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Earth and Environmental Sciences

Dr Jo Hamilton

Dr Jo Hamilton

Lecturer and Postdoctoral Research Impact Fellow

 Amory c423


Amory Building, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4RJ , UK


My research focuses on climate change engagement and energy transitions, the role of civil society organisations in energy transitions, and psycho-social and emotional dimensions of energy and climate justice. 

I combine lecturing with postdoctoral positions, currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Impact Fellow with the ACCESS (Advancing Capacity for Climate and Environmental Science) project.  My recent research has focused on justice and engagement aspects of industrial decarbonisation through the Net Zero Sense of Place and Delivering a place-based just transition in industrial clusters projects. 

Broad research specialisms: 

  • Public engagement with climate change and energy transitions
  • Community-scale approaches to sustainability and energy
  • Emotional and psycho-social aspects of climate and energy justice
  • Qualitative research methods


PhD Human Geography Title: Emotional Methodologies for Climate Change Action: towards an understanding of emotion in CSO (Civil Society Organisation)- public engagements.
MSc Architecture: Advanced Energy and Environment Studies.
BA Hons: English literature and social anthropology. 

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Research interests

My research interests encompass engagement with energy and climate change, and the emotional and psycho-social aspects of climate and energy justice.

Engagement with energy and climate change research has included:

  • the roles of community-led energy and climate change projects in local energy governance  
  • the role of engagement with host communities in plans for industrial decarbonisation as part of the Net Zero Sense of Place projec
  • evaluating energy engagement tools as part of the EnergyRev project [User Influence Tools ( ]
  • developing local scenario narratives of transitions to net zero and energy justice, as part of the NetZero Communities project, which  contributed to the National Grid’s Net zero community guide .
  • action research to co-produce and trial participatory monitoring and evaluation tools for community energy and climate change groups in the UK.

Research on the emotional and psycho-social aspects of climate and energy justice has included PhD research on the emotional dimensions of climate change, mapping a range of approaches which  enable acknowledgement and processing of emotions associated with climate change and how participating in these approaches contributes to emotional reflexivity, which in turn can contribute to sustaining an active engagement with climate change mitigation. 

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Journal articles

Hamilton J (2022). “Alchemizing Sorrow into Deep Determination”: Emotional Reflexivity and Climate Change Engagement. Frontiers in Climate, 4 Abstract.
Hamilton J, Hogan B, Lucas K, Mayne R (2019). Conversations about conservation? Using social network analysis to understand energy practices. Energy Research and Social Science, 49, 180-191. Abstract.
Boait P, Snape JR, Morris R, Hamilton J, Darby S (2019). The practice and potential of renewable energy localisation: Results from a UK field trial. Sustainability (Switzerland), 11(1). Abstract.
Lucas K, Hamilton J, Mayne R (2017). Building capacity through action research: reflections on working with low-carbon communities in the UK. Local Environment, 22(6), 725-745. Abstract.
Boait PJ, Snape JR, Darby SJ, Hamilton J, Morris RJR (2017). Making legacy thermal storage heating fit for the smart grid. Energy and Buildings, 138, 630-640. Abstract.
Hobson K, Mayne R, Hamilton J (2016). Monitoring and evaluating eco-localisation: Lessons from UK low carbon community groups. Environment and Planning A, 48(7), 1393-1410. Abstract.
Hobson K, Hamilton J, Mayne R (2016). Monitoring and evaluation in UK low-carbon community groups: benefits, barriers and the politics of the local. Local Environment, 21(1), 124-136. Abstract.
Berry S, Sharp A, Hamilton J, Killip G (2014). Inspiring low-energy retrofits: the influence of open home events. Building Research and Information, 42(4), 422-433. Abstract.
Hamilton J, Mayne R, Parag Y, Bergman N (2014). Scaling up local carbon action: the role of partnerships, networks and policy. Carbon Management, 5(4), 463-476. Abstract.
Parag Y, Hamilton J, White V, Hogan B (2013). Network approach for local and community governance of energy: the case of Oxfordshire. Energy Policy, 62, 1064-1077. Abstract.


Hamilton J (2024). Turning Towards the Tears of the World: Practices and Processes of Grief and Never-endings. In  (Ed) Being a Therapist in a Time of Climate Breakdown, 247-256. Abstract.
Hamilton J (2012). Keeping up with the Joneses in the Great British Refurb: the impacts and limits of social learning in eco-renovation. In  (Ed) Engaging the Public with Climate Change: Behaviour Change and Communication, 160-179.

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GEO1309: Study Skills for Human Geographers

GEO1310: Geographies of Environment and Sustainability

GEO2465: Doing Human Geography Research

GEO2322C: Nature, Environment and Sustainability Field Course

GEO3311: BA Dissertation



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Office Hours:

Term 3: Tuesdays 1-2pm, Thursdays 1-2pm.

Please book in advance:  Book time with Hamilton, Jo: Office hours

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