Leslie Mabon
Title: Dr
First Name: Leslie
Surname: Mabon
Position: Reader in Environment and Society
Telephone: 01224 263210

Dr Leslie Mabon is a social scientist with an interest in how people understand and respond to change and risk in the environment. He is especially interested in researching how environmental change can affect society and culture, and in understanding solutions to environmental problems that help the most vulnerable members of society. Leslie's current case studies include the future of carbon-intensive regions such as Aberdeen and southern Hokkaido during the low-carbon transition; fishing communities in Japan following the Fukushima nuclear accident; and adapting to climate change via green infrastructure planning in Asian cities. Leslie is a member of the Young Academy of Scotland.


Project website:

Twitter: @ljmabon

Duties and Responsibilities

Reader in Environment and Society Research Lead for School of Applied Social Studies.


  • Human-environment interactions;
  • Principles of climate change and low-carbon energy;
  • Social responsibility and the energy sector.

Research Interests

  • Climate change adaptation
  • Coastal communities
  • Fukushima nuclear accident
  • Managed transitions for cities and regions dependent on carbon-intensive industry
  • Social dimensions of marine pollution


2019-22 – EPSRC Research Grant – Hydrogen Storage in Porous Media (Co-Investigator; Principal Investigator Prof Stuart Haszeldine, University of Edinburgh) (Co-I share £127,000)

2018-20 – ESRC-AHRC UK-Japan Social Sciences and Humanities Connections - Building Social Resilience to Environmental Change in Marginalised Coastal Communities (Principal Investigator; Co-Investigators Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology; Marine Ecology Research Institute) (£49,900)

2018-19 – National Centre for Resilience Research Project Grants - Developing a Digital Flood Evacuation Model for Climate Change and Wellbeing (Principal Investigator; Co-Investigator Dr Yang Jiang, School of Computer Science and Digital Media, RGU) (£29,000)

2018-19 – Global Challenges Research Fund/Scottish Funding Council Official Development Assistance RGU Allocation – social wellbeing through ecosystem health for coastal communities under climate change (Principal Investigator, Co-PI Dr Nguyen Song Tung, Institute of Human Geography, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences; 

2017-19 – Minami-Soma City Government ‘Reconstruction University’ Initiative – Let’s Talk about the Sea and Fish of Minami-Soma (PI: Prof Midori Kawabe, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Japan); 

2017-18 – International Institute for Environment and Development/SNIFFER TRACTION project – development of competences framework for assessing national-level climate change adaptation, and evaluation of competences for climate adaptation in Scotland; 

2017/19 – Royal Society of Edinburgh-Ministry of Science and Technology Joint Research Projects - Integrating environmental and social urban data to assess climate hazards - the role of green infrastructure (Co-Principal Investigator with Ming-Chuan University) (£12,000 + match-funding from MOST);

2017/18 - Wellcome Trust Seed Award in Humanities and Social Sciences (Principal Investigator, with Ming-Chuan University; University of Science and Technology Hanoi: Kyushu University) (£49,000)

2017/18 - Regional Studies Association Early Career Grant (£10,000)

2016/17 - British Academy International Partnership and Mobility Scheme (Joint Principal Investigator, with Institute of Human Geography, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences) (£10,000)

2015/16 - UK CCS Research Centre - International Collaboration Grant (with Research Centre for Innovative Technology for the Earth, Kyoto, Japan) (£17,000);

2015/16 - GB Sasakawa Foundation - Scotland-Japan Workshops on Environmental Governance (£5,000);

2014 - Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage Joint Industry Project - Work Package Leader (Public and Stakeholder Perception);

2014 - Japan Foundation Fellowship (Short-Term) (¥716,000)

External / Professional Roles

  • Reviewer for International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management, Energies, Energy and Environment, Journal of Risk Research, International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Land Use Policy, and Routledge for Geography book series;
  • Project Evaluator, Arts and Climate Change Mini-Festival, Middlefield, Aberdeen March-May 2017 (with Adaptation Scotland (funded via Scottish Government), Aberdeen City Council, Creative Carbon Scotland, Sniffer);
  • Reviewer for Energy and Environment, International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management, Energies, Journal of Risk Research, and Routledge for Geography book series;
  • Lead Researcher, UK CCS Research Centre Early Career Programme Review, February-November 2013;
  • ClimateXchange Citizens' Juries on Wind Farm Development in Scotland (2014-15) - research team member;
  • Invited participant, 2015 Summer Institute for Disaster and Risk Reduction, Beijing Normal University, China 27 July-7 August 2015.


Peer-reviewed journal articles

Mabon, L, Shih, W-Y, Kondo, K, Kanekiyo, H, and Hayabuchi, Y (2019) ‘What is the role of epistemic communities in shaping local environmental policy? Managing environmental change through planning and greenspace in Fukuoka City, Japan’ Geoforum doi: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2019.04.024;

Mabon, L (2019) ‘Enhancing post-disaster resilience by ‘building back greener’: Evaluating the contribution of nature-based solutions to recovery planning in Futaba County, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan’ Landscape and Urban Planning doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2019.03.013

Yuill, C, Mueller-Hirth, N, Nguyen Song Tung, Nguyen Thi Kim Dung, Pham Thi Tram and Mabon, L (2019) ‘Landscape and wellbeing: a conceptual framework and an example’ Health 23: 122-138;

Mabon, L and Shih, W-Y (2018) ‘Mapping the socio-political landscape of heat mitigation through urban greenspaces: the case of Taipei Metropolis‘ Environment and Urbanization doi: 10.1177/0956247818767318;

Yin, BCL, Laing, R, Leon, M, and Mabon, L (2018) ‘An evaluation of sustainable construction perceptions and practices in Singapore‘ Sustainable Cities and Society 39: 613-620;

Mabon, L and Shih, W-Y (2018) ‘What might ‘just green enough’ urban development mean in the context of climate change adaptation? The case of Taipei Metropolis, Taiwan‘ World Development 107: 224-238;

Mabon L, 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 N and Yuill C (2018) ‘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’ Ocean and Coastal Management 158: 32-44;

Mabon, L and Shih, W-Y (2018) ‘Management of sustainability transitions through planning in shrinking resource city contexts: an evaluation of Yubari City, Japan‘ Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning doi: 10.1080/1523908X.2018.1443004;

Shih, W-Y and Mabon L, (2017) ‘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‘ Journal of Environmental Planning and Management doi:10.1080/09640568.2017.1394277;

Mabon, L, Kita, J and Xue, Z (2017) ‘Challenges for social impact assessment in coastal regions: a case study of the Tomakomai CCS project’ Marine Policy 83: 243-251;

Mabon, L and Kawabe, M (2017) ‘Making sense of complexity in risk governance in post-disaster Fukushima fisheries: a scalar approach’ Environmental Science and Policy 75: 173-183;

Mabon, L (2016) ‘Using Google Street View to chart disaster recovery: a social science perspective on challenges and limitations raised by the case of the Fukushima nuclear disaster’ International Journal of Disaster Risk Science 7 (2): 175-185;

Mabon, L and Kawabe, M (2016) 'Engagement on risk and uncertainty - lessons from coastal regions of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan after the 2011 nuclear disaster?' Journal of Risk Research;

Mabon, L and Littlecott, C (2016) 'Stakeholder and public perceptions of CO2-EOR in the context of CCS - results from UK focus groups and implications for policy' International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 49: 128-137;

Mabon, L and Kawabe, M (2015) 'Fisheries in Iwaki after the Fukushima Dai'ichi nuclear accident: lessons for coastal management under conditions of high uncertainty?' Coastal Management 43 (5): 498-518;

Mabon, L, Shackley, S, Blackford, J, Stahl, H and Miller, A (2015) 'Local perceptions of the QICS experimental offshore CO2 release: results from social science research' International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 38: 18-25;

Kaiser, M, Brunsting, S, Mastop, J, Zimmer, R, Shackley, S, Mabon, L and Howell, R (2015) 'CCS acceptability: social site characterization and advancing awareness at prospective storage sites in Poland and Scotland' Oil and Gas Science and Technology 70 (4): 767-784;

Mabon, L, Shackley, S, Vercelli, S, Anderlucci, J. and Boot, K (2015) 'Deliberative decarbonisation? Exploring a framework of ethical governance for low-carbon energy' Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 33 (2): 256-271;

Mabon, L, and Shackley, S (2015) ‘More than meeting the targets? The ethical dimensions of carbon dioxide capture and storage’ Environmental Values 24: 465-482;

Howell, R, Shackley, S, Mabon, L, Ashworth, P, and Jeanneret, T (2014) ‘Engaging the public with low-carbon energy technologies: results from a Scottish large group process’ Energy Policy 66: 496-506;

Mabon, L, Shackley, S, and Bower-Bir, N (2014) ‘Perceptions of sub-seabed carbon dioxide storage in Scotland and implications for policy: A qualitative study’ Marine Policy 45: 9-15;

Mabon, L (2012) ‘Values, places and bodies: opportunities for forging a deeper understanding of public perceptions of CCS?’ Energy and Environment 23 (2-3): 329-343.

Selected contributions to edited collections/proceedings/working papers

Mabon L and Shih W-Y (2018) ‘Getting Buy-in for Climate Change Adaptation through Urban Planning: Climate Change Communication as a Two-way Process’ In: Leal W, Azeiteiro U, Manolas E, and Azul A.M (eds) Handbook of Climate Change Communication Springer: New York pp 61-75; 

Gough C, Mabon L and Mander S (2018) ‘Social and ethical dimensions’ in Gough C, Thornley P, Mander S, Vaughan N and Lea-Langton A (eds) Biomass Energy and Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS): Unlocking Negative Emissions Wiley: Chichester pp251-276;

Mabon, L, and Kawabe, M (2017) ‘‘If over a hundred Becquerels is no good, then what does fifty Becquerels mean?’ Governing fisheries and marine radiation in Japan after the Fukushima nuclear accident’ in Baghel, R, Stepan, L, and Hill, J (eds) Water, Knowledge and the Environment in Asia: Epistemologies, Practices and Locales Earthscan: London pp19-35;

Mabon, L (2016) ‘Responsible risk-taking, or – how might CSR be responsive to the nature of contemporary risks? Reflections on sub-seabed carbon dioxide storage in Scotland and marine radioactive contamination in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan’ in Vertigans, S and Idowu, S (eds) Corporate Social Responsibility: Academic Insights and ImpactsSpringer: New York pp 205-222;

Mabon, L (2015) 'Radioactivity and the city - what might Iwaki in Japan tell us about life under major environmental change?' in Condie J and AM Cooper (eds) Dialogues of Sustainable Urbanisation University of West Sydney: Pentrith, NSW pp 278-281;

Scott, V, Haszeldine, R.S, Shackley, S, Gilfillan, S.M.V, Mabon, L, and Johnson, G (2014) ‘North Sea: carbon dioxide storage is secure’ Nature 506: 34.

Mabon, L (2014) ‘Respect for nature at 200 km/h? Exploring the role of lifestyle mobilities in environmental responsibility’ in Duncan T, S Cohen and M Thulemark (eds) Lifestyle Mobilities and Corporealities Ashgate: Farnham pp 239-252;

Mabon, L and Shackley, S (2013) ‘Sweeping it under the carpet? The ethical dimensions of carbon capture and storage’ in International Social Science Council/UNESCO (ed) World Social Science Report 2013 ISSC/UNESCO/OECD: Paris pp 396-400;