Dr Julia Pearce
Department of War Studies
King's College London
London WC2R 2LS
Tel: +44 (0)207 848 7282
Current Advisory Board Membership
I am a Research Fellow in the Department of War Studies, having joined the department in 2009. I am a social psychologist interested in the impact of perceived moral, cultural and health threats on behaviour. My recent research uses theories of risk perception and health behaviour to assess the impact of risk and crisis communication on public and practitioner perceptions of risk and behavioural responses to extreme events (e.g. flooding, infectious disease, terrorism).
During my time in the Department of War Studies I have contributed to an EPSRC/ESRC funded multi-institution interdisciplinary project (Resilient Futures
) and to three international, cross-disciplinary EC research projects (PIRATE, CIE Toolkit
). I was seconded to Public Health England
for the first six months of 2014 as Project Lead on the European Commission funded Study Addressing New Health Risks due to Increased Mobility in the Context of Climate Change and Global Warming.
My fellowship is partly funded by the Department of Health NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Emergency Preparedness and Response.
My research for the HPRU focuses on improving the behavioural impact of emergency communication, with a particular focus on at risk population groups. 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 in order to inform the design of counter-measures to prevent radicalisation, disrupt lone-actor terrorist plots and mitigate terrorist attacks carried out by lone actor extremists.
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. I am a chartered member of the British Psychological Society
and a member of the Society for Risk Analysis.
- 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
My research interests include risk perception, risk and crisis communication, public health behaviour, social 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 public and practitioner perceptions of risk and behavioural responses to extreme events (e.g. flooding, infectious disease, 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.
Expertise and Public Engagement
7SSWM048 - The Social Dimensions of Terrorism (module convenor)
7SSWM070 – Preventing Violent Radicalisation (module co-convenor)
7SSWM023 – Responding to Terrorism (guest lecturer)
6SSW0008 – Disasters and Extreme Events (module co-convenor)
6SSW3014 – The Nature of Riots (guest lecturer)
5BBA2040 – Psychology (guest lecturer)
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 High Impact Threats Expert Group; 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.
Dr Pearce is currently unable to supervise new PhD students.