Learn about our aims, funding and research team.


With MusEnv, our core aim is to increase knowledge about how contemporary popular music contributes to biospheric values and environmental attitudes and behaviours.

We combine empirical research methods from psychology and sociology with theoretical and analytical approaches from arts and humanities scholarship to produce evidence-based, interdisciplinary outputs.

Our research is generously funded by Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF) via UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Research England.

Research team

Professor Nicola Dibben

Professor of Music

Principal Investigator, MusEnv

Nikki has expertise in the science and psychology of music, popular music and new musical multimedia. Nikki's research investigates how people engage with music (primarily music listening) and what that engagement means for how people think about and make sense of themselves and the world. She has published over 70 journal articles and book chapters, and is the author of Björk (2009), co-authored Music and Mind in Everyday Life (2010), and Sounds Icelandic (2019). Her many consultancies and commercial collaborations include working with Björk on the artist’s multimedia album-app Biophilia (2011). In 2022 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Oslo for her contribution to music studies. Profile

Dr Jacob Downs

Honorary Research Fellow

Co-Investigator, MusEnv

Jacob is Departmental Lecturer in Music at the University of Oxford, where he is also Chair of Faculty in the Faculty of Music and Organising Tutor in Music at Lady Margaret Hall. He studies listeners’ and musicians’ experiences with music and sound technologies, combining qualitative empirical methods with historical research and theoretical approaches drawn from the fields of musicology, sound studies, phenomenological philosophy, and music psychology. He is currently working on two book projects: the first about headphone listening, and the second about music and environmentalism. Profile

Dr Landon Peck

Research Associate, MusEnv

Landon completed his DPhil in Music at the University of Oxford in 2023. His doctoral research project, 'Empirical and modelling approaches to the psychology of musical awe', explored the perception, cognition and aesthetics of awe-inspiring musical experiences. He is interested in the roles of music in identity formation, religious practices and environmentalism. Landon is also the principal researcher at Audicin, a Finnish music and wellbeing company, where he leads research on the effects of music for productivity, creativity and performance. Profile

Centres of excellence

The University's cross-faculty research centres harness our interdisciplinary expertise to solve the world's most pressing challenges.