What do you do at LUCSUS?
I’ve recently joined LUCSUS as a Postdoctoral Fellow on the Transist project, ‘From everyday forms of resistance to transformational climate change adaptation of the urban poor’. The project is being led by Emily Boyd with Christine Wamsler (Lund University), and Jonathan Ensor and Simon Halliday (University of York, UK).
What sustainability challenge do you find most interesting?
My past and present research has been relevant to several Sustainable Development Goals, namely climate action; sustainable cities and communities; life on land; and peace, justice and strong institutions. I am particularly interested in how bottom-up and community-based forms of practice might address concrete issues in local settings, model alternatives and (re)shape policy and programming in more transformative directions.
How does your research contribute to address these issues?
Through the Transist project, we are aiming to develop a better understanding of the governance of climate change adaptation in informal urban settlements. In these settings, the challenge of climate change is that it exacerbates existing issues of inequality, poorly coordinated planning, and ecological degradation. Informal settlements often lack basic services such as water, electricity and sanitation, and a warming world will disproportionately affect individuals and communities that are already disadvantaged. The Transist project will investigate relationships between everyday risk perceptions, everyday resilience and everyday legal cultures, and their influence on the potential for transformational adaptation.
What have you done before you came here?
I was an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, The University of Sheffield (UK). The nature of my work at Sheffield was to consolidate my PhD research on ‘transformative justice’ through a programme of dissemination and publishing activities, and to undertake further research with small farmers in Tunisia. I’ve held positions at the University of York (Politics Department) and at the WorldFish research centre, Malaysia (Natural Resources Management discipline). I have also consulted for the CGIAR’s research programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security on a project on risk perception and fairness in community-based adaptation in Solomon Islands.
What has it been like to start a new position, at a new university, when you can’t physically be here (due to the pandemic)?
LUCSUS has been extremely welcoming and the Transist project team is superb. At LUCSUS, there are regular seminars, coffee mornings, and other opportunities to meet new colleagues and contribute to the academic life of the centre. Though I cannot be there physically, I very much feel a part of the LUCSUS community.
What do you look forward to the most in your new position?
Joining LUCSUS has provided a wonderful opportunity to engage with like-minded colleagues working on sustainability research. I’m looking forward to our centre conversations and discussions around new and cutting-edge research being undertaken at LUCSUS. Looking ahead, I’m very excited about the Transist project delivering some really valuable and important research that will make a difference.