Jenny Roe

Jenny Roe

Twitter: @jennyjroe

Title: SEI Associate

Role: Affiliated with SEI York

Centre: SEI Associates

    Jenny Roe is an SEI Associate at SEI York. Jenny is an environmental psychologist exploring how the quality of the built environment relates to health and well-being.

    Her research involves two themes with overlapping agendas. The first is in restorative and salutogenic (health-improving) environments; the second is in "enabling" places - environments that aid recovery from ill health or special difficulties by offering, for example, better mobility, meaning and enjoyment of places for marginalized groups (e.g. the elderly, people with mental health problems and visual impairments, young people at risk, and those living with deprivation).

    She has built an international reputation for pioneering novel methods in the field of environment and behaviour research (e.g. the use of cortisol as measure of chronic stress; measuring brain activity "on the move"’ using a mobile neural cap to explore arousal and stress) as well as extending models on health and well-being to young people, and developing innovative ethnographic techniques for measuring behaviour change over time.

    Jenny’s research is commissioned by major U.K. stakeholders including the Scottish Government and Forestry Commission, research councils (ESRC and EPSRC) and charities (e.g. RNIB) and aims to direct social, recreational and health policy in the UK.

    Prior to joining SEI in August 2013, Jenny was a Lecturer in the School of the Built Environment, Heriot Watt University (2011 to 2013); a Research Fellow with OPENspace, University of Edinburgh (2008 to 2011); and a Research Fellow, School of Engineering, South Bank University (2001 to 2002). Before entering academia, she was Principal Landscape Architect at Sprunt, a leading London-based architectural practice (1991 to 2003).

    She earned her Ph.D. in restorative environments at Heriot Watt University in 2008. She is an experienced lecturer in architectural engineering and sustainable design, landscape architecture and interior architecture and currently supervises several Ph.D. candidates on the health and well-being theme.

    Current projects

    Mood, Mobility and Place – A three-year research project funded by the EPSRC through Lifelong Health and Wellbeing and a multi-disciplinary collaboration bringing together the University of Edinburgh (lead); Heriot-Watt University; King’s College, London and SEI. The project explores how places can be designed collaboratively to make mobility easy, enjoyable and meaningful for older people. The project builds on evidence that how we experience environments influences our mood and, in turn, our willingness to be active. Partnered by 16 stakeholder bodies, it involves co-design with a range of participants, including stroke survivors and people with Alzheimer’s, as well as innovative mobile neural imaging methods to explore real-time emotional responses to place. Working with the Lothian Birth Cohorts of people in their 70s and 90s, the research will be the first to consider the influence of local environments in which people have resided from childhood. The project starts in September 2013.

    Woods in and Around Towns (WIAT): influences on psychological well-being in deprived urban areas – a four-year longitudinal assessment of the effectiveness of Forestry Commission Scotland’s Woods In and Around Towns (WIAT) programme to improve quality of life in deprived communities along Scotland’s ‘central belt’.  Funded by the NIHR this project is looking specifically at the impact of WIAT on the psychological well-being and stress levels of people living in deprived urban communities. Running from 2012 to 2015, it involves researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh (lead), Glasgow, Heriot-Watt, Queen Mary (London) and SEI.


    Complete list of publications »