Dr Larissa Nicholls

Larissa Nicholls is a Research Fellow in the Beyond Behaviour Change research program at the Centre for Urban Research.

Larissa uses both qualitative and quantitative research methods to understand practices which involves resource consumption and/or health and wellbeing outcomes.

Larissa’s research aims to identify pathways to more sustainable, healthy and equitable practices – including how policy and organisations can support these transitions. Her research is informed by a broad background including energy efficiency and sustainability initiatives, teaching and training, community development and medical research.

Her research interests include:

  • Energy consumption and impacts of technologies on household life
  • Urban planning, design and health outcomes
  • Energy demand, pricing, programs and policy
  • Equity and access to energy efficient, healthy housing
  • Heatwave vulnerability and preparedness
  • Role of community in urban and regional life
  • Food practices, food security and food safety

Larissa was awarded the Peter Harrison Memorial Prize at the 2015 State of Australian Cities Conference for a distinctive contribution to knowledge and capacity for the sustainable development of Australian Cities and Regions (with co-authors Kath Phelan & Cecily Maller).

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Related Content


Hidden energy poverty: Case studies research project

Investigating energy and water under-use by households in order to afford utility bill payments which may have adverse effects on health and quality of life.

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Smart Home Control: Exploring the potential for enabling technologies in households

RMIT researchers are trialling ‘smart’ home control devices in 40 households in Victoria and South Australia – to assess the potential of these devices to help manage home electricity consumption.

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Heatwaves, Homes & Health

The heatwaves, homes and health project is seeking to understand the experiences of households during very hot weather.

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Horsham Catalyst Research and Evaluation Final Report

This study led by RMIT's Centre for Urban Research and funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, investigates the economic, social and environmental performance of low-carbon houses in comparison with 'standard' residences in Horsham, Victoria.

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The Great Australian Nightmare? The problem of escalating housing aspirations and expectations and adaptation to climate change

Maller, C, Strengers, Y, Moloney, S and Nicholls, L 2013, 'The great Australian nightmare? The problem of escalating housing aspirations and expectations and adaptation to climate change', in Nick Osbaldiston, Catherine Strong and Helen Forbes-Mewett (ed.) 2013 Conference Proceedings: Reflections, Intersections and Aspirations 50 years of Australian Sociology, Hawthorn, Australia, 25-28 November 2013, pp. 1-13.

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Curious energy consumers: Humans and nonhumans in assemblages of household practice

Strengers, Y, Maller, C and Nicholls, L 2014, 'Curious energy consumers: Humans and nonhumans in assemblages of household practice', Journal of Consumer Culture, vol. online, pp. 1-20.

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