Professor Jillian Anable


Research Expertise

Broadly, Jillian’s current research direction investigates ‘the future of the car’ – bringing together technological and societal developments including electrification and new mobility services to explore the concept of ‘car usership’. She applies socio-psychological theories and methods to the understanding of variations in car ownership, mobility patterns and resulting energy demands over time and space. This includes the design of qualitative and quantitative surveys and secondary data analysis to evaluate transport policy interventions at local and national scales.

Her key research interests include: 

  • Transport, energy and climate change policy
  • Theories of behaviour change and practice
  • Psychology of travel mode choice
  • Consumer demand for low-carbon and automated vehicles
  • Policy effectiveness, public acceptability and political deliverability
  • Qualitative and quantitative survey design
  • Understanding spatial variations in mobility behaviour
  • Statistical segmentation of mobility patterns, travellers and neighbourhoods

Employment History

  • Professor of Transport and Energy, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, January 2016 - present
  • Chair of Transport and Energy Demand, The Centre for Transport Research, School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, Aug 2013 – Dec 2015
  • Senior Lecturer, The Centre for Transport Research, School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, July 2008 – Aug 2013
  • Research Fellow, The Centre for Transport Policy, Business School, The Robert Gordon University, Nov 2003 – June 2008
  • ESRC Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Surrey, Oct 2002 – Sept 2003
  • Research Assistant, Environmental Change Unit, University of Oxford, Nov 1996 – Sept 1997

Higher education

  • 2002:   PhD Imperial College, London, Dept. of Environmental Science & Technology (No corrections)
  • 1996:   MSc Urban Planning (Transport), Oxford Brookes University, School of Planning (Distinction)
  • 1992:   BA Geography with German, University of Sussex, School of European Studies (2:1)

Professional Engagements 


Current Projects

MOT Motoring and vehicle Ownership Trends in the UK

Sponsor: EPSRC/ESRC (RCUK Energy Programme)

This project will develop the capability to understand spatial differences in car ownership and use and has the potential to transform the way in which energy and emissions are quantified, understood and monitored. Data from annual car roadworthiness tests (‘MOT tests’ in the UK), made available by the Department for Transport, together with additional details of all vehicles registered from the UK Driver Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) is used as a platform upon which to undertake a set of inter-linked modelling and analysis tasks using multiple sources of vehicle-specific and area-based data. This will help refine future research and policy agendas and inform transport and energy infrastructure planning. The MOT project is led by Professor Jillian Anable with colleagues from the University of Bristol, University West of England and Transport Research Laboratory ( ).

DEMAND The Dynamics of Energy, Mobility and Demand

Sponsor: EPSRC/ESRC (RCUK Energy Programme) with support from ECLEER (EDF R&D), Transport for London and the International Energy Agency

The centre takes a distinctive approach to end use energy demand, recognising that energy is not used for its own sake but as part of accomplishing social practices at home, at work and in moving around. In essence the Centre focuses on what energy is for. This approach generates an ambitious research agenda that is crucial for organisations involved in demand management and in radically reconfiguring infrastructures, buildings and transport systems in line with greenhouse gas emissions targets. While greater efficiency is important, the trend is often towards more resource intensive standards of comfort, convenience and speed. The problem is that we lack a sophisticated understanding of how these trends take hold and of the underlying dynamics of demand itself. In focusing on how demand is made and met, the Centre will examine changing patterns in mobility and building-related energy use and take forward a wide-ranging agenda for future research and policy. The DEMAND Centre is led out of the University of Lancaster by Prof. Elizabeth Shove (

UKERC The UK Energy Research Centre

Sponsor: EPSRC/ESRC (RCUK Energy Programme)

UKERC is a cross-research council funded ‘virtual’ research centre comprising a focal point for UK research on sustainable energy. It takes an independent, whole systems approach, drawing on engineering, economics and the physical, environmental and social sciences. The primary objective of UKERC Phase 3 will be to explore the UK energy transition in an uncertain world, and the synergies and trade-offs between the key drivers for this transition. Whilst the need to achieve deep emissions reductions will remain a driver for the research, it will analyse a wide range of potential energy system transitions in the UK. The core research programme of UKERC Phase 3 contains six themes, of which Theme 5 is entitled “Key challenges in energy system decision-making” .Professor Anable works primarily within 'Theme 5 . Previous outputs from Phases 1 and 2 include 'Energy 2050'- a project across all themes in the UKERC to develop alternative pathways to a low carbon future using lifestyle scenario planning and using the UK Transport Carbon Model to understand the potential impact of packages of transport policies on carbon reduction targets. ( ).

ClimateXChange Transport Fellowship:

Sponsor: ClimateXChange/ Scottish Government

Professor Anable manages a three year postdoctoral fellowship on transport and energy funded by ClimateXChange. Dr Craig Morton will be working on new areas of interdisciplinary investigation including bringing behavioural science to bear on understanding responses to transport system change, carbon accounting frameworks for assessing transport policy in Scotland, and exploring the role of Smart Cities and ICT in reducing transport energy demand and promoting low carbon mobility services. Craig’s background is in interdisciplinary research, and his recent work has been in the area of low carbon transport, particularly consumer responses and market development, with a policy-focus throughout.

adVANce Accelerating Decarbonisation of Van Carbon Emissions

Sponsor: UKERC

In this project we will identify opportunities to accelerate emission reductions from Light Goods Vehicles (LGVs) by addressing key knowledge gaps in technology adoption, demand growth and interactions with existing policy initiatives. In doing so we take a wider systems approach to understanding the problem and its connections to emission reduction options by: (i) Understanding the diverse composition of LGV traffic, sources of recent growth and important structural changes likely to act as forces for potential future trends in LGV energy demand; (ii) Exploring the opportunities to reduce the carbon intensity of LGV private and commercial transport demand through policies, organisational and logistical changes and new technologies which act on both the generators of this growth and targeted ways of mitigating their impacts; (iii) Using a case study approach to allow focused investigation of specific: (a) systems of provision (e.g. for food); (b) area-based policies (e.g. Low Emission Zones); (iv) Pulling together the various insights provided by these approaches in such a way that we can better estimate the potential impacts UK-wide of a sample of interventions through the application of transport and carbon systems modelling, through the use of more informed insights and data inputs into such models about the van sector than has hitherto been possible. This project is led by Professor Anthony Whiteing (ITS Leeds).

RACER Radical Acceleration of Car Emissions Reductions

Sponsor: UKERC

With specific emphasis on the UK car fleet, this project tackles head-on the unprecedented mitigation challenge outlined in the Paris Agreement. With particular focus on deep and near-term mitigation, it examines the potential for the rapid penetration of highly efficient petrol and diesel models to deliver quantitative fleet wide reductions of around 50% within a single decade. Such levels of mitigation are beyond those yet countenanced, but are necessary if the UK is to play its fair role in delivering on the Paris commitments. It will proceed to develop a set of scenarios including narratives, policy mechanisms and regulatory regimes designed to equip decision makers with the wherewithal to consider seriously accelerating mitigation. Finally, it will offer a taxonomy and concise evaluation of more interventionist prospects to extend mitigation beyond existing technical and social norms. This project is led by Professor Kevin Anderson (Manchester Tyndall Centre).


Recently Completed Projects

tERES Energy-related economic stress in the UK, at the interface between transport, housing and fuel poverty (Nov 2014 – June 2016)

Sponsor: EPSRC/ESRC (RCUK Energy Programme)

This project was attached to the DEMAND (Dynamics of Energy, Mobility and Demand) Research Centre. The project developed the concept of transport poverty, exploring its relationships with housing and fuel poverty, and implications for energy demand reduction and social justice. It developed connections between the British academic and policy debate and similar debates abroad, where issues of increasing transport costs and vulnerability to oil price spikes have been framed in terms of sustainable spatial development, highlighting the interlinkages between transport and housing affordability. It was led by Dr Giulio Mattioli (ITS Leeds).


Sponsor: EPSRC/ESRC (RCUK Energy Programme)

Was a three year study to understand how disruptions to the travel system – large or small – affect travel practices. Disruptions at the individual or family scale (e.g. car breakdown, illness) or at the larger scale (weather events, strikes, cyber or terrorism attacks) are investigated to see what these teach us about how the opportunities to change travel practices at individual level and within families; in organisations that generate travel demand and impact on our own individual travel decision-making; and within government where policy that determines our travel opportunities is made. A range of innovative research methods is used, including capturing travel behaviour through Facebook and Twitter and carrying out video-recorded mobile interviews. The project then brings together the different social actors, both 'lay' and 'expert' in a number of forums where they have the opportunity to 'deliberate' the different issues that will emerge throughout the research, and challenge each other about what needs to be done to capture the opportunities for change. Lastly the project seeks to establish mechanisms for embedding these changes in everyday life, in organisational practices and in social policy, so that a substantial contribution to reducing carbon emissions from transport is achieved. The project was led by Professor Greg Marsden and collaborated with colleagues from Lancaster University, The University of Brighton and the University of West of England.


TRAN5260M Transport and Public Health

TRAN5912M Transport Integrated Project 


<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Research groups and institutes

  • Social and Political Sciences