Behavioural and Social Science Research in Extreme and Adventurous Settings

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University of Manchester

Manchester Meeting Place


M1 3AL

United Kingdom

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Event description


Friday 15th February 2019

Are you doing social or behavioural science research on the experiences of people who choose extreme and challenging environments? Do you have experience of (or are you planning) activities in high-risk settings? Are you responsible for the well-being of people sent to difficult and challenging places?

If so, we invite you to join us on 15th February at a conference organised by University of Manchester (UoM) and Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) on social and behavioural science in extreme and adventurous settings.

During the one-day event, we will discuss research on factors that can influence safety, performance, and health and wellbeing in challenging and demanding contexts. The content will be relevant in a range of extreme activities, including climbing, mountaineering, caving, long-distance sailing, fieldwork, space exploration, and adventure sports.

The conference will include presentations and discussions across a range of disciplines, from psychology, physiology and sports science to history, anthropology and geography. Keynote presentations include:

  • History of heroism and bravery in exploration

  • Psychological resilience and selection of astronauts

  • Coping with stress in high-risk settings

  • Methods for understanding the psychological demands of extreme deployments

  • Conflict resolution in isolated and remote environments

  • Self care in humanitarian response teams

  • Trauma, adversity and growth

We will also hear from a number of excellent early-career researchers who are conducting important new studies in this area.

The conference is designed to be relevant for both academic and practitioner audiences. Presentations and workshops will be underpinned by a sound evidence-base but delivered with the end-user in mind.

*** A full conference programme will be released prior to the event ***

Get involved

If you would like to share your own research fitting broadly into the topic area, there will be a dedicated session for flash poster presentations. In order to share your research as a flash presentation, please register for the conference and then send a short abstract (150 words) to before the close of play on Friday February the 1st. We will be in touch shortly thereafter to confirm. Your abstract should include an introduction to the work, an overview of findings and the relevance of the research to the people you think will use it.


Dr Max Jones, Senior Lecturer (Modern British History), University of Manchester

Professor Gro Sandal, Professor of Psychology, University of Bergen

Professor Marc Jones, Professor of Psychology, Manchester Metropolitan University

Professor Andy McCann, Visiting Professor, Manchester Metropolitan University

Professor Emma Barrett, OBE, Professor of Psychology, Security and Trust, University of Manchester

Anders Kjaergaard, Military Psychologist, Danish Defence and former member of Sirius Patrol

Jesper Corneliussen, Military Psychologist, Danish Defence and former member of Sirius Patrol

Dr Amy Hughes, MBE, Clinical Academic Lecturer in Emergency Response at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI), University of Manchester

Dr Laura Blackie, Assistant Professor, School of Psychology, University of Nottingham

*** Additional speakers to be announced soon ***


Please follow the link to register for the event. You will receive an email to confirm your place has been secured.

Catering and refreshements

We are asking for a small fee of £15 to cover the cost of refreshements and lunch on the day. A payment link will be sent out in advance of the conference and it will also be possible to pay at the point of registration on the day.


The conference is supported by an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Impact Acceleration Award. Internal support has been provided by UoM and MMU.

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University of Manchester

Manchester Meeting Place


M1 3AL

United Kingdom

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