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Nicola Spurling supervises 5 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Dr Nicola Spurling

Senior Lecturer

Nicola Spurling

Bowland North



Tel: +44 1524 510296

Office Hours:

Tuesdays 17.00-18.00

Thursdays 11.00-12.00

Research overview

I am an anthropologist/ sociologist. My work encounters and addresses questions about how futures of decarbonised mobility could and should be achieved, in a context in which there is escalating pressure on governments, stakeholders and publics to reverse global warming and accelerate global transition to zero carbon. It does so by i) taking a critical perspective on the assumptions that underpin practices of transport planning and policy-making ii)an inquisitiveness in the multiple, often mundane materials, which make and shape past, present, emergent and imagined forms of travel and transportation (e.g. painted lines, parked cars, rain, sun and snow, daylight and darkness, landscape and built environment); iii) bringing concepts and approaches from theories of practice and the new materialisms into debates on future mobility; iv)engaging with approaches concerned with emergence, intervention and experimentation (e.g. Interventions in Practices; Parking in Utopia).

Engagement with multiple stakeholders and publics is central to my work. I am one of a panel of five Commissioners on the national  Commission on Travel Demand. To date we have produced two influential reports: 'All Change' and 'Shared Mobility: where now, where next?'.

I am Co-I on Lancaster work package in the DecarboN8 network, with Prof. Monika Buscher in CeMoRe (Centre for Mobilities Research). This is a 3 year EPSRC-funded Network Plus (2019-2022) involving eight universities in Northern England, in which we are pioneering a place-based approach to rapid decarbonisation of the transport sector.

In 2016 I founded an international, cross-sector network Everyday Futures. I held a visiting Fellowship on 'Everyday Futures' at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Nov-Dec 2017.

PhD supervision

Climate change, decarbonisation, mobility futures, everyday mobility, everyday futures. Infrastructures and materials in social life. Emergence, uncertainty, possibility and hope. Theories of social practice, material culture studies, the new materialisms, sociology of the future. Intervention, design ethnography, making. Implications of sociological/anthropological critique and analyses for practices of urban design, industrial design, material science and policy.

Current Teaching

SOCL221 Climate Change and Society

SOCL200 Sociological Thought for Our Times (with Francesca Coin)

SOCL360 Independent Dissertation Module

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