Imogen Rattle


I am a final year PhD student working with Dr James Van Alstine and Dr Lucie Middlemiss at the University of Leeds Sustainability Research Institute. My project aims to explore the ways in which people are using the internet to engage with environmental issues, and the effect this is having on environmental policy debates

2012 MSc Sustainability (Environment and Development), University of Leeds

  • Research project: An investigation into UK discourses on shale gas

1997 LLB (Law), University of Birmingham

Practitioner member of the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment

  • Energy policy, climate change, environmental governance, communities and the digital world.

I am a teaching assistant on the following courses:

  • Environmental Policy and Governance (UG)
  • Environmental Policy and Governance (MSc)


Exploring the influence of social movements’ use of online resources in the English shale gas debate.

Supervisors: Dr James Van Alstine and Dr Lucie Middlemiss

Funding: ESRC White Rose DTC +3

The internet is changing the way people go about their lives. While online discussion and participation will not replace other types of interaction, they have become an important way for people to engage with issues which are important to them. This research aims to develop a deeper understanding of how and why people are engaging in debates on sustainability issues online, and of the effects this activity has, both on how they view the issue, but also on how the debate has developed.

Adi Kuntsman & Imogen Rattle (2019) Towards a Paradigmatic Shift in Sustainability Studies: A Systematic Review of Peer Reviewed Literature and Future Agenda Setting to Consider Environmental (Un)sustainability of Digital Communication, Environmental Communication, DOI: 10.1080/17524032.2019.1596144
Rattle, Imogen, Tudor Baker, and James Van Alstine. "Shale gas development in England." Governing Shale Gas: Development, Citizen Participation and Decision Making in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe (2018).

Cotton, M., Rattle, I., & Van Alstine, J. (2014). Shale gas policy in the United Kingdom: An argumentative discourse analysis. Energy Policy, 73, 427-438.

Research interests

My research interests are the intersection between sustainability studies and the online - how is the digital world changing how we engage on environmental issues, and is the increasing prevalence of the online a positive or negagive force for a sustianable future


  • MSc, Sustainability Environment and Development, University of Leeds
  • LLB, Law, University of Birmingham

Research groups and institutes

  • Social and Political Dimensions of Sustainability
  • Sustainability Research Institute