Home > Research > Researchers > Monika Buscher

Current Postgraduate Research Students

Monika Buscher supervises 2 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

Student research profiles

Show all »

View graph of relations

Professor Monika Buscher


Monika Buscher

Bowland North



Tel: +44 7890 847166

Research overview

Monika’s research explores the digital dimension of contemporary ‘mobile lives’. She combines qualitative, often ethnographic studies of everyday practices, social theory and design through mobile, experimental, ‘inventive’ engagement with industry and stakeholders. An analytical orientation to intersecting physical and virtual mobilities, blocked movements and immobilities of people, objects and information drives this work. Monika’s most recent research brings this perspective to the informationalization of large-scale multi-agency emergency response, which raises opportunities and challenges around social media-based public engagement, agile and ‘whole community’ approaches to disaster response, data sharing, data protection and privacy. 

PhD supervision

I am interested in working with PhD candidates in the areas of sociology, media studies, mobilities research, science and technology studies and have particular research interests in: Mobilities, mobile technology, mobile media Science, technology, responsible research and innovation Digital media and online cultures Design, art, creativity Disaster, crisis, security


Monika Büscher is Professor of Sociology, Director of Research for the Department of Sociology, and Director of the Centre for Mobilities Research at Lancaster University. She co-edits the book series Changing Mobilities.

Monika currently leads research on decarbonising transport, disaster mobilities and ethical, legal and social issues of IT innovation in a range of different projects.

Most recent publications 

Chen, L, Buscher, M & Hu, Y 2019, On Liquid Ground: Contesting facts and responsibilities on Weibo during the Shouguang Flood. in Z. Franco, J.J. González & J.H. Canós (eds), Proceedings of the 16th ISCRAM Conference . ISCRAM 2019, ISCRAM, pp. 288-297.

Büscher, M., Escalante, L.M, Alter, H., Easton, C., Kerasidou, X. (2018) isITethical? Responsible Research and Innovation for Disaster Risk Management. In Boersma, K. and Tomaszewski, B. (Eds.) Proceedings of the 17thISCRAM Conference, Rochester, NY, USA, May 2018, pp 254-267.

Rizza, C., Büscher M., and Watson, H. (Eds.) (2017) Special Issue on Working with Data: Ethical Legal and Social Considerations Surrounding the Use of Crisis Data and Information Sharing During a CrisisJournal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, (6 papers, 90-100 pages)Including introductory article Rizza, C., Büscher M., and Watson, H. Working with Data: Ethical Legal and Social Considerations Surrounding the Use of Crisis Data and Information Sharing During a Crisis. Journal of Contingencies & Crisis Management, 25(1):2-6.

Taylor, D.; Büscher, M.; Murray, L.; Speed, C. and Zamenopoulos, T. (2016) Rules of Thumb: An Experiment in Contextual TranspositionProceedings of the Design Research Society Conference 2016 50th Anniversary Conference, 27-30th June 2016, Brighton. 

Büscher M., Sheller, M. and Tyfield, D. (Eds.) (2016) Special Issue. Mobility Intersections: Social Research, Social Futures (12 papers, 90,000+ works). Including introductory article Büscher, M., Sheller, M., & Tyfield, D. (2016). Mobility intersections: social research, social futures. Mobilities, 11(4), 485–497.

Petersen, K., and Büscher, M. (2016). Mobile work in crisis. Applied Mobilities, 1(2), 176–192.

Collaborations with international groups


Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre

European Commission, Joint Research Centre, E.1 - Disaster Risk Management Unit 

Public Safety Communications Europe (PSCE)

Federation of European Firefighters (FEU)

Cosmobilities Network


Hawke Research Institute, University of South Australia

Digital Ethnography Research Centre, RMIT University, Melbourne

The Australian National University, School of Sociology


University of Salzburg, Sociology, Graduate School ‘On the Move’


Universidade de São Paulo, School of Sociology, School of Architecture


Centre for Mobilities and Urban Design (CMUS), Aalborg University

Roskilde University, https://ruc.dk/en/

The Alexandra Institute, Aarhus, Denmark https://alexandra.dk/uk


Airbus Defense and Space https://airbusdefenceandspace.com


Paderborn University, Germany, Faculty for Engineering http://www.cik.uni-paderborn.de/en/teaching/

Technical University Dortmund, Germany, Communication Networks Institute https://www.kn.e-technik.tu-dortmund.de/cms/de/Lehrstuhl/

Siegen University, Media Studies, Science and Technology Studies, DFG-Graduate School ‘Locating Media’, http://www.locatingmedia.uni-siegen.de

Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT, St Augustin, Bonn, Germany https://www.fit.fraunhofer.de/en.html

Nuertingen-Geislingen University, Sustainable Mobilities Programme, Geography https://www.hfwu.de/hochschule/anlaufstellen/fakultaeten/sustainable-mobilities-interessierte/

TÜV SÜD, one of the world's leading technical service organisations http://www.tuv-sud.com/home_com


KEMEA – think tank for the Greek Ministry of Public Order and Citizen http://www.kemea.gr/el/


United States International University,Information Communications Technology http://www.usiu.ac.ke/governance/administrative-units/ict  


Human Geography, University of Oslo http://www.sv.uio.no/iss/english/research/projects/sms/


Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Sociology http://www.socjologia.uj.edu.pl/en_GB

Krakow University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture http://arch.pk.edu.pl/en/


Transilvania University of Brasov http://www.unitbv.ro/en/Home.aspx

South Africa

University of Pretoria, Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment & Information Technology http://www.up.ac.za/faculty-of-engineering-built-environment-it


Uppsala University, Department of Economic History http://www.ekhist.uu.se/research

University of Halmstad, School of Health and Welfare https://www.hh.se/english/academics/healthcare.65442254.html


CloudSigma AG (www.cloudsigma.com) - developers of cloud computing services, Zurich (SME)

Lausanne University, Geography Department, http://igd.unil.ch/dpicard/en/presentation/

IRS (Institut de recherches sociologiques) University of Geneva https://www.unige.ch/sciences-societe/socio/fr/recherche/irs/index/


The international Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility http://t2m.org

Center for Mobilities Research and Policy, Drexel University http://drexel.edu/coas/academics/departments-centers/mobilities/

Colorado University, Boulder Grand Challenges Earth Lab http://www.colorado.edu/earthlab/


University of Zambia, Geography http://naturalsciences.unza.zm/index.php/2013-02-27-09-57-51/2013-03-20-10-31-17/brief-history


Academic collaboration ‘positions’: Books, ... editorial boards

Honorary Doctorate Roskilde University, Denmark


Member of journal editorial boards:


Applied Mobilitieshttp://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rapm20

Computer Supported Cooperative Workhttp://link.springer.com/journal/10606

Frontiers: Disaster Communicationshttp://journal.frontiersin.org/journal/communication/section/disaster-communications

Conference Chair

International Crisis Response and Management Conference (ISCRAM) – 22-25 May 2015, University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway (Programme Chair) http://iscram2015.uia.no

Mobile Utopia: Pasts, Presents, Futures - 2-5 November 2017, Lancaster University, UK (Conference and Programme Chair) http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/t2mc2c/

Member of international advisory board for:

Graduate School ‘On the Move’, University of Salzburg https://www.uni-salzburg.at/index.php?id=205305

Smart Mobility Suburbsproject, Human Geography, University of Oslo, Norway http://www.sv.uio.no/iss/english/research/projects/sms/

EMERGENT EU FP7 Project Emergency Management in the Social Media Generation http://www.fp7-emergent.eu

Smart Society http://www.smart-society-project.eu/

Examples of plenary or keynotes outside of UK

‘Right now you can’t get relational’: A Mobile Utopia of Radically Reflexive Resilience - Mobile Cultures of Disaster Conference, 22 March - 24 March 2017, City West Campus, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia http://www.unisa.edu.au/Calendar/HRI-Event---Mobile-Cultures-of-Disaster-Conference/

Infrastructuring for Mobile Utopia - Living Infrastructures: Beyond Global North and Global South, Volgograd State University, Russia, April 27-28 2017.

Infrastructuring Cosmopolitan Mobile Utopia - Seventh International Conference on The Constructed Environment, 25-26 May 2017, Faculty of Architecture, Cracow University of Technology, held at the International Cultural Centre, Krakow, Poland http://constructedenvironment.com/2017-conference/#block-3

Immaterial Immobilities and the Infrastructuring of Mobile Utopia – Material Mobilities C-MUS conference 2016 November 29th-30th 2016, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark

Further Information

Monika's theoretical orientation builds on phenomenology, pragmatism, ethnomethodology, workplace studies, science and technology studies, feminist theory, non-representational theory. Public sociology, participatory design, computer supported cooperative work, design studies and service design furnish epistemologies and methodologies for engagement with stakeholders.

The book series Changing Mobilities, which I edit together wih Peter Adey, invites contributions that address the empirical realities of changing mobilities and opportunities to inform design, policy and social change.

Please contact me at m.buscher@lancaster.ac.uk

Twitter @mbuscher

Selected Research projects

SecInCoRe (Secure Dynamic Cloud for Information, Communication and Resource Interoperability based on Pan-European Disaster Inventory)

The SecInCoRe project identifies data sets, processes, information systems and business models used by first responders and Police authorities to inform the development of a dynamic and secure cloud based ‘common information space’. The main goals of SecInCoRe are:

  • To develop a pan-European inventory of past critical events and disaster and their consequences focusing collaborative emergency operations and real-time decision making while taking ethics, law, social practices and privacy into account.
  • Understand ethical, legal and social issues and the regulatory environment, and the constraints and possibilities they imply for the use of pan European cloud based information management services.
  • Design of a secure, dynamic cloud based knowledge base and communication system concept including the ability to use emergency information by means of a trans-European communication infrastructure.

Bridge: Bridging resources and agencies in large-scale emergency management (2011-2015)

A collaborative design project funded by the EU Commission. We are co-designing a system to support interoperability (both technical and social) in large-scale emergency relief efforts with stakeholders. The system will be a bridge between multiple agencies: It will help to mediate the activities of the command and professional staff, which is where most of the strategic decision making must occur; it will also help to merge the systems and resources from different agencies into a cohesive whole and support collaboration with user generated 'crisis informatics'.

Citizens Transforming Society: Tools for Change (CaTalyST) (2011-2014)

This project will bring together a group of social scientists (sociology; anthropology), computer scientists (mobile computing; web2.0; distributed systems), management scientists (consumer behaviour) and designers (innovation) to develop next generation systems that empower citizens to create bottom-up innovative solutions to 'wicked' societal problems. It will promote cross-disciplinary working across Lancaster University (and beyond) between the School of Computing & Communications, Sociology, Lancaster University Management School, Lancaster Environment Centre, and Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts.

New Interaction Order (2010-2011)

This pilot project studies the 'new' interaction order from different empirical and analytical perspectives. Drawing on sociology, ethnomethodology, criminology, geography, and design, we are carrying out studies of 'behaviour in public places' in Manchester.

Design for Flexibility and Change within Health Service Providers (DFC)

This project explores how medical practitioners can mobilize local and expert domain knowledge and dovetail it with new design and managerial skills to implement the Practice Based Commissioning (PBC) framework to shape NHS service provision. Designing new health and care service models and facilities requires creative, managerial and/or design skills and this 18 month research project is part of the EPSRC funded innovation centred called HACIRIC (Health and Care Infrastructure Research and Innovation Centre).

Innovative media for a digital economy

In this research cluster, we investigate digital economy practices that are emerging around the capabilities of social, mobile and pervasive technologies. We explore how we can develop new services, new forms of exchange and interaction that benefit the whole of the UK economy.

PalCom, Palpable Computing: A new perspective on Ambient Computing, FP6 IST Future and Emerging Technologies, 2004-7.

As computing technologies become an ever more 'invisible' and powerful part of our mobile lives, it is crucial that people are supported in understanding what these technologies are doing and what they could do for them.

WorkSPACE, Distributed Work Support through Component Based SPAtial Computing Environments, FP5 IST Future and Emerging Technologies, 2000-3.

Mobile workers often generate dynamic configurations of spaces, information, and people - within the office, but also beyond. These practices pose great challenges to the computer as-we-know-it today and open up a range of opportunities for innovative design. Spatial computing environments respond to these challenges. They exploit technical possibilities to support the social and spatial organization of work.

Research Interests

My Guidance and Feedback Hours are Mondays 10:30-11:30 and Tuesdays 11:30-12:30. I'm also happy to consider offering bespoke meetings outside my Guidance and Feedback Hours. Please book an appointment using this link.

My research explores the digital dimension of contemporary ‘mobile lives’ with a particular focus on: 

  • everyday practices, especially distributed collaboration, collective intelligence, digital urbanism
  • relational, affirmative ethics, IT ethics, informational mobilities and informational self-determination
  • mobile, disclosive and 'inventive' methodologies
  • co-production of research, policy, socio-technical innovation

My work combines social research with design and innovation. It involves close engagement with diverse collaborators from industry and diverse stakeholder organisations. It is interdisciplinary, experimental, engaged ‘public sociology’ designed to explore and shape socio-technical futures.

Current Teaching

  • Disasters, why do things go wrong?
  • MA Mobilities, Society and Change
  • Media in a Global Age

PhD Supervisions Completed

Lixiong Chen - Between Participation and Paternalism:
A Study of Weibo-based Networked Crisis Communication in China between 2010 and 2019

Cosmin Popan - Utopias of slow cycling. Imagining a bicycle system

Satya Savitzky - ‘Icy Futures’: Carving the Northern Sea Route

Paula Bialski - Becoming Intimately Mobile

Paula's Thesis has been published: Becoming Intimately Mobile. Frankfurt: Peter Lang. Paula now works at Leuphania University

Jen Southern - Comobility: Distance and Proximity on the Move in Locative Art Practice

Jen now works at Lancaster University

Lucy Kimbell - An inventive practice perspective on designing

Lucy works as a an artist, service designer and scholar. http://www.lucykimbell.com 

External PhD Supervision

Ariane Fernandes da Conceição - April - October 2015
PhD Researcher Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Luzarraga, Arantzazu - 
6/01/14 → 4/04/14
Le Manikas, Maria - 2/09/13 → 30/11/13

Ståhl, Asa - 1/05/12 → 30/06/12
Lindström, Kristina - 1/05/12 → 30/06/12
Jesper Wolff Olsen (visiting PhD student): Palpable computing

Dr. Sergio Benicio (2009/10): Hypermobility

Dr Jamie O'Brien (2008/9) Honorary Research Fellow - now at EngD Centre in Virtual Environments, Imaging and Visualisation Computer Science Department University College London

  • Published

    Mobile methods

    Buscher, M. (ed.), Urry, J. (ed.) & Witchger, K. (ed.), 2010, London: Routledge. 206 p.

    Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

  • Published

    Collective intelligence in crises

    Buscher, M., Liegl, M. & Thomas, V., 2014, Social collective intelligence: combining the powers of humans and machines to build a smarter society. Miorandi, D., Maltese, V., Rovatsos, M., Nijholt, A. & Stewart, J. (eds.). Springer, p. 243-265 23 p. (Computational Social Sciences Series).

    Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter (peer-reviewed)

  • Published

    Privacy, security, liberty: ICT in crises

    Buscher, M., Liegl, M. & Perng, S-Y., 2014, In: International Journal of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management. 6, 4, p. 76-92 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Published

    Peripheral response: Microblogging during the 22/7/2011 Norway attacks

    Perng, S-Y., Buscher, M., Halvorsrud, R., Wood, L., Stiso, M., Ramirez, L. & Al-Akkad, A., 04/2012, Proceedings of the 9th International ISCRAM Conference – Vancouver, Canada, April 2012.. Rothkrantz, L., Ristvej, J. & Franco, Z. (eds.). Academic Publishers, 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter (peer-reviewed)

View all (105) »

View all (52) »