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Dr Tim Harries

Senior research fellow, Small Business Research Centre, Kingston University.

Dr  Tim Harries Areas of expertise

Find out more about Dr Tim Harries


Tim is senior research fellow in the Small Business Research Centre within Kingston University's Business School. He is primarily concerned with human behaviour change - in particular with regard to householder and small business responses to natural hazards, with a special emphasis on their attitudes towards flooding and how they might protect themselves.

Research into lay responses to flood risk forms an important part of Tim's work Tim. He provides consultancy and advice to the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Environment Agency, is currently researching how small businesses respond to flood risk and has evaluated a scheme that provided individual households and businesses with property-level flood protection.

"Flooding is become more frequent and with the impending end of the voluntary agreement between government and the insurance industry, insurers will soon be able to refuse to provide cover for households in high flood risk areas. This is not an issue we can afford to ignore," says Tim. "Climate change, and its fall-out - such as increased flooding - will happen regardless of any changes in carbon emissions, so  we need to see how people can learn to adapt." To this end, Tim and colleagues from the University of the West of England have developed an e-learning tool that will help small businesses work out how they can make themselves more resilient to future flooding.

Tim also researches behaviour change around electricity consumption and active lifestyles, including in a large recent research project called CHARM, a Kingston University collaboration that is investigating the use of the social norm to "nudge" people into acting in a more sustainable way. "The idea behind CHARM was to see if you can change people's behaviour by feeding them information about how their neighbours are behaving - for example how much electricity they are using. For instance if people perceive the social norm is to use less electricity, they might want to be more like their peers by also using less."

If you'd like to know more about Tim's flooding research, visit the SESAME project website.


Year gained Subject
2007 PhD, Understanding householder responses to flood risk and their decisions over the use of property-level protection and resilience, Glood Hazard Research Centre, Middlesex University.
2000 MSc Social Research Methods (Social Psychology), London School of Economics.
1991 BA Politics, University of York.

Career Highlights

Year Position held
2011 Senior Research Fellow, Kingston Business School, Kingston University.
2010 Visiting Researcher, Department of Geography, King's College London.
2009 - 2010 ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, King's College London.
2008 - 2009 Consultant on contract to Flood Management Division, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
2007 - 2008 ESRC Placement Fellow, Flood Management Division, Defra.
2007 - 2008 Research Fellow, Flood Hazard Research Centre, Middlesex University.
2001 - 2003 Senior Researcher, National Centre for Social Research.
1999 - 2001 Customer Research Officer, Royal National Institute for Blind People.



Harries, T and Rettie, R (2016). Walking as a Social Practice: dispersed walking and the organisation of everyday practices. Sociology of Health & Illness, 38, 6.

Rettie, R, Burchell, K and Harries, T (2014), Energy Consumption Feedback: Engagement by Design. In Design, User Experience, and Usability. User Experience Design for Everyday Life Applications and Services, Volume 8519, 594-604.

Harries, T, Eslambolchilar, P, Stride, C, Rettie, R and Walton, S (2013). ‘Walking in the Wild - Using an Always-on Smartphone Application to Increase Physical Activity'. P. Kotz et al. (Eds.): INTERACT 2013, Part IV, LNCS 8120, pp. 19-36. IFIP International Federation for Information Processing (2013).

Harries, T, Rettie, R and Studley, M (2012). ‘Using digital technologies to test the social norms approach to reducing electricity consumption'. Proceedings of HCI 2012, The 26th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction.

Harries, T, Rettie, R, Studley, M, Chambers, S and Burchell, K (2013). Is social norms marketing effective? A case study in domestic electricity consumption. European Journal of Marketing, 47, 9.

Harries T (2012). The anticipated emotional consequences of adaptive behaviour - impacts on the take-up of protective measures amongst householders in areas of flood risk. Environment and Planning A, 44(3), 649 - 668.

Harries, Tim (2013) Responding to flood risk in the UK. In: Joffe, Helene , Rossetto, Tiziana and Adams, John, (eds.) Cities at risk: living with perils in the 21st century. Dordrecht, Germany : Springer. pp. 45-72.

Harries T (2012). Why Most "At-Risk" Homeowners Do Not Protect Their Homes from Flooding. In Lamond J, Booth C, Hammond F and Proverbs D (eds.) Flood Hazards - Impacts and Responses for the Built Environment. Taylor and Francis.

Harries T and Penning-Rowsell E (2011). Victim pressure, institutional inertia and climate change adaptation: the case of flood risk. Global Environmental Change 21, pp188-97. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2010.09.002

Harries T (2010). Review of the Pilot Flood Protection Grant Scheme in a Recently Flooded Area. R&D Technical Report FD2651/TR. Defra: London.

Harries T (2008) 'Feeling secure or being secure? Why it can seem better not to protect yourself against a natural hazard'. Health, Risk and Society, 10, 5, pp479-490.

Schanze J, Hutter G, Harries T, Koeniger P, Kuhlicke C, Meyer V, Nachtnebel HP, Neuhold C, Olfert A, Parker D, Penning-Rowsell E, Schildt A. (2008). Systematisation, evaluation and context conditions of structural and non-structural measures for flood risk reduction, FLOOD-ERA joint report. London: ERA-NET CRUE.

Media Highlights

Tim is available for media interviews and is also happy to help journalists by providing background information if they are researching stories within his areas of expertise. He has been interviewed on Channel Four News, the BBC Politics Show, BBC News 24, Channel 5 News, Sky News, BBC Radio Four's "PM" programme, BBC 5-Live and numerous local and regional radio stations. He has also contributed to pieces in the Independent, the Irish Examiner and the Sunday Telegraph's Business Reporter.

Conference Highlights

Tim has been an invited speaker at a number of UK conferences on flood protection and other topics.  

Professional Body Membership

Royal Geographic Society

British Sociological Society

Contact us

General enquiries:

Journalists only:

  • Communications team
    Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 3034
    Email us

Contact us

General enquiries:

Journalists only:

  • Communications team
    Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 3034
    Email us