Dr Isabell Richter

Dr Isabell Richter

Visiting Research Fellow

School of Biological and Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)



Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Blue Communities Project: http://www.blue-communities.org/Home 

Throughout my education as a psychologist, I mainly focused on social and environmental psychology. I absolved my Diploma in Germany on power and social dominance and environmental behaviour. Subsequently, I completed a PhD in Norway in sustainable (sea)food consumption. 

My main research focus is on applying theories for behaviour change to encourage pro-environmental actions and decision making. I have been working in projects looking at how psychological factors like norms, values, attitudes and perceptions influence behaviours that are relevant for marine conservation, sustainable development and consumer decision making. In addition to Blue Communities, I am involved in projects working on plastic pollution, environmental communication, sustainable consumption and sustainable tourism.

Sub-project 12 of Blue Communities focuses on the development of alternative future scenarios and use them to encourage sustainable decision making in coastal communities in South East Asia. We collaborate closely with stakeholders and members of local communities to reinforce a participatory process and co-creation of solutions involving health, social and ecological aspects.  



University of Plymouth – Plymouth, UK

Environmental Psychology, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

  • Main Project: GCRF Blue Communities in South East Asia
  • Supervisor: Dr. Sabine Pahl


Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet (NTNU) – Trondheim, Norway

Environmental Psychology, PhD, to defend in May 2019

  • PhD Thesis: Changing Oceans, Changing seafood consumption
  • Supervisor: Prof. Christian Klöckner, Prof. John Thøgersen & Prof. Mehmet Mehmetoglu


Julius-Maximilians-Universitaet – Wuerzburg, Germany

Psychology, Diploma, 12/2013

  • Diploma Thesis: From Power to Pro-Environmental Behaviour
  • Supervisor: Professor Fritz Strack and Dr. Georg Förster
Additional Focus Subject : Geography on Bachelor Level



Teaching interests

Quantitative methods

Behaviour change
Plastic pollution and the society



Research interests


Behaviour change
Quantitative statistics
Social norms
Marine conservation
Plastic pollution
Sustainable tourism
(Food) consumption

Grants & contracts

GCRF Blue Communities, Southeast Asia
GCRF Nuestro Rio, Peru
GCRF Aeolian Plastic Pollution, Namibia
ECR Comic Books as a tool to reduce destructive fishing in Sabah, Malaysia




Richter, I.; Pahl, S.; Gabe-Thomas, E.; Sumeldan, J.; Avillanosa, A, Creencia, L. (under review). Future Scenarios as a Tool to Communicate Sustainable Development in Coastal Communities in Palawan, Philippines. Frontiers of Environmental Psychology.

Richter, I.; Avillanosa, A.; Cheung, V.; Joe, S.; Kay, S.; Maharja, C.; van Nguyen, Q.; Pahl, S.; Solhaimi, K.; Sumeldan, J.; Thu, H.; Austen, M. (under review). Looking through the COVID-19 window of opportunity: Future scenarios of challenges and opportunities arising from the COVID-19 pandemic across five case study sites. Frontiers in Psychology.

Cheung, V.V., Bell, A., Creencia, L. Fleming, L., Goh, H-C., Maharja, C., Morrisey, K. Richter, I. Then, A. Y. Austen, M. (2021). Blue Communities in Southeast Asia. In: The Environmental Scientist. Creating a sustainable future: the Decade of Ocean Science, E. Hill, D. Kopecky (Eds). https://www.the-ies.org/resources/creating-sustainable-future

Pahl S., Richter I., Wyles K. (2020) Human Perceptions and Behaviour Determine Aquatic Plastic Pollution. In: G. Reifferscheid, N. Brennholt E. Kostianaia (Eds). The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry. Berlin, Heidelberg:.Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/698_2020_672

Richter, I.; Gabe-Thomas, E.; Maharja, C.; Nguyen, T. H.; Nguyen, Q.; Praptiwi, R.; Pahl, S. (2021). Virtual capacity building for international research collaborations in times of COVID-19 and #Flygskam. Frontiers in Communication.

Richter, I. & Klöckner, C. A., Thøgersen, J. (2018). A Social Norms Intervention Going Wrong: Boomerang Effects from Descriptive Norms Information. Sustainability, 10(8), 2848.

Richter, I; Klöckner, C. A., Thøgersen, J. (2017). Sustainable seafood consumption in action: Relevant Behaviours and their Predictors. Sustainability, 9(2313). doi:10.3390/su9122313

Milfont, T., L.; Richter, I.; Sibley, C.; Wilson, M. S.; Fischer, R. (2013). Environmental consequences of the desire to dominate and be superior. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39, 1127 – 1138.




http://www.unitv.org/beitrag.asp?ID=955&Keyword=umwelt# How dare you? Interview

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDRaX1uisz0&t=5s plastic pollution and human behaviour