Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Doctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Behavioral Science, Graduate School of Letters, Hokkaido University, Japan. Member of Dr. Masaki Yuki’s Culture, Social Ecology, and Psychology Lab at Hokkaido University.

Email: rob.thomson@lynx.let.hokudai.ac.jp

Main research interests

Social networking and relational mobility– Studying online behavior from an adaptionist, socio-ecological perspective, with particular focus on how the level of perceived relational mobility of a user’s online network affects users’ behavior online. See:

Thomson R. (2013). A Socio-ecological Approach to Privacy Concern on Facebook: The Role of Relational Mobility (summary | original Japanese manuscript). Unpublished Masters thesis. Hokkaido University, Japan.
Thomson, R. and Ito, N. (2012).
The effect of relational mobility on SNS user behavior: A study of Japanese dual-users of Mixi and Facebook. The Journal of International Media, Communication, and Tourism Studies, No. 15, p. 3-24.

Social media and crisis– Looking at how online social communication tools are used for information dissemination during crisis and disaster. See:

Thomson, R., Ito, N., Suda, H., Lin, F., Liu, Y., Hayasaka, R., Isochi, R., Wang, Z. (2012). “Trusting Tweets: The Fukushima Disaster and Information Source Credibility on Twitter.” Proceedings of the Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM 2012), Vancouver, Canada.

Thomson, R., Ito, N. (2012). “Social responsibility and sharing behaviors online: The Twitter-sphere’s response to the Fukushima disaster. Proceedings of the 2012 International Symposium on Cyber Behavior (CB2012), Taipei, Taiwan.

Short CV (full academic CV here)

2013 to present JSPS Doctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Behavioral Science, Graduate School of Letters, Hokkaido University
2013 to present Part-time lecturer in Quantitative Media Studies, Hokusei Gakuen University, Japan
2012 to 2013 Research Assistant at the Department of Human Behavioral Science, School of Letters, Hokkaido University
2011 to 2013 Masters Course, Hokkaido University Graduate School of International Media, Communication and Tourism Studies
2009 Graduate Diploma of Theology, Laidlaw College, New Zealand
2006 to 2008 Around the world by bicycle and skateboard (Guinness World Record)
2003 to 2006 International Relations Coordinator, Oita Prefecture (public sector), Japan
1999 to 2003 B.A. hons. (1st class) in Japanese, Canterbury University, New Zealand


  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
  • Asia:NZ Foundation Young Leaders Network
  • Japan Information-Culturology Association

Awards and Grants

  • 2013: JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (JPY1,100,000 (US$12,000))
  • 2013 to 2016: JSPS Doctoral Research Fellowship (equiv. JPY2,400,000 (US$25,000)/year)
  • 2013/09/08: Distinguished Paper Award, International Conference on Internet Studies (NETs2013)
  • 2010 to 2013: Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship (equiv. JPY2,308,000/year)
  • Feb 2012: Asia:NZ Foundation Travel Grant (NZ$2,000)
  • Feb 2012: IMCTS Young Researcher’s Development Fund (JPY56,000)


  • Photography (still / moving)
  • Cycling (commuting, touring)
  • Travel

Interview by Japanese NPO SARIPORO


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