Dr Brendan Doody



Brendan was a research associate at the Transport Studies Unit (TSU) from April 2017 to June 2022. He obtained his PhD in Geography from the Department of Geography, Durham University under the auspices of a Commonwealth Scholarship. He also holds a Bachelor of Recreation Management (Parks) and Masters of Applied Science at Lincoln University, New Zealand.

Previously he worked as a research associate in the Use Less Group in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge from 2015 to 2017 as part of the Material Demand Reduction research programme. From 2008-2011, Brendan worked as a social scientist on energy, climate change and natural hazards at GNS Science in Wellington, New Zealand.

Brendan is interested in the social, cultural and environmental implications of contemporary lifestyles. Currently, he is seeking to understand the persistence and likelihood of transitions away from car-dependent societies focusing on:

  1. Mobility cultures and politics: Theorising and researching the material (e.g., cars, roads, cycle lanes, trains, online and TV advertising, car-showrooms), bodily (e.g., habits, capacities and skills), expressive (e.g., identities, meanings, signs, emotions and desires) and political (e.g., land development and planning, transport policies and investments) dimensions of movement.
  2. Emerging markets and economies: Exploring the social and environmental implications associated with new developments in the automobile industry (growth in crossover/SUV markets; autonomous/self-driving vehicles; electric vehicles) and urban mobility (car clubs/sharing; mobility services) will have for carbon emissions, resource consumption and private car use.
  3. Environmental governance: Examining regulations, policies and interventions aimed at addressing environmental concerns such as sustainability and climate change. A particular interest is how the framing and implementation of behaviour change interventions shapes their likelihood of success.

Current Research

Brendan is currently involved in three research projects as part of his role in the TSU:

  1. Changing drivers: Knowing, imagining and shaping autonomous car users: a project funded by a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, examining how manufacturers seek to know, imagine and shape autonomous vehicle users; and how users interpret and adapt to connected and automated features (CAFs).
  2. Go Ultra Low Oxford (GULO): a project monitoring and evaluating a trial of different on-street electric vehicle charging technologies being placed at various locations in Oxford City.
  3. TEMPEST (Transforming household mobility practices through shared consumption: Low-carbon transport and sustainable energy solutions in urban areas): an interdisciplinary project which through comparitive case studies of the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway, seeks to develop an understanding of how national and urban contexts and policies influence the development and use of car sharing schemes.