Nicki Lisa Cole, PhD is an American sociologist with expertise in consumer culture and global supply chains, with a particular focus on the production and consumption of electronics, sustainable and ethical production and consumption, and fair trade systems. She has worked at universities and research organisations in California, England and Austria, published extensively in both academic outlets and popular media and has appeared frequently as an expert in print and radio journalism.

Nicki has been on maternity leave since the summer of 2018 and is currently hosted as a Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology and Society and as a Visiting Researcher in the Science, Technology and Society unit at the Technical University Graz.

From 2017–19 Nicki was as a researcher at the University of York in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work and at the Stockholm-Environment Institute-York. Prior to that, she was a funded Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology and Society in Graz, Austria. From 2012–14 Nicki served as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Pomona College in Claremont, California. She completed a PhD in sociology at the University of California-Santa Barbara in 2011.

In addition to her work as a sociologist, Nicki has expertise and experience in social science writing, digital publishing and editing. From 2014–17 she published prolifically as the Sociology Expert for, one of the largest educational media outlets on the web. She has written widely about the electronics industry as a freelance journalist and maintains an active roster of clients as a freelance editor and digital publishing consultant.

Nicki lives in Graz, Austria with her husband, daughter and cat.