Over the last 15 years I have worked in the field of sustainability and climate change in the public sector. After completing an undergraduate degree in 2001 in Geography with Environmental and Development Studies at the University of Sussex I worked for Cardiff Council focusing on sustainable development and low carbon urban design. In 2007 I spent a year working for a mental health and development charity in India before returning to the UK to work for the Energy Saving Trust as a programme manager. I was responsible for supporting the public sector to reduce carbon emissions corporately with a specific focus on social housing. In 2010, I studied for an MSc in Climate Change and International Development and achieved Distinction. My Dissertation, Framings of Coastal Erosion in Happisburgh, won the Blaikie Prize for best dissertation on the politics of the environment. From 2011 to 2015 I read for a Doctorate, the focus of my research is the migration of people to mega-cities as a response and adaptation strategy to climate change impacts on water and agriculture in China. I am currently working as a senior research associate on a collaborative research initiative entitled 'Adaptation at Scale in Semi Arid Regions (ASSAR). The research project is exploring the impacts of climate change in semi arid regions in Africa and Asia

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Academic Background


Title: Exploring mobility and resilience in the context of climatically driven environmental change: a case study of migration in Anhui Province, China. 

Abstract: This thesis explores links between mobility and resilience in the context of climatically driven environmental change. Using two villages in Anhui Province, China as a comparative case study, this paper investigates the impact of two types of climatically driven environmental change (a flood and a drought) with a specific focus on the role of mobility. The study employs a novel conceptual framework that uses 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, issues of power and social heterogeneity are explored within a resilience framing, the lack of which is a common criticism of many existing resilience studies.

The analysis reveals that, for both communities, those who elected to stay tended to exhibit more resilience than those who were obliged to stay, highlighting the important roles that immobility and choice play in relation to resilience. Significant tension was found between resilience and wellbeing; increases in levels of resilience did not always appear to correspond to increases in wellbeing. The research also reveals interesting inter and intra level interactions between individuals of the same household and between households and the village that threatens the very existence of the villages themselves. The thesis concludes by highlighting the importance of (im)mobility and choice as important influences on resilience, urging for a more critical and cautious use of the concept of resilience with regard to development initiatives and the highlights importance of drawing out interactions between and within different levels of analysis to aid understanding.

Key words: Resilience, adaptation, migration, climate change, China

Supervisors: Declan Conway and Catherine Locke

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