Debbie is an Associate Professor in Human Geography jointly appointed between the School of Geography and the Environment, and the Sustainable Urban Development programme in the Department for Continuing Education. She completed her master's degree (Geography, with distinction) at King's College London, PhD at the University of Otago / Te Whare Wānanga o Ōtākou (Aotearoa (New Zealand), and Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (with distinction) at the University of Oxford. Debbie undertook postdoctoral training at the Centre for Sustainability (Otago, New Zealand, 2014-2016), and the Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford (2016-2017). Debbie was previously a Departmental Research Lecturer jointly appointed between the Transport Studies Unit and the School of Geography and the Environment (Oxford, 2017-2019).
Debbie is the Editor-in-Chief of the Association of American Geographers Review of Books and sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Transport Geography, Applied Mobilities, Tourism Geographies, Journal of Sustainable Tourism and Global Networks. Between 2017-2019, she undertook a part-time academic secondment with the New Zealand Ministry of Transport where she led a project on incorporating different forms of information and 'evidence' into policymaking processes. Debbie sits on the advisory board of the Oxford Climate Society, and is an international advisory board member of the DRIVERS project (led by Prof Marianne Ryghaug, Norwegian Research Council, 2019-2024).
Debbie leads a three-year project (2022-2025), 'Trucking Lives: Making Space for People in Truck Driving Work', funded through the ESRC's Transforming Working Lives call. Working with colleagues from the universities of Huddersfield and Newcastle, this multi-method project draws from mobilities, labour geography and critical logistics works to understand and make visible truck driver's everyday lives, identify changes needed to recruit and retain a diverse workforce, and find ways to improve workers' lives for the better. This builds upon previous research funded by the Oxford Fell Fund and the CILT Seed Corn Fund.
Debbie has been part of several large research centres, including the Energy Cultures project (2013-2016, Otago), the Centre for Innovation and Energy Demand (2016-2018, Sussex, Manchester and Oxford), and the Centre for Research on Energy Demand Solutions (2019-2020, multi-institutional). Debbie has co-edited two books: Low Carbon Mobility Transitions (GoodFellow Publishers, 2016) and Transitions in Energy Efficiency and Demand (Routledge (Open Access), 2018).
Debbie is a human geographer and environmental social scientist. Her research is broadly concerned with the social dimensions of climate change, socio-technical transitions, and the mobility of people, goods and 'waste', with a focus on cities and processes of urbanisation. In this work, she engages with ideas from labour geography, mobilities studies, critical logistics and critical sustainabilities. Debbie is currently working on a number of projects that span these interests (primary projects listed below), many of which include international and interdisciplinary collaborators, this work is funded by research councils in the UK, Aotearoa NZ, Canada and Norway..: Her research spans three main themes; 1. Mobile Labour, 2. The Mobilities of 'stuff', and 3. Transport and the Climate Crisis.
Debbie examines the various ways that labour is (made) mobile, and is concerned with the politics, practices and lived experiences of workers as they are (made) mobile. Her ongoing empirical work engages with academic workers (in their various roles), and freight drivers (including 'truckers' and delivery drivers). Her work seeks to uncover how a mobilised labour geography might extend existing frameworks and ways of knowing about work(places), and workers on the move.
The Mobilities of 'Stuff'
Drawing from critical logistics studies, transport and mobilities scholarship, this work reflects on the in/visibilities of the mobilities of stuff, and how points of breakdown and crisis increase their visibility. Empirically this work engages with case studies in Aotearoa, Japan and Kenya, examining the different geographies of these mobilities attending to the 'liveliness' of the stuff being moved/moving.
Transport and the Climate Crisis
Within this broad theme, Debbie's research focuses on: 1. The characteristics and responses of hard-to-decarbonise modes/sectors (e.g., aviation, freight), 2. Systemic and entrenched lock-in to high-carbon mobility practices, 3. The politics and practices of infrastructural adaptations, 4. The intersections of carbon emissions reductions, equity and justice, with an empirical focus on Aoreatoa, the UK, Kenya, Norway, the USA and Canada. This work is particularly interested in the shared nature of many of these issues in cities and countries around the world, and is increasingly focused on the hypermobile minority.
Debbie is a co-investigator on a number of funded projects including the Built Environment and Active Transport to School (BEATS) project, led by Dr Sandra Mandic (Health Research Council of New Zealand, Heart Foundation, University of Otago Research Grant, 2013- ongoing), the FAIR project led by Dr Mari Martiskainen (UKRI, 2019-2023) and the PATHWAYS project led by Profs Eivind Farstad and Jens Kristian Steen Jacobsen (NRC, 2020-2025).
At Oxford, Debbie teaches across the undergraduate and graduate programmes. In the School of Geography and the Environment, she leads first year geography fieldwork and prelims sustainability on the Human Geography course. In 2021-22, she will offer an FHS Option on Sustainable Urbanisms. Debbie also teaches on the Energy module of the Environmental Change and Management master's programme and the interdisciplinary Energy Systems masters.
In the Department for Continuing Education, Debbie teaches on the MSc Sustainable Urban Development modules, she leads 'Climate Change', and contributes lectures across the other 7 modules, on themes including critical sustainability, urban imaginaries and governing transition.
Debbie teaches at the Oxford School of Climate Change, hosted by the Oxford Climate Society, University College London, and the University of Otago (NZ), as well as speaking to other groups within and beyond Oxford.
Debbie supervises masters dissertations and DPhil students in Geography and Sustainable Urban Development.
Current Graduate Research Students
Gendered Mobilities and Platform-based Transport Services in Lahore, Pakistan
(Dept of Continuing Education)
|Cities of Diversity: Urban Development Perspectives on
Displacement and Migration in Cyprus.|
(Dept of Continuing Education)
|Beyond borders: the intersection of immigration, urban climate governance, and the border abolition movement in sanctuary cities.|
Debbie actively seeks out opportunities for engagement beyond academia. To this end, she has written articles for regional and national newspapers, and contributed to the development of urban and national government policy (e.g. the advisory/ technical group, Te Ao Turoa - Dunedin's draft Environment Strategy, Dunedin City Council). Debbie was a founding committee member of the New Zealand Royal Society Early Career Researcher Forum, and the Otago Climate Change Network, and is a committee member of the RGS-IBG Transport Geography Research Group. Debbie sits on the advisory board for the Oxford School on Climate Change.
From 2017 to 2019, Debbie undertook a part-time academic secondment with the New Zealand Ministry of Transport's research and strategy team, working on a number of projects that develop greater collaboration between the academic and policy communities in New Zealand, and integrate up-to-date academic research, and alternative forms of 'evidence' with policy development.
- Calverley, J., Hopkins, D., García Bengoechea, E., Coppell, K., Spence, J.C. and Mandic, S. (2022) Active travel in rural New Zealand: A study of rural adolescents' perceptions of walking and cycling to school. Active Travel Studies.
- Higham, J.E.S., Loehr, J., Hopkins, D., Becken, S. and Stovall, W. (2022) Climate science and tourism policy in Australasia: Deficiencies in science-policy translation. Journal of Sustainable Tourism.
- Hopkins, D. (2022) Buffering as Everyday Logistical Labour. Roadsides, 007: Logistics: 51-58.
- Hopkins, D. and Davidson, A.C. (2022) Stories of the gendered mobile work of English lorry driving. Gender Place and Culture.
- Hopkins, D. and Schwanen, T. (2022) Recruiting Research Participants for Transport Research: Reflections from Studies on Autonomous Vehicles in the UK. Journal of Transport Geography, 102. 103377.
- Mandic, S., Garcia Bengoechea, E., Hopkins, D., Coppell, K. and Spence, J.C. (2022) Adolescents' perceptions of walking and cycling to school differ based on how far they live from school. Journal of Transport and Health, 24. 101316.
- McCurdy, A., Stearns, J.A., Rhodes, R.E., Hopkins, D., Mummery, K. and Spence, J.C. (2022) Relationships Between Physical Activity, Boredom Proneness, and Subjective Well-Being Among U.K. Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 44(3): 189-197.
- Scheer, A. Schwarz, M., Hopkins, D. and Caldecott, B. (2022) Whose jobs face transition risk in Alberta? Understanding sectoral employment precarity in an oil-rich Canadian province. Climate Policy, 22(8): 1016-1032.
- Hopkins, D. (2021) Crises and sustainable tourism. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 29(9): 1423-1435.
- Hopkins, D. and Schwanen, T. (2021) Talking about automated vehicles: What do levels of automation do? Technology in Society, 64. 101488.
- Martiskainen, M., Sovacool, B.K., Lacey-Barnacle, M., Hopkins, D., Jenkins, K.E.H., Simcock, N., Mattioli, G. and Bouzarovski, S. (2021) New dimensions of vulnerability to energy and transport poverty. Joule, 5(1): 3-7.
- Mindell, J., Ergler, C., Hopkins, D. and Mandic, S. (2021) Taking the bus? Barriers and facilitators for adolescent use of public buses to school. Travel Behaviour and Society, 22: 48-58.
- Spence, J.C., Rhodes, R.E., McCurdy, A., Mangan, A., Hopkins, D. and Mummery, W.K. (2021) Determinants of physical activity among adults in the United Kingdom during the COVID-19 pandemic: The DUK-COVID study. British Journal of Health Psychology, 26(2): 588-605.
- Thomopoulos, N., Cohen, S., Hopkins, D., Kimber, S. and Siegel, L. (2021) All work and no play? Autonomous vehicles in non-commuting journeys. Transport Reviews.
- Bach, L., Hopkins, D. and Stephenson, J. (2020) Solar electricity cultures: Household adoption dynamics and energy policy in Switzerland. Energy Research and Social Science, 63: 1-13.
- Cohen, T., Stilgoe, J., Stares, S., Akeyelken, N., Cavoli, C., Day, J., Dickinson, J., Fors, V., Hopkins, D., Lyons, G., Marres, N., Newman, J., Reardon, L., Sipe, N., Tennant, C., Wadud, Z. and Wigley, E. (2020) A constructive role for social science in the development of automated vehicles. Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspective, 6. Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspective.
- Hopkins, D. (2020) Sustainable mobility at the interface of transport and tourism (introduction to special issue on ‘Innovative approaches to the study and practice of sustainable transport, mobility and tourism’). Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 28(2): 129-143.
- Hopkins, D., Kester, J., Meelen, T. and Schwanen, T. (2020) Not more but different: A comment on the transitions research agenda. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 34: 4-6.
- Keall, M., Hopkins, D., Coppell, K., Sandretto, S., Garcia Bengoechea, E., Spence, J., Wilson, G. and Mandic, S. (2020) Implications of attending the closest school on adolescents' physical activity and car travel in Dunedin, New Zealand. Journal of Transport and Health, 18. 100900.
- Klöwer, M., Hopkins, D., Allen, M. and Higham, J. (2020) An analysis of ways to decarbonize conference travel after COVID-19. Nature, 583: 356-359.
- Mandic, S., Hopkins, D., Garcia Bengoechea, E., Flaherty, C., Coppell, K., Moore, A., Williams, J. and Spence, J.C. (2020) Differences in Parental Perceptions of Walking and Cycling to High School According to Distance. Transportation Research Part F: Psychology and Behaviour, 71: 238-249.
- Mandic, S., Hopkins, D., Garcia Benhoechea, E.G., Moore, A., Sandretto, S., Coppell, K., Ergler, C., Keall, M., Rolleston, A., Kidd, G., Wilson, G. and Spence, J.C. (2020) Built Environment and Active Transport to School: BEATS Natural Experiment study protocol. BMJ Open, 10. e034899.
- Sandretto, S., Hopkins, D., Wilson, G. and Mandic, S. (2020) Competing tensions: Active transport to school, school choice and policy making. Journal of Transport and Health, 18. 100908.
- Sovacool, B., Shoval, N., Hopkins, D., Jenkins, K., Hielscher, S., Goldthau, A. and Brossmann, B. (2020) Imagining sustainable energy and mobility transitions: Valence, temporality, and radicalism in 38 visions of a low-carbon future. Social Studies of Science, 50(4).
- Cohen, S., Hanna, P., Higham, J.E.S., Hopkins, D. and Orchiston, C. (2019) Gender discourses in academic mobility. Gender, Work and Organization.
- Cohen, S.A. and Hopkins, D. (2019) Autonomous vehicles and the future of urban tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 74: 33-42.
- Gössling, S., Hanna, P., Higham, J., Cohen, S. and Hopkins, D. (2019) Can we fly less? Evaluating the 'necessity' of air travel. Journal of Air Transport Management, 81. 101722.
- Hassan, K., Higham, J.E.S., Wooliscroft, B. and Hopkins, D. (2019) Climate change and World Heritage: A cross-border analysis of the Sundarbans (Bangladesh-India). Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events, special issue on Tourism Policy in the Asia Pacific.
- Higham, J.E.S., Hopkins, D. and Orchiston, C. (2019) The work-sociology of academic aeromobility at remote institutions. Mobilities, 14(5).
- Hopkins, D., Bengoechea, E.G. and Mandic, S. (2019) Adolescents and their aspirations for private car-based transport. Transportation: 1-27.
- Hopkins, D., Higham, J.E.S., Orchiston, C. and Duncan, T. (2019) Practising academic mobilities: Bodies, networks and institutional rhythms. The Geographical Journal, 185(4): 472-484.
- Mandic, S., Sandretto, S., Hopkins, D., Wilson, G., Moore, A. and Garcia Bengoechea, E. (2019) “I wanted to go here”: Adolescents’ perspectives on school choice. Journal of School Choice: International Research and Reform, 12(1): 98-122.
- Haerewa, N., Stephenson, J. and Hopkins, D. (2018) Shared mobility in a Māori community. Kotuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online, 13(2): 233-245.
- Hopkins, D. and Schwanen, T. (2018) Automated Mobility Transitions: Governing Processes in the UK. Sustainability, 10(4): 956.
- Mandic, S., Sandretto, S., Hopkins, D., Wilson, G., Moore, A. and García Bengoechea, E. (2018) “I wanted to go here”: Adolescents’ perspectives on school choice. Journal of School Choice: International Research and Reform, 12(1): 98-122.
- Frater, J., Williams, J., Hopkins, D., Flaherty, C., Moore, A., Kingham, S., Kuijer, R. and Mandic, S. (2017) A tale of two New Zealand cities: Cycling to school among adolescents in Christchurch and Dunedin. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 49: 205-214.
- Hopkins, D. (2017) Destabilising automobility? The emergent mobilities of generation Y. AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, 46(3): 371-383.
- Hopkins, D. and Mandic, S. (2017) Perceptions of cycling amongst High School Students and their Parents. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 11(5): 342-356.
- Mandic, S. Hopkins, D., Bengoechea, E., Flaherty, C. Williams, J. Sloane, L., Moore, A., and Spence, J. (2017) Adolescents' perceptions of cycling versus walking to school: Understanding the New Zealand context. Journal of Transport and Health, 4: 294-304.
- Mandic, S., Sandretto, S., Bengoechea, E.G., Hopkins, D., Moore, A., Rodda, J. and Wilson, G. (2017) Enrolling in the closest school: Implications of school choice decisions for active transport to school. Journal of Transport and Health, 6C: 347-357.
- Stephenson, J., Spector, S., Hopkins, D. and McCarthy, A. (2017) Deep interventions for a sustainable transport future. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment.
- Higham, J.E.S., Haukeland, J.V., Hopkins, D., Vistad, O.I., Lindberg, K. and Daugstad, K. (2016) National Parks policy and planning: A comparative analysis of friluftsliv (Norway) and the dual mandate (New Zealand). Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events, 8(2): 146-175.
- Hopkins, D. (2016) Can environmental awareness explain declining preference for car-based mobility amongst generation Y? An examination of learn to drive behaviours. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 94: 149-163.
- Hopkins, D. and McCarthy, A. (2016) Change trends in urban freight delivery: A qualitative inquiry. Geoforum, 74: 158-170.
- Hopkins, D. and Stephenson, J. (2016) The replication and reduction of automobility: findings from Aotearoa New Zealand. Journal of Transport Geography, 56: 92-101.
- Mandic, S., Williams, J., Moore, A., Hopkins, D., Flaherty, C., Wilson, G., García Bengoechea, E. and Spence, J.C. (2016) Built Environment and Active Transport to School (BEATS) Study: Protocol for a Cross-Sectional Study. BMJ Open, 6. e011196.
- Rees, D., Stephenson, J., Hopkins, D. and Doering, A. (2016) Exploring stability and change in transport systems: combining Delphi and System Dynamics approaches. Transportation, 44(198): 1-17.
- Hall, C.M., Amelung, B., Cohen, S., Eijgelaar, E. Gossling, S., Higham, J., Leemans, R., Peeters, P., Ram, Y., Scott, D., Hopkins, D. Huijbens, E.H., Koens, K., Lamers, M., et al. (2015) Denying Bogus Skepticism in Climate Change and Tourism Research. Tourism Management, 47: 352-356.
- Hall, C.M., Amelung, B., Cohen, S., Eijgelaar, E. Gossling, S., Higham, J., Leemans, R., Peeters, P., Ram, Y., Scott, D., Hopkins, D. Huijbens, E.H., Koens, K., Lamers, M., et al. (2015) No time for smokescreen skepticism: A rejoinder to Shani and Arad. Tourism Management, 47: 341-347.
- Hopkins, D. (2015) Applying a comprehensive contextual climate change vulnerability framework to New Zealand’s tourism industry. AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, 44(2): 110-120.
- Hopkins, D. (2015) Public opinion: Country comparisons. Nature Climate Change, 5: 975-976.
- Hopkins, D. (2015) The perceived risks of local climate change in Queenstown, New Zealand. Current Issues in Tourism, 18(10): 947-965.
- Hopkins, D., Campbell-Hunt, C., Carter, L., Higham, J.E.S. and Rosin, C. (2015) Climate change and Aotearoa New Zealand: A review. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 6(6): 559-583.
- Hopkins, D., Higham, J.E.S., Topp, S. and Duncan, D. (2015) Academic mobility in the Anthropocene: A comparative study of university policy at three New Zealand institutions. Journal of Sustainable Tourism (Special Issue on Understanding and Governing Sustainable Mobility), 24(3): 376-395.
- Mandic, S., Mountfort, A., Hopkins, D., Flaherty, C., Williams, J., Brook, E., Moore, A., Wilson, G. and Spence, J. (2015) Built Environment and Active Transport to School (BEATS) Study: Multidisciplinary and multi-sector collaboration for physical activity promotion. Retos: Nuevas tendencias en Educacion Fisica, Deporte y Recreacion (Challenges: New tendencies in Physical Education, Sport and Recreation), 28: 197-202.
- Stephenson, J., Barton, B., Carrington, G., Doering, A., Ford, B., Hopkins, D., Lawson, R., McCarthy, A., Rees, D., Scott, M.G., Thorsnes, P., Walton, S., Williams, J. and Wooliscroft, B. (2015) The Energy Cultures Framework: Exploring the role of norms, practices and material culture in shaping energy behaviour in New Zealand. Energy Research and Social Science, 7: 117-123.
- Hopkins, D. (2014) The sustainability of climate change adaptation strategies in New Zealand’s ski industry: a range of stakeholder perceptions. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 22(1): 107-126.
- Hopkins, D. and Maclean, K. (2014) Climate change perceptions and responses in Scotland's ski industry. Tourism Geographies: An International Journal of Tourism Space, Place and Environment, 16(3): 400-414.
- Hopkins, D. and Stephenson, J. (2014) Generation Y mobilities through the lens of energy cultures: a preliminary exploration of mobility cultures. Journal of Transport Geography, 38: 88-91.
- Stephenson, J. Hopkins, D. and Doering, A. (2014) Conceptualizing transport transitions: Energy Cultures as an organizing framework. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment, 4(4): 354-364.
- Hopkins, D. (2013) Learning about Climate: An Exploration of the Socialization of Climate Change. Weather, Climate and Society, 5(4): 381-393.
- Hopkins, D., Higham, J. and Becken, S. (2013) Climate change in a regional context: relative vulnerability in the Australasian skier market. Regional Environmental Change, 13(2): 449-458.
- Rosin, C., Dwiartama, A., Grant, D. and Hopkins, D. (2013) Using provenance to create stability: State-led territorialisation of Central Otago as assemblage. New Zealand Geographer, 69(3): 235-248.
- Higham, J.E.S., Hopkins, D. and Orchiston, C. (2022) Academic aeromobility in the global periphery. In, Bjørkdahl, K. and Duharte, A.S.F. (eds.) Academic Aeromobility: Airborne Research in the Anthropocene. Springer, Singapore.
- Hopkins, D. and Akyelken, N. (2022) MotherTruckers? Gendered work in logistics and freight. In, Wright, T., Budd, L. and Ison, S. (eds.) Gender and Work in Transport. Emerald Publishing.
- Hopkins, D. and Plyushteva, A. (2022) Transport geographies. In, Lees, L. and Demeritt, D. (eds.) Concise Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Edward Elgar Publishers. Elgar Encyclopedias in the Social Sciences series.
- Hopkins, D. and Brand, C. (2021) The energy implications of transport planning. In, Vickerman, R., Noland, R.B. and Ettema, D. (eds.) The International Encyclopedia of Transportation. Elsevier, London.
- Hopkins, D. (2020) Low Carbon Mobility Transitions. In, Curtis, C. (ed.) The Handbook of Sustainable Transport. Edward Elgar.
- Hopkins, D. (2018) Winter sports resources, climate change and the ironies of sports-related mobilities. Chapter 7 in, Higham, J.E.S. and Hinch, T. (eds.) Sport Tourism Development (Edition 3). Channel View Publications, Clevedon, UK.
- Hopkins, D. and Higham, J.E.S. (2018) Climate change and tourism. Chapter 25 in, Cooper, C., Volo, S., Gartner, W.C. and Scott, N.. (eds.) The SAGE Handbook of Tourism Management. SAGE, London, UK.
- Hopkins, D. and Markowitz, E.M. (2018) Geographies of climate change belief. In, Nisbet, M.C., Ho, S.S., Markowitz, E., O'Neill, S., Schäfer, M.S. and Thaker, J. (eds.) The Oxford Encyclopedia of Climate Change Communication. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
- Hopkins, D. and Schwanen, T. (2018) Experimentation with vehicle automation. In, Jenkins, K.E.H. and Hopkins, D. (eds.) Transitions in Energy Efficiency and Demand: The Emergence, Diffusion and Impact of Low-Carbon Innovation. Routledge, Abingdon. pp. 72-93. ISBN: 9780815356783.
- Hopkins, D. and Schwanen, T. (2018) Governing the race to automation. In, Marsden, G. and Reardon, L. (eds.) Governance of Smart Mobility. Emerald, Bingley, UK.
- Hopkins, D. and Mandic, S. (2017) Purposeful leisure mobilities: reframing the walk to school. In, Hall, C.M., Ram, Y. and Shoval, N. (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Walking Studies: Leisure, Travel and Wellbeing. Routledge, London. 488 pp. ISBN: 978-1-13-819534-9.
- Higham, J.E.S. and Hopkins, D. (2014) Wildlife viewing: “Call it consumption!”. Chapter 22 in, Gossling, S., Scott, D. and Hall, M. (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Tourism and Sustainability. Routledge, London.
- Hopkins, D. and Becken, S. (2014) Socio-cultural resilience. Chapter 39 in, Hall, M., Williams, A. and Lew, A. (eds.) The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Tourism. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN: 978-1-118-47448-8.
- Hopkins, D. and Higham, J.E.S. (2012) Framework conventions for climate change: An analysis of global framework conventions with reference to resource governance and environmental management approaches in New Zealand. Chapter 22 in, Holden, A. and Fennell, D. (eds.) A Handbook of Tourism and the Environment. Routledge, London. pp. 227-240.