Alex Smalley

PhD Student

About me

I have a background in the physical sciences and have spent the last 13 years communicating complex concepts to a range of national and international audiences. Following an undergraduate degree which focused on atmospheric and oceanic physics, I worked for Defra, private consultancy and BBC News before joining the University of Exeter in 2011. In addition to my PhD research with the Wellcome Centre, I currently lead the science communication activities on two large pan-European grants, BlueHealth and SOPHIE—both investigating the links between aquatic environments and health.

My research

My PhD is exploring how immersive digital experiences of the natural world can affect well-being. The study is focusing on understanding how nature, culture and technology can combine to enhance psychological health. It will take the first steps in developing a therapeutic intervention for people who face significant barriers to visiting ‘real’ natural environments, and consider how such a therapy might also foster greater connections with nature. More details are available on the Virtual Nature project page and at virtual-nature.com.

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