Nicholas Watts was educated at Keele University (B.A. Hons in Psychology and German), Surrey University (M.Sc. in Environmental Psychology and Post-Graduate Diploma in Russian), and the Free University Berlin (D.Phil. in Political Science).
He works in research and advocacy at multiple levels of governance across the policy fields of energy, oceans and fisheries, human settlements and education for sustainable development. His experience also includes research funding administration and a wide range of teaching in the environmental social sciences. He has been a visiting fellow at a number of leading research institutions in Europe and a policy advisor or trustee for organisations working on environment and sustainability.
Principal research interests are in the study of environmental attitudes and behaviours; multi-level and cross-sectoral integration of governance for sustainability; and the promotion of a just transition to sustainable production and consumption. Substantively, the work extends to green skills and education for sustainability; strengthening university capacities for sustainable development; support for and institutionalisation of new social movements; renewable energy policy; and sustainable small-scale fisheries. He was for ten years a Senior Research Fellow at the Science Centre Berlin, working on environmental attitudes, new social movements, green parties and environmental policy, and for three years Research Director of the Anglo-German Foundation for the Study of Industrial Society.
At the international level, the main foci for advocacy work have been the Rio Process (WSSD Johannesburg, 2002, Mauritius International Meeting 2005 and Rio+20 2012, representing the Commonwealth Human Ecology Council) and the bi-annual Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (addressing the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers in 2009 at the Trinidad CHOGM and in 2011 at the Perth, Australia CHOGM). He has also been active in the UN Human Settlements field at meetings of UN Habitat, the World Urban Forum and ComHabitat and in promoting sustainable livelihoods and food security for coastal fishing communities.
Nicholas has taught at the University of Surrey (Department of Psychology), the University of the West of England (Department of Town and Country Planning), the Free University Berlin (Faculty of Sociology), the University of California Davis (Department of Political Science), and London Metropolitan University (Environmental Social Sciences).
He was a member of a UK Foreign Office sponsored team in the mid-1990s to strengthen the capabilities of the Ukrainian Civil Service. He was a founding member of the UK Council for Graduate Education, convening its Working Group on International Postgraduates, editing its 1999 report, “The International Postgraduate: Challenges to British Higher Education,”. Recently he led the UK component of an award-winning ‘SAUCE’ project (www.schools-at-university.eu), developing appreciations by primary schoolchildren of their potential to contribute to climate solutions. His work as Education Adviser to the Commonwealth Human Ecology Council focuses on Education for Sustainable Development, leading the Council’s work on small-scale fisheries, sustainable livelihoods, and food security (www.commonwealthfisheries.org).
Nicholas is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA) and of the Higher Education Academy. He is also a member of the London Diplomatic Science Club, the Commonwealth Club, and ‘Friends of the Commonwealth’. He is a Trustee of the Connecting Cultures Foundation, Milan, Italy.
Senior Research Fellow, Centre for the Study of Environmental Change (CSEC), Lancaster University; Hon. Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Social and Economic Research on Global Environmental Change (CSERGE), Department of Economics, University College London; Research Associate, the Commonwealth Policy Studies Unit, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London; Associate Fellow, the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, London Metropolitan University, and the European Public Policy Institute, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick; Hon. Research Fellow, the Department of Politics, University of Strathclyde; and Visiting Fellow, the Max Planck Institute for Education and Human Development, Berlin.
Selected publications and research reports:
Watts, N and A. Piening, (2011) Communicating climate change and energy issues to children: The Schools at University for Climate and Energy - ‘SAUCE’ - programme. In: Peter Cunningham and Nathan Fretwell (Eds.) Europe’s Future: Citizenship in a Changing World. Proceedings of the Thirteenth Conference of the Children’s Identity and Citizenship in Europe Academic Network. London: CiCe. ISBN 978-1-907675-02-7.
Bointner, R., Braun-Wanke,K., Duchkowitsch, M., Kranzl, L., Piening, A. and Watts, N.S.J. (2011) The SAUCE Handbook. Learning for a Sustainable Future. Universities as a place for teaching schoolchildren about climate and energy. Berlin: Freie Universitaet Berlin. Published as part of the European project SAUCE - Schools at University for Climate and Energy (IEE/07/816).
Piening, A and Watts, NSJ (Editors) (Authors Braun-Wanke, K., Budde-Christensen, T., Duchkowitsch, M., Ernsteins, R., Grunwald, A., Henriksen, L., Kotzebue, J.R., Mouris, S. Sulga, D., Watts, NSJ (2011) The SAUCE Resources Guide. Learning for a Sustainable Future. Practical examples of out-of-school activities at universities on energy and climate change. Published as part of the European project SAUCE - Schools at University for Climate and Energy (IEE/07/816).
Wandesforde-Smith, Geoffrey, Nicholas S.J. Watts and Arielle Levine (2010) “Wildlife Conservation and Protected Areas: Darwin, Marx and Modern Science in the Search for Patterns that Connect.” Journal of Wildlife Law and Policy, 13: 357-374
Watts, Nicholas (2010) “Deconstructing ‘Chernobyl’? The Meaning and Legacy of Chernobyl for European Citizens” in Lutz Mez, Lars Gerhold, Gerhard de Haan (Eds.)Atomkraft als Risiko. Analysen und Konsequenzen nach Tschernobyl pp. 33-73. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.
Watts, Nicholas and Richard Bourne (2009) Establishing the Context for Enhanced Commonwealth Support of Small Fisheries, Ch. 2, pp. 3-16. In: Richard Bourne and Mark Collins (Eds.) From Hook to Plate: The State of Marine Fisheries. A Commonwealth Perspective. London: Commonwealth Foundation ISBN 978-0-903850-37-7
Watts, Nicholas(2010) Capacity Development for Caribbean Small Island Developing States: Focus on Coastal Zone Management, pp 53-63 in The Shades of Blue. Upgrading Coastal Resources for the Sustainable development of the Caribbean SIDS. UNESCO Office for the Caribbean, Kingston , Jamaica. Paris: UNESCO.
Watts, Nicholas(2007, December) The Governance of Sustainable Development in the Caribbean. Caribbean Studies Working Paper No.1 IISSN: 1756-3178 (on-line) http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/library/n88521_3.pdf
Watts, Nicholas (2007) “Area Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Education for Sustainability in Area Studies (Caribbean Studies). “Higher Education Academy, web publication, 10pp.
Watts, Nicholas SJ and Geoffrey Wandesforde-Smith (2006) (Guest Editors) Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy. Special Issue: The Law and Policy of Biodiversity Conservation in the Caribbean. Vol. 9, No. 3.
Watts, Nicholas SJ and Geoffrey Wandesforde-Smith (2006), “Guest Editors’ Introduction: The Law and Policy of Biodiversity Conservation in the Caribbean: Cutting a Gordian Knot.” JIWLP, Vol 9 No 3: 209-221.
Watts, Nicholas (2005) “Progress on WSSD – raising the profile of the Commonwealth” in Commonwealth Ministers’ Reference Book 2005, Section 3, Sustainable Development: 72-77
(2005) The CARRA Project: Carbon Assessment and Reduction in Regeneration Areas. Academic Monitoring Report. Unpublished project report for Project of EU LIFE, funded by EC Life Environment, February 2005
Watts, Nicholas (2003) “Human Ecology Perspectives from Johannesburg [World Summit on Sustainable Development] – The Summit: Bringing Human Ecology Back In” in Human Ecology, 20: 41-42
Selected earlier publications:
Watts, Nicholas (Ed.) (1999) The International Postgraduate: Challenges to British Higher Education. London: UK Council for Graduate Education (Author ofChapter 1. Introduction: 9-13, Chapter 2. Recruitment Data: 14-22, and Chapter 7. Emergent Trends and Recommendations: 62-71.)
Watts, Nicholas, Abdul Ghafoor-Ghaznawi, David Hall and John Smyth (Eds.) (1997) Cities and Sustainability London: Commonwealth Human Ecology Council
Watts, Nicholas 2003 (October) CARRA (Carbon Assessment and Reduction in Regeneration Areas) Baseline Survey of Peabody Residents - Environmental Attitudes and Behaviours. Project Report to EU Life Programme.
Watts, Nicholas (1999) “The Hare and the Tortoise: Dead in the Heat? Cross-National Differences and Knowledge Gaps in Environmental Policy.”Politics and the Life Sciences. Special Issue: Is Humanity Destined to Self-Destruct?,Vol. 18, No. 2 (Sep., 1999), pp. 266-268
Schnaiberg, Allen, Nicholas Watts and Klaus Zimmermann (Eds.) (1986) Distributional Conflicts in Environmental Resource Policy. Aldershot: Gower and New York: St Martin.
Richardson, J.J. and N.S.J. Watts (1999)  'National Policy Styles and the Environment.Britain and West Germany Compared', IIUG dp 85-16. Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin, 46pp.Reprinted in: W. Rudig (Ed) Environmental Policy (Series Research Report: The International Library of Comparative Public Policy Ed B Guy Peters) Cheltenham
Watts, Nicholas and Geoffrey Wandesforde-Smith (1999)  'Postmaterial Values and Environmental Policy Change', in Dean E. Mann (ed) Environmental Policy Formation: The Impact of Values, Ideology and Standards, Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books, pp.29-42. Reprinted in W. Rudig (Ed) Environmental Policy (Series: The International Library of Comparative Public Policy Ed B Guy Peters) Cheltenham: Edward Elgar: 62-71.) Edward Elgar.