Dr Tess Davis

  • Research Associate (MRC/CSO Social & Public Health Sciences Unit)


I studied at the University of Edinburgh for my undergraduate degree in Philosophy & Psychology between 2013 - 2017, and for my Master's degree in Social Psychology between 2018 - 2019. I then moved to the University of Glasgow to complete my PhD in Psychology between 2019 - 2023. 

I worked as a Research Assistant in the School of Psychology & Neuroscience during my PhD in 2022, and after my PhD in 2023, before undertaking my ESRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship in 2024. I am now a member of the Complexity Programme in the Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in the School of Health and Wellbeing. I am also chair of the Climate Justice Book Club.

My research has been published in Personality and Social Psychology BulletinAppetiteAdvances in Experimental Social Psychology and Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. I have received three poster awards for my PhD research at the European Health Psychology Society 36th Annual Conference (2022), the British Feeding & Drinking Group 46th Annual Meeting (2022) and at the RESAS Science, Evidence and Policy Conference (2023).

Research interests

My current research focuses on the relationship between dietary preferences, food representations and sustainable consumption behaviour. Specifically, I am interested in why mainstream consumers find it so difficult to make sustainable food choices, and how to tackle barriers relating to plant-based consumption.

My previous work has analysed the language that omnivores and vegans use to describe both meat and plant-based foods, as an indicator of the non-conscious processes involved in current food discourse. My main research interest at present is understanding how close social relationships can be used to help the transition towards sustainable diets easier for consumers. The aim of my research so far is to promote the importance of social identity dynamics involved in mainstream consumers’ dietary choices, in order to develop more effective behaviour change interventions that encourage long-term, sustainable eating practices.

Other research interests include interdisciplinary strategies to help transform the current food system, the meat-masculinity paradigm, and how awareness of human-nature-environment interconnectedness can motivate sustainable attitudes and behaviour.


List by: Type | Date