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  4. Dr Gareth Davies

Dr Gareth Davies


Gareth is working part-time as a Research Associate on The Open University’s ‘Engaging opportunities’ project. This involves thinking creatively about existing opportunities to engage with schools, evaluating impact and determining the scope for developing new initiatives.


Gareth's research interests lie in developing decision-support tools to cope with the complexity that characterises decision-making under risk and uncertainty. Gareth has a keen interest in human behaviour and the way interactions between people and their environment affect decision-making. He is interested in exploring ways of using evaluation research methods to cope with post-normal knowledge and the conditions of deep uncertainty. Gareth is also a keen developer of agent-based models and has an interest in exploring the use of participatory methods to model the influence personal and organisational features have on group decisions.

Gareth's research publications are hosted on the OU's Open Research Online repository.

Alongside Engaging opportunities, Gareth is also currently involved in the following research projects:

  • Consultancy-funded research for Emerging World - “International service learning: The development assignments of the 21st century”  ( He is carrying out research into the perceived value that international service learning has for developing the leadership competencies that employees and companies need in a global market.
  • Research looking into the effect mindfulness training has on traders and investors susceptibility to the disposition effect - “Mindfulness Trader Training”  ( This is a collaborative effort with colleagues in Erasmus University and the Open University to explore the potential that the xDelia Mindfulness Trader Training has for helping traders and investors to overcome the ‘disposition effect’ (a common financial decision making bias), by learning how to better regulate their emotions.


Gareth's education has provided him with a broad background in environmental science and in-depth knowledge of designing and developing decision-support tools to account for human bias. Gareth has completed an EPSRC-funded PhD that focused on pulling together insights from psychology, sociology and computer science to create an agent-based model. The purpose was to capture the impact personality and power dynamics have on the measure of trust, receptivity and thereby confidence government place in lines of evidence. Additionally, Gareth completed a Defra-funded MSc by Research in the School of Applied Science at Cranfield University, where he developed a decision-support tool for regulators wanting to compare multiple disparate risks. At the University of Newcastle upon Tyne Gareth has also completed a EPSRC-funded Masters of Research (MRes) in Marine Science Technology. He specialised in ecotoxicology through a laboratory study that investigated the potential effects Nonlyphenol has on the asymmetric development of harpacticoid nauplii. Prior to this, Gareth completed a BSc (Hons) at Bournemouth University in Environmental Protection where he developed a recirculation unit for the culture of harpacticoid copepods as a viable live food for cod larvae.  

To view Gareth's CV please click here.

Dr Gareth Davies
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
Tel: +44(0)1908 653799