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Dr Christine Boomsma


Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the EnerGAware Project: Energy Game for Awareness of energy efficiency in social housing communities. 

EnerGAware is a 3 year (Feb 2015 - Feb 2018) EU funded (H2020) project working with social housing tenants to reduce fuel poverty and energy consumption through the co-design of a 'serious game'. The project will investigate whether a serious game integrated with the energy metering system of the home can provide a novel way for householders to manage their energy use by allowing people to assess the energy, environmental and financial benefits of energy-efficiency measures. This is an interdisciplinary project with academic and business partners across Europe. 

Before EnerGAware I worked as a Research Fellow on the following projects: 

The eViz project ( was a 3.5 year (Sep 2012 - Feb 2016) UK Research Council (EPSRC) funded project investigating how novel energy visualisations can be used to engage households and organisations with energy use. The interdisciplinary project was carried out by four universities: Plymouth University, Newcastle University, University of Bath and University of Birmingham.

Through Others' Eyes was a 6 month project (Jun 2014 - Nov 2014) funded by the Institute for Sustainability Solutions Research at Plymouth University. I led this project as the Principal Investigator and managed a research assistant. The research was conducted in close collaboration with the NMA in Plymouth and investigated the role of visitor values in a visit to the aquarium. 

Thermal Imaging Intervention in Cornwall was a project funded by DECC in collaboration with the Eden Project. The project examined the role of tailoring in the context of a thermal imaging intervention in households across Cornwall over the course of one year (2013). 


2013         Ph.D. in Environmental Psychology, Plymouth University, United Kingdom
Thesis title: Visual images as a motivational bridge to pro-environmental behaviour: A cognitive approach. 

2009         M.Sc. (Cum Laude) in Research Methods, University of Groningen, the Netherlands

2008         M.Sc. in Social Psychology, University of Groningen, the Netherlands

2007         B.Sc. in Psychology, University of Groningen, the Netherlands 

Professional membership

IAPS - International Association of People-Environment Studies

IAAP - International Association of Applied Psychology

Teaching interests

I have been involved in the supervision of undergraduate students during their final year project on environmental psychology, around topics such as energy visualisation, recycling behaviour, and future perceptions of climate change.

Research interests

In my work as academic researcher in the field of environmental social science I look at the interaction between people and their environment. I am interested in how individuals and communities perceive and respond to their environment and global environmental issues, and the difficulties they encounter when engaging in mitigation behaviours. I have worked in interdisciplinary teams, collaborated with diverse stakeholders, and have extensive experience with both qualitative and quantitative research methods. 

The majority of my research over the past five years has focused on the human dimension of energy systems. Within this field I've have studied how new technologies such as serious games, thermal imaging, feedback displays, and virtual reality can be integrated within the household. 

Boomsma, C., Pahl, S., Jones, R.V., Fuertes, A. (2017). "Damp in bathroom. Damp in back room. It's very depressing!" Exploring the Relationship between Perceived Housing Problems, Energy Affordability Concerns, and Health and Well-Being in UK Social Housing. Energy Policy, accepted. 

Boomsma, C., Pahl, S., & Andrade, J. (2016). Imagining change: An integrative approach towards explaining the motivational role of mental imagery in pro-environmental behaviour. Frontiers in Psychology, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01780

Boomsma, C., Jones, R.V., Pahl, S., & Fuertes, A. (2016). Energy saving behaviours among social housing tenants: Exploring the relationship with dwelling characteristics, monetary concerns and psychological motivations. Proceedings from BEHAVE '16: 4th European conference on behaviour and energy efficiency. Coimbra, Portugal.

Jones, R.V., Fuertes, A., Boomsma, C., & Pahl, S. (2016). Space heating preferences in UK social housing: A socio-technical household survey combined with building audits. Energy and Buildings, 127, 382-398.

Boomsma, C., Goodhew, J., Goodhew, S., & Pahl, S. (2016). Improving the visibility of energy use in home heating in England: Thermal images and the role of visual tailoring. Energy Research and Social Science, 14, 111-121.  

Boomsma, C., Goodhew, J., Pahl, S., & Jones, R.V. (2016). The feasibility of saving energy in challenging organisational contexts: Testing energy visualisation in a social services office in the United Kingdom. Energy Research and Social Science, 15, 58-74.

Pahl, S., Goodhew, J., & Boomsma, C. (2016). The role of energy visualisation in addressing occupant energy use: Insights from the eViz project. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 

Boomsma, C., Pahl, S., Goodhew, J., & Gardner, A. (2015). Daily behaviour and energy saving strategies. Proceedings from the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy: Summer Study 2015. ISSN: 2001-7960.

Goodhew, J., Pahl, S., Boomsma, C., & Goodhew, S. (2015). 'It's fffffffrrreeezsing!...thought thermal imaging might shed some light as to where the heat's going!' Can visualisation shed a light on heating? Proceedings from the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy: Summer Study 2015. ISSN: 2001-7960.

Pahl, S., Sheppard, S., Boomsma, C., & Groves, C. (2014). Perceptions of time in relation to climate change. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 5(3), 375-388.

Boomsma, C., & Steg, L. (2014). The effect of information and values on acceptability of reduced street lighting. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 39, 22-31.

Boomsma, C., & Steg, L. (2014). Feeling safe in the dark: Examining the effect of entrapment, lighting levels, and gender on feelings of safety and lighting policy acceptability. Environment and Behavior, 46(2), 193-212.

Goodhew, J., Boomsma, C., Pahl, S. (2014). A mixed method study of the role of tailoring in the design of visual interventions for domestic energy efficiency. Proceedings from BEHAVE'14: 3rd European conference on behaviour and energy efficiency. Oxford, UK. 

Stone, B., Guest, R., Pahl, S., & Boomsma, C. (2014). Exploiting gaming technologies to visualise dynamic thermal qualities of a domestic dwelling: Technical and human factor challenges. Proceedings from BEHAVE'14: 3rd European conference on behaviour and energy efficiency. Oxford, UK. 

Pahl, S., De Wilde, P., Goodhew, J., Boomsma, C., Jones, R., Goodhew, S. (2013). eViz: Energy visualisation for carbon reduction. Proceedings from the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy: Summer Study 2015. ISSN: 1653-7025.

Other academic activities

Psychology and Sustainability Research Group

I'm a member of the Psychology and Sustainability Research Group at the School of Psychology. The group has fortnightly meetings where current studies and research ideas are discussed. More information can be found on the Research Group Website