I am an environmental and social scientist, with an academic background in climate change adaptation, sustainable development and cultural heritage management. In 2005 I graduated from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne with a BA in Archaeology, with a specialisation in indigenous peoples and traditional knowledge. My undergraduate dissertation was awarded a first-class grade and was based on primary research on the rock art and cultural heritage of nomadic herding communities in western Mongolia. In 2007 I graduated with an MSc in Environment and International Development from the University of East Anglia, and completed a dissertation on vulnerability and adaptation to climate change amongst traditional fishing communities.
Whilst at Newcastle University I organised and led a number of independent research expeditions that were funded and endorsed by the Royal Geographical Society. These included an archaeological and anthropological study in Mongolia; investigating the social implications of community development policies within traditional Samburu society in Kenya; and undertaking cultural mapping projects with indigenous Baka communities in Cameroon to demonstrate their social and resource-based use of the rainforest.
In 2008 I worked as a Project Officer for Burung Indonesia and Junior Achievement Worldwide on a World Bank funded pilot project in Sulawesi, Indonesia. I was responsible for implementing a sustainable rural livelihoods and environmental education programme in order to promote sustainable environmental entrepreneurship to young people in remote locations who have few livelihood opportunities available to them. In 2009 and 2010 I was employed as a Research Assistant at the University of Melbourne, Australia, on vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in the South Pacific. I was responsible for planning, organising and undertaking all elements of research and fieldwork for this study, the focus of which was on understanding the impacts of extreme events and associated flooding on two communities in the Kingdom of Tonga. Primary research themes included: land tenure and social vulnerability; implications of migration as adaptation in the Pacific; health impacts of tidal and fresh water inundation; climate change and human security. I was also a volunteer for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition's Project Survival Pacific as the policy team's climate change adaptation advisor.
I am currently studying for a PhD on climate change adaptation and geo-politics at the University of Exeter, which is funded by a Doctoral Fellowship from the AXA Research Fund.