Elise Stickles

Wall Associate


Assistant Professor


Department of English Language and Literatures





Geographic Location


Prof. Elise Stickles is a cognitive linguist specializing in metaphor analysis. She studies variation in metaphoric usage across linguistic varieties and genres by applying methods from corpus and computational linguistics to news media, social media, and political speech, with an eye towards the impact of metaphor and framing on public opinion. Currently, she is conducting a comparative analysis of metaphors for COVID-19, cancer, and climate change in American and Canadian Englishes; American and Mexican Spanishes; and French as spoken in Canada and France. Prof. Stickles is the PI and maintainer of the MetaNet project, a wiki-style trilingual database of metaphors and metaphoric data. She obtained her MA and PhD in Linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley and then completed a postdoctoral teaching fellowship at Stanford University before joining UBC as an Assistant Professor in the Department of English Language and Linguistics in 2019.

Primary Recipient Awards

Elise Stickles – Catalyst Collaboration Fund – 2022

Project: Differential Impacts of Metaphor on Climate Doomism and Eco-Anxiety in English and French

This project draws on linguistic theory, psychology, public policy, and global health to investigate the relationship between climate change metaphors and the rise of ‘climate doomism’: the belief that catastrophic warming of the planet is now inevitable, and that there is no possible action that can be taken to avert this. The study will examine the effects of different climate change metaphors on behavioural outcomes.

“In order to continue to engage people with the issue of climate change, we need metaphors that convey the fact that mitigating the negative consequences of global warming is still an achievable goal.”