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Dr Leslie Mabon

Profile summary

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Professional biography

I'm a Lecturer in Environmental Systems in the School of Engineering and Innovation at the Open University. I have a PhD in Geography, and have previously worked at the Scottish Association for Marine Science-University of the Highlands and Islands, Robert Gordon University, and the University of Edinburgh. I am a member of the Young Academy of Scotland - where I lead the Zero Carbon by 2045 Grand Challenge - and am a Future Earth Coasts Fellow. I'm also on the Editorial Board for the journal Sustainability Science.

Research interests

The big question I’m interested in is: whose knowledge counts – and why – within enviornmental management and policy? I explore these issues through three sub-areas of research:

(a) climate change adaptation governance at the city or regional scale, especially the integration of equity and justice concerns within techncially-led processes for cliamte risk reduction;

(b) risk, environmental infrastructure and the coastal and marine environment. I am especially interested in how environmental change may impact upon socially and culturally meaningful activities, and what the effects of this may be;

(c) ‘just transitions’ for high-emitting and carbon-intensive regions, where climate imperatives may have to be balanced with local concerns over employment and economic sustainability.

My research has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the British Academy, the Wellcome Trust, the Japan Foundation, and the Royal Society of Edinburgh among others. Outputs from my work on environmental policy and governance have been published in journals including Landscape and Urban PlanningGlobal Environmental Change, and World Development.

Impact and engagement

As well as my blog and Twitter account, I enjoy societal engagement activities, and engaging with policy stakeholders as well as civil society organisations and the public. A few examples of impact and engagment activities are:

An appearance on CBS' Canada Tonight programme, where I discussed the treated water sitaution at the Fukushima Dai'Ichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan;

Being featured in Japan's Mainichi Shimbun, in an article discussing my research activites on the coast of Fukushima Prefecture since the 2011 nuclear accident;

My research into disaster risk reduction and societal resilience through restoration of ecossytems being cited in the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction Words into Action Guide on Nature-Based Solutions for Disaster Risk Reduction.

I am also a big fan of football, and write a regular column in the matchday programme on football, climate change and the environment for my favourite team Raith Rovers.

I have a long-standing collaboration with Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology in Japan, where I work with Prof Midori Kawabe and the Department of Marine Policy and Culture on the revitalisation of fisheries and coastal communities in Fukushima Prefecture following the 2011 earthquake, tsnuami and nuclear accident;

Since 2016 I have worked with Dr Wan-Yu Shih of Ming-Chuan University in Taiwan on nature-based approaches to climate change adaptation for cities. As well as currently co-leading an ESRC-MOST project on urban greening for climate-resilient neighbourhoods, we jointly run the Urban Green Adaptation Diary website and blog which shares insights on nature-based adaptation with researchers, policy stakeholders and practitioners;

I also work extensively with the Institute of Human Geography in the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, where we have developed a programme of joint fieldwork and early-career researcher capacity-building on societal dimensions of climate change adaptation for coastal communities.


Identifying factors contributing to social vulnerability through a deliberative Q-Sort process: an application to heat vulnerability in Taiwan (2022-03-01)
Mabon, Leslie and Shih, Wan-Yu
Natural Hazards ((In press))

Assessing equality in neighbourhood availability of quality greenspace in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom (2022)
Baka, Anastasia and Mabon, Leslie
Landscape Research ((Early Access))

Integration of knowledge systems in urban farming initiatives: insight from Taipei Garden City (2022)
Mabon, Leslie; Shih, Wan-Yu and Jou, Sue-Ching
Sustainability Science ((In press))

Communicating Leakage Risk in the Hydrogen Economy: Lessons Already Learned From Geoenergy Industries (2022)
Stalker, Linda; Roberts, Jennifer; Mabon, Leslie and Hartley, Patrick
Frontiers Energy Research ((In press))

Whose knowledge counts in nature-based solutions? Understanding epistemic justice for nature-based solutions through a multi-city comparison across Europe and Asia (2022)
Mabon, Leslie; Barkved, Line; de Bruin, Karianne and Shih, Wan-Yu
Environmental Science & Policy ((In press))

Understand heat vulnerability in the subtropics: Insights from expert judgements (2021-07-10)
Shih, Wan-Yu and Mabon, Leslie
International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 63, Article 102463

Urban greenspace as a climate change adaptation strategy for subtropical Asian cities: A comparative study across cities in three countries (2021-05)
Mabon, Leslie and Shih, Wan-Yu
Global Environmental Change, 68, Article 102248

Who wants North Sea CCS, and why? Assessing differences in opinion between oil and gas industry respondents and wider energy and environmental stakeholders (2021-03)
Gonzalez, Adrian; Mabon, Leslie and Agarwal, Abhishek
International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 106, Article 103288

A historical approach to understanding governance of extreme urban heat in Fukuoka, Japan (2021-02-10)
Mabon, Leslie
Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, 30(1) (pp. 5-21)

Balancing conflicting mitigation and adaptation behaviours of urban residents under climate change and the urban heat island effect (2021-02)
Kondo, Kayoko; Mabon, Leslie; Bi, Yifan; Chen, Yulin and Hayabuchi, Yuriko
Sustainable Cities and Society, 65, Article 102585

Coastal landscapes, sustainable consumption and peripheral communities: Evaluating the Miramar Resort controversy in Shanyuan Bay, Taiwan (2021-01-31)
Huang, Yi-Chen and Mabon, Leslie
Marine Policy, 123, Article 104283

Environmental justice and the politics of pollution: The case of the Formosa Ha Tinh Steel pollution incident in Vietnam (2021)
Fan, Mei-Fang; Chiu, Chih-Ming and Mabon, Leslie
Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space ((Early Access))

Elaborating a people-centered approach to understanding sustainable livelihoods under climate and environmental change: Thang Binh District, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam (2021)
Mabon, Leslie; Nguyen, Song Tung; Pham, Thi Tram; Tran, Thi Tuyet; Le, Hong Ngoc; Doan, Thi Thu Huong; Hoang, Thi Ngoc Ha; Mueller-Hirth, Natascha and Vertigans, Stephen
Sustainability Science, 16(1) (pp. 221-238)

Making sense of how proponents conspire to thwart environmental impact assessment processes: insights from the Miramar Resort controversy in Taiwan (2021)
Huang, Yi-Chen and Mabon, Leslie
Journal of Environmental Planning and Management ((Early Access))

Is there a case for recognising Taiwan at the international science-policy interface for climate change? (2021)
Mabon, Leslie and Shih, Wan-Yu
Frontiers in Climate, 3, Article 750443

Inherent resilience, major marine environmental change and revitalisation of coastal communities in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan (2020-12)
Mabon, Leslie; Kawabe, Midori; Huang, Yi-Chen; Moller, Leon; Gu, Junzheng; Wakamori, Daigo; Narita, Kaoru; Ito, Takayuki; Matsumoto, Akira; Niizeki, Kouji; Suzuki, Shotaro and Watanabe, Masato
International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 51, Article 101852

Spatial relationship between land development pattern and intra-urban thermal variations in Taipei (2020-11)
Shih, Wan-Yu; Ahmad, Sohail; Chen, Yu-Cheng; Lin, Tzu-Ping and Mabon, Leslie
Sustainable Cities and Society, 62, Article 102415

What natural and social scientists need from each other for effective marine environmental assessment: Insights from collaborative research on the Tomakomai CCS Demonstration Project (2020-10)
Mabon, Leslie; Kita, Jun; Onchi, Hiromitsu; Kawabe, Midori; Katano, Toshiya; Kohno, Hiroshi and Huang, Yi-Chen
Marine Pollution Bulletin, 159, Article 111520

Environmental justice in urban greening for subtropical Asian cities: the view from Taipei (2020-09)
Mabon, Leslie
Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 41(3) (pp. 432-449)

A critical social perspective on deep sea mining: Lessons from the emergent industry in Japan (2020-08-01)
Carver, R.; Childs, J.; Steinberg, P.; Mabon, L.; Matsuda, H.; Squire, R.; McLellan, B. and Esteban, M.
Ocean & Coastal Management, 193, Article 105242

Making climate information services accessible to communities: What can we learn from environmental risk communication research? (2020-03)
Mabon, Leslie
Urban Climate, 31, Article 100537

What role for CCS in delivering just transitions? An evaluation in the North Sea region (2020-03)
Swennenhuis, Floris; Mabon, Leslie; Flach, Todd Allyn and de Coninck, Heleen
International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 94, Article 102903

Assessing governance challenges of local biodiversity and ecosystem services: Barriers identified by the expert community (2020-02)
Shih, Wan-Yu; Mabon, Leslie and Puppim de Oliveira, Jose A.
Land Use Policy, 91, Article 104291

Social science studies of the environment in Taiwan: what can the international community learn from work published within Taiwan? (2020)
Huang, Yi-Chen; Fan, Mei-Fang; Yang, Chih-Yuan and Mabon, Leslie
Local Environment, 25(1) (pp. 36-42)

Climate change, marginalised communities and considered debate within Scotland’s climate emergency (2020)
Climate Change and Marginalised Communities Workshop, and Mabon, Leslie
Scottish Geographical Journal, 136(1-4) (pp. 41-48)

Acorn: Developing full-chain industrial carbon capture and storage in a resource- and infrastructure-rich hydrocarbon province (2019-10-01)
Alcalde, Juan; Heinemann, Niklas; Mabon, Leslie; Worden, Richard H.; de Coninck, Heleen; Robertson, Hazel; Maver, Marko; Ghanbari, Saeed; Swennenhuis, Floris; Mann, Indira; Walker, Tiana; Gomersal, Sam; Bond, Clare E.; Allen, Michael J.; Haszeldine, R. Stuart; James, Alan; Mackay, Eric J.; Brownsort, Peter A.; Faulkner, Daniel R. and Murphy, Steve
Journal of Cleaner Production, 233 (pp. 963-971)

Mapping the socio-political landscape of heat mitigation through urban greenspaces: the case of Taipei Metropolis (2019-10-01)
Mabon, Leslie and Shih, Wan-Yu
Environment and Urbanization, 31(2) (pp. 552-574)

Fukuoka: Adapting to climate change through urban green space and the built environment? (2019-10)
Mabon, Leslie; Kondo, Kayoko; Kanekiyo, Hiroyuki; Hayabuchi, Yuriko and Yamaguchi, Asako
Cities, 93 (pp. 273-285)

What is the role of epistemic communities in shaping local environmental policy? Managing environmental change through planning and greenspace in Fukuoka City, Japan (2019-08)
Mabon, Leslie; Shih, Wan-Yu; Kondo, Kayoko; Kanekiyo, Hiroyuki and Hayabuchi, Yuriko
Geoforum, 104 (pp. 158-169)

Enhancing post-disaster resilience by ‘building back greener’: Evaluating the contribution of nature-based solutions to recovery planning in Futaba County, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan (2019-07)
Mabon, Leslie
Landscape and Urban Planning, 187 (pp. 105-118)

Landscape and well-being: A conceptual framework and an example (2019-03-01)
Yuill, Chris; Mueller-Hirth, Natascha; Song Tung, Nguyen; Thi Kim Dung, Nguyen; Tram, Pham Thi and Mabon, Leslie
Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine, 23(2) (pp. 122-138)

What might ‘just green enough’ urban development mean in the context of climate change adaptation? The case of urban greenspace planning in Taipei Metropolis, Taiwan (2018-07)
Mabon, Leslie and Shih, Wan-Yu
World Development, 107 (pp. 224-238)

Bringing social and cultural considerations into environmental management for vulnerable coastal communities: Responses to environmental change in Xuan Thuy National Park, Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam (2018-05-15)
Mabon, Leslie; Nguyen, Song Tung; Nguyen, Thi Kim Dung; Pham, Thi Tram; Cao, Thi Thanh Nga; Le, Thu Quynh; Dang, Thanh Trung; Nguyen, Thi Huyen Thu; Nguyen, Thi Bich Nguyet; Le, Hong Ngoc; Tran, Thi Tuyet; Bui, Thi Cam Tu; Tran, Ngoc Anh; Mueller-Hirth, Natascha and Yuill, Chris
Ocean & Coastal Management, 158 (pp. 32-44)

An evaluation of sustainable construction perceptions and practices in Singapore (2018-05)
Yin, Belle Chua Lee; Laing, Richard; Leon, Marianthi and Mabon, Leslie
Sustainable Cities and Society, 39 (pp. 613-620)

Management of sustainability transitions through planning in shrinking resource city contexts: an evaluation of Yubari City, Japan (2018)
Mabon, Leslie and Shih, Wan-Yu
Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 20(4) (pp. 482-498)

Land-use planning as a tool for balancing the scientific and the social in biodiversity and ecosystem services mainstreaming? The case of Durban, South Africa (2018)
Shih, Wan-Yu and Mabon, Leslie
Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 61(13) (pp. 2338-2357)

Engagement on risk and uncertainty – lessons from coastal regions of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan after the 2011 nuclear disaster? (2018)
Mabon, Leslie and Kawabe, Midori
Journal of Risk Research, 21(11) (pp. 1297-1312)

Challenges for social impact assessment in coastal regions: A case study of the Tomakomai CCS Demonstration Project (2017-09)
Mabon, Leslie; Kita, Jun and Xue, Ziqiu
Marine Policy, 83 (pp. 243-251)

Making sense of complexity in risk governance in post-disaster Fukushima fisheries: A scalar approach (2017-09)
Mabon, Leslie and Kawabe, Midori
Environmental Science & Policy, 75 (pp. 173-183)

Charting Disaster Recovery via Google Street View: A Social Science Perspective on Challenges Raised by the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster (2016-06)
Mabon, Leslie
International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, 7(2) (pp. 175-185)

Stakeholder and public perceptions of CO2-EOR in the context of CCS – Results from UK focus groups and implications for policy (2016-06)
Mabon, Leslie and Littlecott, Chris
International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 49 (pp. 128-137)

Meeting the Targets or Re-Imagining Society? An Empirical Study into the Ethical Landscape of Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage in Scotland (2015-08)
Mabon, Leslie and Shackley, Simon
Environmental Values, 24(4) (pp. 465-482)

Local perceptions of the QICS experimental offshore CO2 release: Results from social science research (2015-07)
Mabon, Leslie; Shackley, Simon; Blackford, Jerry C.; Stahl, Henrik and Miller, Anuschka
International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 38 (pp. 18-25)

Fisheries in Iwaki after the Fukushima Dai'ichi Nuclear Accident: Lessons for Coastal Management under Conditions of High Uncertainty? (2015)
Mabon, Leslie and Kawabe, Midori
Coastal Management, 43(5) (pp. 498-518)

CCS Acceptability: Social Site Characterization and Advancing Awareness at Prospective Storage Sites in Poland and Scotland (2015)
Brunsting, Suzanne; Mastop, Jessanne; Kaiser, Marta; Zimmer, René; Shackley, Simon; Mabon, Leslie and Howell, Rhys
Oil & Gas Science and Technology – Revue d’IFP Energies nouvelles, 70(4) (pp. 767-784)

Deliberative Decarbonisation? Assessing the Potential of an Ethical Governance Framework for Low-Carbon Energy through the Case of Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage (2015)
Mabon, Leslie; Shackley, Simon; Vercelli, Samuela; Anderlucci, Jonathan and Boot, Kelvin
Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 33(2) (pp. 256-271)

Engaging the public with low-carbon energy technologies: Results from a Scottish large group process (2014-03)
Howell, Rhys; Shackley, Simon; Mabon, Leslie; Ashworth, Peta and Jeanneret, Talia
Energy Policy, 66 (pp. 496-506)

Perceptions of sub-seabed carbon dioxide storage in Scotland and implications for policy: A qualitative study (2014-03)
Mabon, Leslie; Shackley, Simon and Bower-Bir, Nathan
Marine Policy, 45 (pp. 9-15)

Values, Places and Bodies: Opportunities for Forging a Deeper Understanding of Public Perceptions of Ccs? (2012-05-01)
Mabon, Leslie J.
Energy & Environment, 23(2-3) (pp. 329-343)

Fighting against harmful rumours, or for fisheries? Evaluating framings and narrations of risk governance in marine radiation after the Fukushima nuclear accident (2021-07)
Mabon, Leslie and Kawabe, Midori
In: Cortesi, Luisa and Joy, K. J. eds. Spilt Waters. The Idea ofd Water Conflicts (pp. 51-68)
ISBN : 9780367466428 | Publisher : Routledge India

Green Infrastructure as a Planning Response to Urban Warming: A Case Study of Taipei Metropolis (2021-03-24)
Shih, Wan-Yu and Mabon, Leslie
In: Ito, Keitaro ed. Urban Biodiversity and Ecological Design for Sustainable Cities (pp. 335-352)
ISBN : 978-4-431-56854-4 | Publisher : Springer Japan | Published : Tokyo

Ways of creating usable, multipurpose greenspace in impoverished settlements in cities of the Global South (2021)
Owusu, Alex Barimah; Songsore, Jacob; Shih, Wan-Yu and Mabon, Leslie
In: Douglas, Ian; Anderson, PML; Goode, David; Hough, Michael C.; Maddox, David; Nagendra, Harini and Tan, Puay Yok eds. The Routledge Handbook of Urban Ecology 2nd Edition (pp. 1007-1026)
ISBN : 9781138581357 / 9780429506758 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London

Getting Buy-In for Climate Change Adaptation Through Urban Planning: Climate Change Communication as a Multi-way Process (2017-12-30)
Mabon, Leslie and Shih, Wan-Yu
In: Leal, W.; Azeiteiro, U.; Manolas, E. and Azul, A. M. eds. Handbook of Climate Change Communication: Vol. 1. Climate Change Management (pp. 61-75)
ISBN : 978-3-319-69837-3 | Publisher : Springer | Published : Cham