Ms Eleanor Ratcliffe

PhD Candidate

Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Psychology, MSc Research Methods in Psychology (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Phone: Work: 01483 68 6899
Room no: 22 AD 04

Office hours

I work at home for part of the week, so contact by email is preferred in the first instance.

Further information


I am studying for a full-time PhD in Environmental Psychology. Funded by an ESRC CASE studentship, my PhD explores how natural sounds can improve mood and attention after stress or fatigue. My work has been covered by both UK and international media, including The Guardian, The Times, and BBC News, and featured on radio programmes such as TodayAll In The Mind, and One Planet.

Before coming to Surrey I studied at Goldsmiths, University of London, where I passed MSc Research Methods in Psychology with Distinction, and also gained a BSc in Psychology with First Class Honours. In the course of my previous research I have studied attention restoration in mediated natural environments and how this varies with individual differences in affinity with nature.

I am a student representative for Surrey within the South East Doctoral Training Centre (DTC), and I sit on the DTC's Working Group for External Networks and Engagement.

Supervisors: Dr. Birgitta Gatersleben and Dr. Paul Sowden

Research Interests

  • Restorative environments
  • Attention Restoration Theory
  • Stress recovery
  • Acoustics and aesthetics
  • Soundscapes
  • Environmental affinity and connectedness to nature

Research Collaborations

My current work is conducted in collaboration with the National Trust and Surrey Wildlife Trust. In the past I have collaborated with Heathrow and Gatwick airports to study the restorative effects of views of aircraft in airport environments, and with the British Science Association and the University of Salford on an online experiment, Calls of the Wild, for National Science and Engineering Week 2013. Most recently I spent three months working with the Analysis and Insight team at the Cabinet Office, exploring relationships between subjective wellbeing and contextual factors such as aviation noise, crime, and public space. 


Ratcliffe, E., Gatersleben, B., & Sowden, P. T. (2013). Bird sounds and their contributions to perceived attention restoration and stress recovery. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 36, 221-228.

Ratcliffe, E. (2013). What it says I don't know, but it sings a loud song: Reflections on birdsong, meaning, and place. National Trust Places blog (click to view).

Ratcliffe, E. (2012). Collaborative postgraduate research: What's in it for you? PsyPAG Quarterly, 84, 7-9.

Ratcliffe, E., & Freeman, J. (in revision). Aircraft views in airport environments: Affective appraisals and relationships with attention restoration.


Ratcliffe, E. (2014, January). The psychological benefits of listening to birdsong. Invited speaker at the National Trust, Heelis.

Ratcliffe, E., Gatersleben, B., & Sowden, P. T. (2013, September). Predicting differences in the perceived restorative potential of birdsong. Oral presentation at the 10th Biennial Conference on Environmental Psychology, Magdeburg, Germany.

Ratcliffe, E. (2013, February). Conference of the birds: A case study on impact. Oral presentation at ESRC 1st Year PhD Doctoral Training Centre Conference, Central Hall Westminster, United Kingdom.

Ratcliffe, E., & Schmidt, S. (2013, January). Dawn Chorus. Multimedia experiential piece at 3rd Postgraduate Research Conference, University of Surrey, United Kingdom. Click here to view excerpts on Vimeo.

Ratcliffe, E. (2012, July). Collaborative postgraduate research: a case study. Oral presentation at the South East DTC's Annual Conference, Guildford, United Kingdom.

Ratcliffe, E., Gatersleben, B., & Sowden, P. T. (2012, June). Exploring perceptions of birdsong as a restorative stimulus. Oral presentation at 22nd International Association for Environment-People Studies (IAPS) Conference, Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Ratcliffe, E., Gatersleben, B., & Sowden, P. T. (2012, May). Exploring perceptions of birdsong as a restorative stimulus. Oral presentation at 13th Congress of the International Society of Ethnobiology, Montpellier, France.

Ratcliffe, E., & Freeman, J. (2011, September). Attention restoration in airport environments - exploratory studies. Oral presentation 9th Biennial Conference on Environmental Psychology, Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Ratcliffe, E., & Freeman, J. (2011, May). Fascinating views and sounds - their relationships to attention restoration. Oral presentation at Media and the Senses Conference, Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom.

Page Owner: er00075
Page Created: Tuesday 18 October 2011 09:14:33 by mp0023
Last Modified: Monday 10 March 2014 13:25:02 by er00075
Expiry Date: Friday 18 January 2013 08:30:17
Assembly date: Wed Apr 16 22:28:07 BST 2014
Content ID: 66634
Revision: 22
Community: 1202