Associate Professor
Centre for Innovative Ageing
Telephone: (01792) 518696
Room: Office - 17
Ground Floor
Haldane Building
Singleton Campus

Charles is Associate Professor in Gerontology at the Centre for Innovative Ageing (CIA) and heads up the group’s Environments and Ageing research strand. He is Operational Director of the Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research (CADR), an initiative to develop and enhance research, policy and practice for older people across Wales. He completed his PhD at the Transportation Research Group, the University of Southampton in 2004 and has worked at Bournemouth University (2003-2006), then University West of England in the pioneering Centre for Transport & Society (2006-2013). His research has involved several invited International and national presentations at conferences and invited presentations to the House of Commons and House of Lords. He makes frequent appearances on radio and television across the world and is keen to engage his research with the public and has spoken at two British Science Festivals. He has published over 25 journal articles and another 40+ publications and has been PI or Co-I in research projects totalling over £6m addressing technological, environmental, health and sustainability contexts of transportation and built environment studies spanning four interconnected areas:

Charles has advised the United Kingdom (UK) parliament on older people’s transport issues and is an executive committee member of the British Society of Gerontology (BSG), where he is the editor of their journal Generations Review.  He has appeared on BBC TV and on International radio stations discussing his research.  Charles is an Associate Editor for Journal of Transport & Health.  He is the University’s environment lead for the REF UoA22 and is Engagement and Societal Impact lead for the College of Human and Health Sciences.

Areas of Expertise

  • older people
  • wellbeing
  • ageing
  • driver behaviour
  • travel behaviour
  • social psychology
  • mobility
  • quality of life
  • transport
  • driving cessation
  • shared space
  • pedestrian
  • traffic
  • transport


  1. Musselwhite, C. Editorial 18 - The wider social context of transport and health. Journal of Transport & Health, 18, 100925
  2. Freeman, S., Marston, H., Olynick, J., Musselwhite, C., Kulczycki, C., Genoe, R., & Xiong, B. Intergenerational Effects on the Impacts of Technology Use in Later Life: Insights from an International, Multi-Site Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(16), 5711
  3. Musselwhite, C. JTH editorial v17 – The importance of psychosocial factors in transport and health. Journal of Transport & Health, 17, 100876
  4. Sheerman, L., Marston, H., Musselwhite, C., & Morgan, D. COVID-19 and the secret virtual assistants: the social weapons for a state of emergency. Emerald Open Research, 2, 19
  5. Musselwhite, C., Avineri, E., & Susilo, Y. Editorial JTH 16 –The Coronavirus Disease COVID-19 and implications for transport and health. Journal of Transport & Health, 16, 100853

See more...


  • ASP110 Environments of Social Policy

    Given the environmental and social challenges of population ageing, migration and globalization, future generations will increasingly face questions of how to maintain sustainable environments whilst also ensuring human well-being. Taking examples from areas such as food, public health, climate change, planning, development and transport, this module will examine how social policies are evolving to tackle our growing concerns relating to human well-being and environmental sustainability.

  • ASPM02 Perspectives on Ageing

    The module considers different perspectives on ageing. It provides students with an understanding of theoretical approaches, current debates and issues in gerontology.

  • ASPM05 Environment and Ageing

    Students will be introduced to the environmental context of ageing in this module. It considers different geographical contexts and how space, place and distance all impact on the experience of ageing. Housing, transport and community issues are discussed.

  • ASPM10 Psychology of Ageing

    Students will be introduced to the psychological constructs explaining the ageing process as well as exploring both typical and atypical patterns associated with ageing. Psychological illness, life transitions and attitude formation will also be addressed within the field, providing a detailed insight into the latter stages of the lifecourse from a psychological viewpoint.

  • SHHM06 The Social Aspects of Long Term and Chronic Illness

    Students will be enabled to consider the social aspects of long term and chronic illness to gain understanding of the effects on the individual and society. The module will provide an opportunity to learn about the lived experiences of people, throughout the life course, whose lives are affected by long term and chronic illness. Consideration will be given also to the study of carers¿ experiences, examining their role and how their needs may be met. The module will focus on aspects of long term and chronic condition management that are overlooked in bio-medical approaches by examining in detail how people make sense of and cope with long term and chronic illness. It will also encourage practitioners to critically evaluate the delivery of care to patients with long term and chronic conditions and their carers within its strategic framework.


  • Older people’s use of mobility aids in the built environment (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Gideon Calder
    Other supervisor: Dr Paul Nash
    Other supervisor: Dr Ashley Frawley
  • 'Pursuing the Post-war Dream' (current)

    Other supervisor: Mr Jon Gower
  • What impact do virtual assistants have on wellbeing in the oldest old demographic? (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Deborah Morgan
  • Assessing the Relationship of Concessionary Bus Pass Use and Health for Older People in Wales (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Martin Hyde
  • The Development Of Dementia Supportive Communities In Wales (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Angharad Closs Stephens
  • Understanding and improving the mental well-being of older adults in residential care. (current)

    Other supervisor: Prof Michael Coffey
  • Hiraeth- The impact of language on Welsh speaking service users' experience of health and social care services and implications for practice (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Deborah Morgan
  • Decisions, Decisions, Decisions; why do otherwise law-abiding cittizens violate the 70-mph motorway speed limit? And what role does emotion play in the decision-making process? (awarded 2020)

    Other supervisor: Dr Gabriela Jiga-Boy
  • Older Adults, Informal Support, and the Driving Cessation Process (awarded 2020)

    Other supervisor: Dr Sarah Hillcoat-Nalletamby

Key Grants and Projects

  • Heritage, health and wellbeing (Co-I) 2017

    , SURGE

  • Seconded to the Welsh Government’s Transport Division (PI, CHERISH DE Secondment, 2017) 2017

  • Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research (Co-I) 2016 - 2021

    , Research Health and Care Wales

  • 2*PhD studentships mental health and wellbeing of older people (PI) 2016 - 2019

    , HealthCare Management Trust

  • Review of computer-based training programs that can be offered to older drivers (PI) 2015 - 2015

    , Mercedes-Benz

  • Foresight Report: Evidence Review E23: How can the built environment, transport services and mobility systems support the mobility needs of individuals as they age (Co-I) 2014 - 2015

    , UK Govt. Office for Science

  • A Gerontology Research Centre for the Study of the Impact of Population Ageing, Migration, Environmental and Social Change on Older People and their Families in India (Co-I) 2013 - 2016

    , UKIERI, British Council

  • Prolonging safe and sustainable travel in later life 2013 - 2014

    , OPAN

  • Railchoice, Integrated Travel Information 2012 - 2013

    , with I. Shergold , TSB

  • Community Transport and Quality of Life Project 2011 - 2012

    , with I. Shergold, R. Kimberlee, Norfolk County Council

  • Using game playing to encourage cycling among families (part of the Ideas in Transit Project with Mission:Explore) 2011 - 2012

    , with B. Clayton, EPSRC/TSB

  • Driving Hands: Transport behaviour and road safety of driving in plaster following broken wrist 2010 - 2013

    , British Association of Hand Therapists

  • Successfully giving-up driving: Exploring how older people contemplate and experience giving-up driving 2010 - 2012

    , with I. Shergold, UWE Starter Grant

  • Suburban Neighbourhood Adaptations to Climate Change 2008 - 2012

    , with K. Williams, EPSRC

  • Visioning an active and low carbon transport future for Yeovil, The Department of Health South West (part of Government Office of the South West) 2009-10 2009 - 2010

    M. Grant, GOSW

  • Renaissance Project, Testing Innovative Strategies for Clean Urban Transport 2008 - 2012

    , with G. Parkhurst, European Comission CIVITAS Plus Project

  • Grey and Pleasant Land: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of the Connectivity of Older People in Rural Civic Society - workpackage 3 on mobilty 2008 - 2012

    , with G. Parkhurst, I. Shergold, K. Galvin, L. Todres, J. Phillips, EPSRC/TSB

  • Behaviour change: what works for transport? Think piece study for the Department of Transport (DfT) 2008 - 2009

    , with P. Goodwin, E. Avineri, DfT

  • Business attitudes to transport 2008 - 2009

    , with G. Dudley, G. Lyons, DfT

  • Public attitudes to road user safety 2008 - 2009

    , with E. Avineri, Y. Susilo, E. Fulcher, DfT

  • Public attitudes to carbon calculators 2007 - 2008

    , with T. Chatterton, DfT

  • Prolonging Safe Driving through Technology 2006 - 2008

    , with H. Haddad , SPARC (EPSRC and BBSRC)

  • Public acceptability of road pricing 2006 - 2008

    , with G. Lyons, DfT

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2006 2013 Senior Lecturer in Traffic and Transport Psychology UWE, Bristol
2003 2006 Researcher Bournemouth University
1998 2003 Researcher Warsash Maritime Centre

Research Groups

  • Centre for Innovative Ageing

    The Centre provides the infrastructure, focus and leadership for ageing research and scholarship across the University’s College of Human and Health Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. It hosts the Older People and Ageing Research & Development Network, and the Wales Stroke Research Interest Group and has strong links with Wales Dementias and Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Network (NEURODEM Cymru).