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Personal profile

Areas of Expertise

Climate change impacts

Adaptation to the impacts of environmental change

Migration in response to environmental change

Resilience and vulnerability

Framing of contentious environmental issues

Poltical ecology


I joined the School of International Development (DEV) as a Lecturer in the Environment and International Development in November 2018. I am an interdisciplinary social scientist whose research addresses issues related to how people and populations respond to and adapt to risks arising primarily from global environmental change. Within this broad area of research, I have particular interests in human migration / mobility and forced displacement, vulnerability, resilience and adaptation, and disaster risk reduction and risks linked to a changing global climate. I have worked in many countries around the world but currently focus on the Greater Horn of Africa and india. I have a number of currently active research projects including Climate Reseilient Development Pathways (CRDP) in Semi-Arid Regions of Africa and Asia, an IDRC FCDO-funded project focusing on ensuring development within semi-arod regions is sustainable and supports adaptation and mitigation goals; a Royal Society-funded project looking at Drought Resilience in East African dryland Regions (DRIER) which explores how populations manage the impacts of water scarcity; Down2Earth, a EU Horizon 2020 project focusing on the horn of Africa Drylands which aims to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change and boost reilience across the region; and Recovery with Dignity, a British Academy-funded project focusing on how people recover from disasters in India. 

In addition to my work in DEV, I am a theme leader in the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and am leading the Centre's research activities on understanding how to address the twin goals of poverty alleviation and achieving meaningful action on climate change. I am also the theme co-leader for the Climate@Uea initiative focusing on the 2020s as the critical climate decade. I co-convene the Masters in Climate Change and International Development and teach on both undergraduate and postgraduate courses covering issues linked to the governance of natural resources, climate change, and migration. Prior to joining DEV as a lecturer, I was employed as a Senior Research Associate during which time I worked on a number of research projects including a major programme of research in the pastoralist drylands of East Africa (Ethiopia and Kenya) through the Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) research project funded by IDRC/DFID. I read for a PhD on the impact of extreme events on rural to urban migration in China, at the UEA. Before embarking on my PhD, I worked with a varied career in the fields of climate change, related environmental issues and international development. 

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Academic Background

I graduated from the School of African and Asian Studies at University of Sussex with a joint degree in Geography with Environmental and Development Studies in 2001. I returned to University in 2011 to read for a MSc in Climate Change and International Development at the School of International Development at UEA where I graduated with Distinction and one the Blaikie Prize for best dissertation in politics of the environment. I subsequently remained at UEA to read for my Doctorate in migration and international development where I was supervised by Prof. Declan ConwayProf. Neil Adger,  and Dr. Catherine Locke in the UK and Prof. Peng and Dr. Wu at Fudan University in China. My thesis explored the links between mobility and resilience in the context of climatically-driven environmental change in China. Using two villages in Anhui Province, China as a comparative case study, I investigated the impact of two types of climatically driven environmental change (a flood and a drought) with a specific focus on the role of mobility. My study employed a novel conceptual framework that combined elements of Leach et al’s (1999) ‘Environmental Entitlements Framework’ with a resilience framing to understand the processes, characteristics and outputs that contribute to resilience at different levels of analysis. Through the use of this novel conceptual approach, I explored issues of social heterogeneity and mobility endowments and entitlements. Key findings from my research were published in 2019 in the Journal of Global Environmental Change.

Upon completing my PhD I took up a post-doctoral position in the School of International Development before moving into my current role as Lecturer in the Environment and International Development

Research Group or Lab Membership

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


  • Geography (General)


Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or