Biography

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 including China, India, Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Africa. I have a number of currently active research projects including Recovery with Dignity, a British Academy-funded project focusing on how people recover from disasters in India and 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. 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 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 coordinating of 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. 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. My 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 used an adapted version of Leach et al’s (1999) ‘Environmental Entitlements Framework’ 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 power and social heterogeneity within a resilience framing, the lack of which is a common criticism of many existing resilience studies.

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

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