Peter Wood

Dr, PhD Geography (Open University), MSc Environment Science and Society (University College London), BAHons Geography (Cambridge)

Willing to speak to media


Research activity per year

Personal profile


My work investigates change in contemporary UK civil society, the state, and individuals. I have focused on how sustainability and mobility are being implemented by local & devolved government, contested through industrial relations, and shaped by civil society. These specifics take place within a wider wave of cultural and political changes; Brexit, the potential break up of Britain, volatile party politics, and declarations of Climate Emergency.

My work is engaged with society; crossing between industry and academia, addressing new audiences and teaching students from diverse backgrounds. I have worked on large and small research projects from across UKRI, along with research or public engagement consultancy from a range of NGO, Think Tank, Political, and Government funders (see ORCID and Google Scholar). I have been a cycle campaigner, a community organiser, and was the founding Chair of the Universities and Colleges Union ‘Climate and Ecological Emergency Committee’, coordinating the response to climate change by trade unions in Further and Higher Education. 

Alongside Aberystwyth, I work at The Open University teaching final year Sociology and final year Environmental Studies, Science & Management ‘independent study’ modules (training for dissertations). I also taught introductory Combined Social Sciences, and Criminology. This has led me to teach students across England, Scotland and Ireland, including in secure environments, such as prison and probation. I have received three teaching awards, been nominated for three more, and published on teaching improvement. 

Adept at communication beyond academia, I have written articles for ‘The Ecologist’ and ‘The Geographer’, been the Academic Media Consultant to BBC productions, and regularly been asked for comment on Talk Radio (LBC, BBC). I have submitted invited evidence to the Scottish Parliament and had submissions cited by the Greater London Assembly. My research and knowledge exchange has been featured in The Times and The Independent, a range of Scottish press, and trade magazines including Holyrood and Labour Research. I have been an invited speaker at the Trade Union Congress fringe, the Institute for Employment Rights, and the Local Government Chronicle ‘Net Zero conference’. I am also a founding Trustee of the Edinburgh Communities Climate Action Network, a charity dedicated to amplifying civil society’s ability to prevent and adapt to climate change, where I have lead on governance and learning.

I am available for industry/non-academic consultancy and knowledge exchange projects, along with traditional research proposals.

Also see my research profile at Peter Wood — Aberystwyth Research Portal

Research interests

Research and Knowledge Exchange Funding (excluding contract research)
2023-4 UKRI ‘Future of Treescapes’ Knowledge Exchange round, Researcher-Co-Investigator (0.4 FTE). NERC NE/Y004183/1, PI Jasper Kenter. Project: Branching Beyond

2016 Foundation for Integrated Transport (FIT) PI. Applied pro-sustainable mobility campaign. Project: Grassroots Demand for Integrated Transport.

2016 John Heasman Bursary British Parking Association, knowledge exchange from PhD. 

2016  Santander Research and Scholarship Award RI. Project: Grassroots Organising for Sustainable Transport. PI: George Revill.

2015 Commercial Postgraduate Internship Three months at charity ‘Campaign for Better Transport’ (CfBT). Secured co-funding to match Santander Bank and OU allocations.

2013 ESRC Overseas Institutional Visit competitive bid, additional to PhD studentship. 

2010-4 ESRC PhD Studentship, Department of Geography, OU, ES/I019790/1.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Department of Geography, Open University

Award Date: 15 Oct 2015

External positions

Associate Lecturer, Open University

01 Nov 2015 → …

Freelance Research Consultant

Oct 2015 → …


  • G Geography (General)
  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • GE Environmental Sciences
  • JS Local government Municipal government


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