Claire Hoolohan

Research Fellow

Claire is a Research Fellow at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. She is a social scientist working with social practice theories in the field of sustainable production and consumption. Her research explores the social dimensions of global challenges such as climate change adaptation and mitigation, low-carbon food and water use. Her expertise are in the development of novel transdisciplinary methods to examine sustainable futures, and identify pathways for change. Claire’s fellowship investigates the implications of digital technologies and business models for water governance in the UK.

Claire started her career as a sustainability consultant, working with businesses and government organisations to develop greenhouse gas budgets and low-carbon food strategies. Her PhD, commended for “Emerging Impact” in the University of Manchester’s social responsibility awards, sought to involve key actors within the water sector to develop novel approaches to reduce water demand. The UK has a growing water security challenge, and how to reduce demand is one aspect of this challenge that is particularly poorly understood. Claire’s PhD research identifies avenues to bring about lasting and meaningful change to ordinary patterns of consumption. 

More recently, Claire lead the development of a practice-based design method, Change Points, which enables businesses and organisations to develop systemic interventions for sustainability related challenges. This method has been applied to investigate solutions to the UKs  ‘unflushables’ challenge with Anglian Water. It has also been used by WWF-UK and Possible to scope activities to enable low-carbon diets, and by Defra to understand social and material dimensions of everyday water use. Download the Change Points Toolkit.

On the Stepping Up project, Claire lead a work package examining how possible social, technological and climate development could affect the UK’s water-energy-food nexus. Combining stakeholder insights with those from the existing scientific evidence base, this project developed a novel methodology to combine critical social science research with quantitative modelling techniques to inform the UKs sustainability planning. Read the STEPPING UP final report.