“The main reason why I came to Leuphana is the institutional support for sustainability expressed in the Faculty of Sustainability and the inter- and transdisciplinary approach to research at Leuphana," Upham states. Currently Upham is completing a European project on public opinion of hydrogen fuel cells and a UK project on public opinion of energy storage technologies. “At Leuphana I plan to begin new and comparative work on the psychology and sociology of change agents for sustainability in defined geographic areas.”


Prof. Dr. Paul Upham studied Psychology and Environmental Management in England and holds a PhD in Sustainability Assessment. In 2011 and 2012, he conducted research as a Visiting Professor in Governance of Energy Systems and Climate Change at the Finnish Environment Institute in Helsinki. Until 2015 Prof. Dr. Paul Upham was University Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Integrated Energy Research and the Sustainability Research Institute of the University of Leeds.

For further information:

Homepage of Prof. Dr. Paul Upham

Author: Vivien Thais Valentiner (university communications). News about the University and around research, teaching and studies can be sent to news@leuphana.de.