Stuart Capstick

Cardiff University
Partner institution - CAST



Dr Stuart Capstick is an environmental social scientist based at Cardiff University, where he completed his PhD in 2012. He is Deputy Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST Centre), where he leads the research theme on trials and interventions. He is one of three representatives on the Tyndall Council for the ‘Accelerating Social Transitions’ research theme.


Research summary

Stuart researches public understanding of climate change, and the ways in which citizens' involvement can lead to action on climate change. He co-leads a research theme with the CAST Centre focussed on real-world trials to inform low-carbon transformations; this work involves collaborations with NGOs, industry and the Welsh Government. He is a lead author of the 2020 'Emissions Gap' report chapter on low-carbon lifestyles, looking at social science approaches to help inform and understand lifestyle change. Since 2019 he has also been a co-author of the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change, involved in assessing media reporting of health and climate change. Stuart’s previous research has examined the potential for behavioural ‘spillover’ (how one low-carbon behaviour can lead to another), the ways in which people’s understanding of climate change evolves over time, the links between personal experience of extreme weather and attitudes to climate change, public perceptions of ocean acidification, and approaches to communicating climate change.


University webpage:


Latter, B., Capstick, C. (2021). Climate Emergency: UK Universities’ Declarations and Their Role in Responding to Climate Change. Front. Sustain.

Nielsen, K. Clayton, S., Stern, P., Dietz, T., Capstick, S. and Whitmarsh, L. (2020). How Psychology can help limit climate change. American Psychologist.

Capstick, S., Whitmarsh, L., Nash, N., Haggar, P. and Lord, J. (2019). Compensatory and catalysing behavioural beliefs: development and psychometric properties of an instrument for measuring spillover-related perceptions in seven countries. Frontiers in Psychology 10, article number: 963.

Shaw, C., Hurth, V., Capstick, S. and Cox, E. (2018). Intermediaries' perspectives on the public's role in the energy transitions needed to deliver UK climate change policy goalsEnergy Policy 116, 267-276.

Capstick, S., Hemstock, S. and Senikula, R. 2018. Perspectives of artist-practitioners on the communication of climate change in the PacificInternational Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management 10(2), 323-339

Whitmarsh, L., Capstick, S. and Nash, N. 2017. Who is reducing their material consumption and why? A cross-cultural analysis of dematerialisation behavioursPhilosophical Transactions A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 375(2095), article number: 20160376.

Demski, C., Capstick, S., Pidgeon, N., Sposato, R. and Spence, A. (2017). Experience of extreme weather affects climate change mitigation and adaptation responsesClimatic Change 140(2), 149-164.

Capstick, S., Pidgeon, N., Corner, A., Spence, E., Pearson, P. (2016). Public understanding in Great Britain of ocean acidificationNature Climate Change 6, 763-767.

Contact information