Staff profile

Professor Miles Richardson

Director of Core Psychology Programmes & Deputy Head of Life Sciences

Professor Miles Richardson smiling whilst wearing goggles on his head




College of Life and Natural Sciences


School of Human Sciences, University of Derby Online Learning

Research centre

Health and Social Care Research Centre


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I joined the University of Derby in 1996 after working applying psychology and cognitive ergonomics in the Defence Industry. I have worked in a number of research and lecturing roles, including as part of the team that launched the online psychology provision at Derby in the early 2000s. I have also developed and led the largest online Masters programme at Derby before becoming assistant head, then Head of Psychology on-campus in 2014.

I am the Head of Psychology and Deputy Head of Life Sciences. I also lead the Nature Connectedness Research Group.

Research interests

Researching our connection with nature and ways to improve it, for the benefit of nature's and human wellbeing. I am founder and coordinator of the Nature Connectedness Research Group and Nature Connections conferences. Find out more at my blog and on Twitter @findingnature.

My PhD research identified the factors that make assembly tasks complex, making me an expert on self-assembly tasks, such as flat-pack furniture. I advise internationally on self-assembly tasks and have several publications on the topic. This research developed into an interest in children's construction play and its association with maths ability. My ergonomics background has also led to research in other applied areas, such as nutrition labels - research often cited to support front-of-pack 'traffic light' labeling (e.g. in the US, Australia and New Zealand). 

Membership of professional bodies


Experience in industry

International experience

Member of the International Standards Organisation task group for Self-Assembly Instructions

Recent publications

Richardson, M. (2016). An Efficient Approach to Understanding and Predicting the Effects of Multiple Task Characteristics on Performance. Ergonomics.

Richardson, M., Maspero, M., Golightly, D., Sheffield, D., Staples, V. & Lumber, R. (2016). Nature: A new paradigm for wellbeing and ergonomics. Ergonomics.

Richardson, M., Cormack, A., McRobert, L. & Underhill, R. (2016). 30 Days Wild: Development and Evaluation of a Large-Scale Nature Engagement Campaign to Improve Well-Being. PLoS ONE 11(2): e0149777. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0149777

Richardson, M., Sheffield, D., Harvey, C. & Petronzi (2016). A Report for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB): The Impact of Children’s Connection to Nature. Derby: College of Life and Natural Sciences, University of Derby.

Richardson, M., Hallam, J. & Lumber, R. (2015). One thousand good things in nature: The aspects of nature that lead to increased nature connectedness. Environmental Values, 24 (5), 603-619.

Richardson, M., & Sheffield, D. (2015). Reflective self-attention: A more stable predictor of connection to nature than mindful attention. Ecopsychology, 7 (30), 166-175. 

Richardson, M. Hunt, T. E. and Richardson C. (2014). Children's Construction Task Performance and Spatial Ability: Controlling Task Complexity and Predicting Mathematics Performance. Perceptual and Motor Skills: Volume 119, 741-757. 

Richardson, M. (2014). A Blackbird’s Year: Mind in Nature. London: Feedaread.

Richardson, M., and Hallam, J. (2013). Exploring the Psychological Rewards of a Familiar Semi-Rural Landscape: Connecting to Local Nature through a Mindful Approach. The Humanistic Psychologist, 41(1), 35-53.

Brown, S.L. & Richardson, M. (2012). The Effect of Distressing Imagery on Attention to and Persuasiveness of an Anti-Alcohol Message: An Gaze-Tracking Approach. Health Education and Behavior, 39, 8-17.

Richardson, M. (2012). Needwood. London: Feedaread.

Richardson, M. (2011). Assembly complexity and the design of self-assembly products. Chapter for Handbook of Human Factors in Consumer Product Design.

Richardson, M., Jones, G., Croker, S. and Brown, S.L. (2011). Identifying the task characteristics that predict children’s construction task performance. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 25(3), 377-385. 

Richardson, M. & Ball, L.J. (2009). Internal representations, external representations and ergonomics: toward a theoretical integration. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, 10(4), 335-376.

Jones, G., & Richardson, M. (2007). An objective examination of consumer perception of nutrition information based on healthiness ratings and eye movements. Public Health Nutrition, 10, 238-244. 

Richardson, M., Jones, G., Torrance, M. & Baguley, T. (2006). Identifying the task variables that predict object assembly difficulty. Human Factors, 48(3), 511-525. 

Blog Posts

Miles Richardson, Professor of Human Factors and Nature Connectedness, looks at the importance of building a new relationship with the natural world.

The University of Derby's groundbreaking pathways to nature connectedness research is improving people’s wellbeing and conservation behaviours.

Dr Miles Richardson, Director of Core Psychology Programmes for the University of Derby Online Learning, explains how people can become closer to nature.