The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Dr Jo Swaffield

Research Excellence Academy Fellow


After completing her PhD at Newcastle University in 2012, Jo accepted a Postdoctoral Research Associate position at the University of Manchester. She worked on the ESCR funded project, ‘Households, Retailers and Food Waste Transitions’ (ref: ES/L00514X/1) as well as pursuing internal funding for her work on the sustainable management of waste in neoliberal society.

In 2016, Jo returned to Newcastle as a Research Excellence Academy (REA) fellow in the department of politics. She is currently researching the justifiable limitations of individual responsibility for climate change mitigation as part of the project, ‘Individual Responsibility for Realising Human Rights: Climate Change, Poverty and Other Problems of Aggregate Effects’.

Alongside her publication record (2012-2020), Jo has produced two children (21 months of maternity leave in total).


Jo's research focuses broadly on the facilitation and management of individual and organisational behaviour change in the context of global environmental problems.   

Her current project explores the justifiable limitations of individual responsibility for climate change mitigation and she has three collaborative papers in preparation:

- Climate change and a neoliberal conception of individual responsibility

- The ‘Information-overload’ model and individual responsibility for climate change

- A moral assessment of time, food and individual behaviour change

Going forwards, Jo intends to investigate potential responses to the impacts of climate change on everyday life (stress, anxiety, solidarity, resilience) and the ways in which these might be monitored and managed at a societal level. 
She is currently seeking funding to explore individual and community responses to the Covid-19 pandemic as a way to better understand the potential impacts of the impending climate crisis. This specific comparison of global emergenices and adaptive capacities will focus on food (in)security but may lay the foundations for future research into other potential impacts of climate change on everyday life (e.g., travel, working from home). 


Jo does not currently have any teaching responsibilities.