Imperial College London

Mrs. Ute Barbara Thiermann

Faculty of Natural SciencesCentre for Environmental Policy

Visiting Researcher







60216 Prince's GardensSouth Kensington Campus





As a social scientist I am particularly interested in the human factor in environmental policy and sustainable transitions. While people are the cause for most current environmental challenges, they also are the answer. But how do we get people to care? 

My current research is placed at the interface between personal and planetary well-being. My work focusses on the relationship between humans and nature, and the underlying motivations for sustainable behaviour. My doctoral thesis investigates the effect of mindfulness practice on environmental motivation and dietary choices.

To find answers to my questions, I creatively blend qualitative and quantitative methods from environmental psychology and philosophy, neuroscience, and sustainability research.  


Besides my research, I also work as a yoga instructor. I completed a 390 hours teacher training at triyoga London, certified by the British Wheel of Yoga and Yoga Alliance Professionals (UK and USA). I also am a certified Mental Health First Aider. 

Personal website


In 2016, I graduated from Imperial College with an MSc in Environmental Technology. I also hold a degree in political science and sociology from the Catholic University in Eichst├Ątt, Germany. 

Before taking my Masters, I spent 3 years working in the field of international climate cooperation as an employee of the German Agency for International Development (GIZ) in Brazil. In a joint project with the Brazilian Government, we promoted technology transfer for implementation of concentrating solar power in Brazilian deserts.  

Imperial College TEDx 2018

Have you ever thought about what makes you happy? And what happiness means to you? In this TEDx talk Ute takes you through the history, psychology and neuroscience of happiness.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Thiermann U, Sheate W, 2020, Motivating individuals for social transition: the 2-pathway model and experiential strategies for pro-environmental behaviour, Ecological Economics, Vol:174, ISSN:0921-8009

More Publications