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Researchers

Dr Julia Pearce

Research Fellow

Dr Julia PearceRoom K7.05

Department of War Studies

Strand Campus

London WC2R 2LS

Email:  julia.pearce@kcl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)207 848 7282

Biography
I am a Research Fellow in the Department of War Studies, having joined King’s College London in 2009 as a Research Associate. My research focuses on the impact of perceived moral, cultural and health threats on behaviour. My recent work examines the impact of risk and crisis communication on risk perception and behaviours, with a particular focus on extreme events (e.g. chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) terrorism). During my time in the Department of War Studies I have delivered an EPSRC/ESRC funded multi-institution interdisciplinary project (Resilient Futures), two international, cross-disciplinary EC research projects (PIRATE and CIE Toolkit), and set up the EC PRACTICE project.    I have recently completed a six month secondment with Public Health England as Project Lead on a European Commission funded study addressing new health risks due to increased mobility in the context of climate change and global warming. 
 
My fellowship is co-funded by the Department of Health as part of the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Emergency Preparedness and Response. My research for the HPRU focuses on communication with vulnerable populations during extreme events as part of Work Theme 2: Improving the behavioural impact of emergency communication. I am also co-leading the Communication Measures Requirements work package of the PRIME project with Dr Brooke Rogers. This EU FP7 funded project brings together researchers from six leading European institutions to improve understanding of lone actor terrorism and inform the design of social and physical countermeasures for the prevention of radicalisation, the disruption of terrorist plots, and the mitigation of terrorist attacks carried out by lone extremists. The communication measures requirements work package will produce a communications framework to support decision making, allowing stakeholders to anticipate interdependencies between communication measures, identify the purpose of their communication efforts and take into account contextual factors when selecting measures. 
 
As a consequence of my research into the impact of risk and crisis communication on risk perception and health behaviours I have been invited to join a number of advisory boards including the Cabinet Office National Risk Assessment Behavioural Science Expert Group and the Public Health England ERDG Psychosocial and Behavioural Issues Sub-group.

Current Advisory Board Membership
  • Cabinet Office High Impact Threats’ Expert Group: From April 2014
  • London Resilience Communicating with the Public Group: From July 2013
  • Cabinet Office National Risk Assessment Behavioural Science Expert Group: From June 2013
  • London Resilience Academic Group: From November 2012
  • Public Health England (formerly Health Protection Agency) Emergency Response Development Group’s Psychosocial and Behavioural Issues Sub-Group (ERDG PBI): From July 2012
Research Interests

My research interests include risk and crisis communication, public health behaviour, extreme events and disasters, terrorism, social and national identity, social representations and moral panic. Specifically, I am interested in the impact of perceived moral, cultural and health threats on behaviour. My recent research uses social psychological theories of risk perception and health behaviour to assess the impact of risk and crisis communication on risk perception and health behaviours, with a particular focus on extreme events (e.g. chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) terrorism). This work uses qualitative and quantitative methods to examine factors and develop/test interventions that impact public levels of knowledge and intention to perform protective health behaviours before, during and after major public health incidents.

Publications

For a list of publications please refer to the Research Portal or download the document here

Teaching

7SSWM048 - The Social Dimensions of Terrorism (module convenor)

7SSWM070 – Preventing Violent Radicalisation (module co-convenor)

7SSWM023 – Responding to Terrorism (occasional contribution)

Expertise and Public Engagement

I regularly present project findings to and participate in workshops with government, industry and third sector organisations. For example, the Cabinet Office, Home Office, Defra, Scottish Government, Public Health England (formerly Health Protection Agency), Police National CBRN centre, Deloitte and the British Red Cross. I am a member of the Cabinet Office National Risk Assessment Behavioural Science Expert Group, the London Resilience Communicating with the Public Group, the London Resilience Academic Group (including membership of the Challenge Panel for Gold Summit events) and the Public Health England ERDG Sub-group on Psychosocial and Behavioural issues.


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