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Dr Nicola Spurling

Dr Nicola Spurling

Senior Research Associate


DEMAND - Dynamics of Energy, Mobility and Demand

My research focuses on how social practices change, and the part that individual lives, institutions, the professions and policy play in these processes. My current focus is on how planning practices make and shape demand for energy and mobility, extending theories of practice to better conceptualise the relationship between professional and ordinary practices. This work is taking me into debates on materiality, temporality and spatiality.

I have an undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Masters & PhD in Sociology, and my research interests continue to span the social sciences. Much of my research is characterised by innovative methodology, combining historical and contemporary work to study change across temporal and spatial scales.

I'm currently a Senior Research Associate in The DEMAND Research Centre at Lancaster University. Previously I worked in the Sustainable Practices Research Group at the University of Manchester. I studied Sociology at University of Salford (MRes) and University of Lancaster (PhD), and Anthropology at the University of Durham (BA Hons). I have also worked as an educational developer in the academic sector, a researcher in the public sector and business/information analyst in the private sector.

If you are interested in finding out more then visit


Interventions in practice: reframing policy approaches to consumer behaviour

Spurling, N., McMeekin, A., Shove, E., Southerton, D. & Welch, D. 2015 Sustainable Practices Research Group.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsOther report

Interventions in practices: sustainable mobility policies in England

Spurling, N. & McMeekin, A. 2015 Social practices, intervention and sustainability: beyond behaviour change. Strengers, Y. & Maller, C. (eds.). London: Routledge, (Routledge Studies in Sustainability)

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

Conceptualising connections: energy demand, infrastructures and social practices

Shove, E., Watson, M. & Spurling, N. 08/2015 In: European Journal of Social Theory. 18, 3, p. 274-287 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Differential experiences of time in academic work: how qualities of time are made in practice

Spurling, N. 2015 In: Time and Society.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Sustainable practices: social theory and climate change

Shove, E. & Spurling, N. 2013 London: Routledge. 224 p.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Sustainable practice

Shove, E. & Spurling, N. 2013 Sustainable practices: social theory and climate change. London: Routledge

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)


Research strategies: ‘capital’ and the goods of social science research

Spurling, N. 2012 Tribes and territories in the 21st century: rethinking the significance of disciplines in higher education. Trowler, P., Saunders, M. & Bamber, V. (eds.). London: Routledge

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

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