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Personal profile

Research interests

Dr Matthew Adams is an interdisciplinary academic interested in mental health and distress, identity and the dynamics of social interaction, especially in the context of human-nature and human-animal relations, climate crisis and the Anthropocene. He is a Principal Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Brighton, UK. 

From October 2022 - May 2024 he is undertaking an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Research, Development and Engagement Fellowship, titled 'Pavlov and the kingdom of dogs: Storying experimental animal histories through arts-based research'. His focus will be the development of creative, arts-based and visual methods to critically explore the experiences of animals in scientific research. 

He undertakes research that explores the power of human connections to the rest of nature, including human-animal relations, focusing on experiences of mental health, wellbeing, belonging, identity and reciprocity. This includes how we respond to our ongoing ecological and climate crisis, and the wide range of responses involved including anxiety, grief, denial and defence mechanisms, anger, activism and resilience. He is also interested in 'posthuman' and multispecies approaches which emphasise nonhuman animal experience and human-animal interconnectedness. 

 

Supervisory Interests

Dr Adams supervises PhD students addressing a range of topics including mental health and distress, social and cultural identity, critical psychologies of climate change, climate activism, nature-connection, Anthropocene studies, nature-based interventions, human-animal relations and posthumanities. He is especially interested in supervising students adopting qualitative methodological and critical theoretical approaches. Interdisciplinary projects are especially welcome. 

Approach to teaching

Dr Adams's specialist teaching areas are mental health and distress, human-animal relations, ecopsychology, environment and ennvironmentalism, climate crisis and the Anthropocene.

Scholarly biography

Dr Adams is the author of the books Anthropocene Psychology: Being Human in a More-Than-Human World (2020), Ecological Crisis, Sustainability & the Psychosocial Subject: Beyond Behaviour Change (2016) and Self & Social Change (2008). He has also written numerous academic articles, book chapters commentary pieces and reports, e.g.:

Adams, M. (2021). Critical psychologies and climate change. Current Opinion in Psychology, 42, 13-18.

Adams, M. (2020). The kingdom of dogs: Understanding Pavlov’s experiments as human–animal relationships. Theory & Psychology, 30(1), 121-141.

Adams, M. (2018). Towards a critical psychology of human–animal relations. Social and personality psychology compass, 12(4), e12375.

Adams, M. (2014). Approaching nature, ‘sustainability’ and ecological crises from a critical social psychological perspective. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 8(6), 251-262.

For a complete list of publications see full research profile.

Keywords

  • BF Psychology
  • Critical psychology
  • Social psychology
  • Cultural psychology
  • Human-animal relations
  • Climate change
  • Anthropocene
  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • Psychosocial studies
  • Climate change
  • Anthropocene
  • HM Sociology
  • Psychosocial studies
  • Climate change
  • Ecology
  • Anthropocene
  • HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
  • speciesism
  • human-animal relations
  • Climate change
  • Anthropocene
  • GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
  • Anthropogenic
  • Anthropocene
  • Climate change
  • GN Anthropology
  • human-animal relations
  • Climate change
  • Anthropocene

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