Environment, Resilience and Transformation

We investigate the dynamic society-nature interactions that affect the resilience of urban and rural economies through:

Geographies of resilience: Our research here focuses on 'adaptiveness', applying theoretical understanding of adaptiveness to scale-up and mainstream adaptation policies. For example, Ruth Evans has developed a framework to assess risk and protective factors for HIV-related stigma, asset inheritance and the intergenerational transmission of poverty among widows with HIV and orphaned youth in Uganda and Tanzania. Giuseppe Feola has investigated climate change adaptation to water stress in Kazakhstan, and explored how the responses to climate change and post-Soviet transformation intersect in farming practices on the ground.

Geographies of transformations: We investigate long-term urban and rural transformations and the emergent responses of local communities to incumbent environmental and socio-economic pressures. For example, Giuseppe Feola has explored which factors interplay in different geographical contexts to cause the success or failure of the Transition Towns Movement's local initiatives. In rural contexts, our research focuses on the ability of socio-technical innovation to deliver agricultural transformations, and the transformative effects of external socio-economic pressures on agricultural systems. Here, Guiseppe investigates the persistence or transformation of informal institutions under simultaneous environmental and economic change.

Governance of natural resources and sustainability: Our research explores the actors, institutions and processes implicated in governance of the environment, natural resources and sustainable development across different geographies. For example, Ruth Evans explores land rights, food security and gender and intergenerational relations.

Read about the research carried out by Human Geography Research Cluster postgraduate research students


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News from HGRC

  • Professor Mike Goodman has had two new books published on alternative food networks and food transgressions
  • and Giuseppe Feola have been awarded British Council Researcher Links Travel Grants to conduct research in the Western Cape, South Africa and Michigan, USA respectively.
  • Leverhulme grant for £135,532 awarded to Ruth Evans with Sophie Bowlby and Jane Ribbens McCarthy (OU) on 'Death in the Family in Urban Senegal: bereavement, care and family relations'
  • NERC Impact Accelerator grant for £12,000 awarded to Hilary Geoghegan with Rob Jackson to examine the uptake of phages in the treatment of tree disease.
  • was awarded the UNFCCC Momentum for Change Award 2013 for her work in Maputo, Mozambique

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  • Postgraduate research opportunities


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