Lab Members
& Key Collaborators

Prof. James Ford

Welcome! My name is James Ford and I am Priestley Chair in Climate Change Adaptation at the Priestley International Centre for Climate at the University of Leeds. I am originally from Oldham, UK, and after doing my BA and MSc at Oxford, I moved to Canada to do my PhD at the University of Guelph (2002-2006) before becoming a faculty member at McGill University in Montreal (2009-2017). I moved back across the pond in 2017 to take up a positon at the Priestley Centre, and as dual UK-Canada citizen maintain strong links with Canada.

My research takes place at the interface between climate and society, and I am particularly interested in climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. I lead a diversity of initiatives in this area, including projects focusing on Indigenous peoples and climate change, with a major focus on the Arctic where I have worked with Inuit communities in northern Canada and Greenland since the early 2000s. I am also developing novel approaches to tracking climate change adaptation at global and regional levels (including using big data), developing systematic review approaches in an environmental change context, and I am involved in adaptation monitoring and evaluation debates. I am editor-in-chief at the journal Regional Environmental Change, have been a lead author on national and international climate assessments including the IPCCs Special Report on 1.5C of global warming and the Arctic Council’s Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic assessment, and I have published >200 peer reviewed articles including in Nature Climate Change, Nature Communications, PNAS, Global Environmental Change, and the Canadian Medical Association Journal. I currently co-lead the Climate Change Adaptation, Vulnerability & Climate Services Group at Leeds. 


Ingrid Arotoma Rojas (PhD).
University of Leeds. 2018 –

 Research focus: Climate vulnerability in the Peruvian Amazon.

Ingrid is a PhD student at the University of Leeds’ Priestley International Centre for Climate. Her PhD research project aims to critically appraise the contribution of Indigenous worldviews for understanding food security, vulnerability, and adaptation to climate change. It will do so using the case study of the Shawi Indigenous peoples in the Peruvian Amazon and community-based participatory methods, including participatory video and participatory scenario planning. She comes from a social science background, having completed a BA in Sociology from the Pontifica Universidad Catolica del Peru in 2009, and an MA in Development Studies from the University of Melbourne (Australia) in 2017. She also has 6 years of professional experience working with Indigenous communities in Peru in environmental governance.  

Camila Florez Bossio (PhD).
McGill University. 2016 –

Research focus: Urban climate change adaptation in Lima, Peru.

Camila is a PhD candidate with Dr. Ford. She working on the adaptive capacity of urban dwellers in dealing with climate threats to their water security in Peru. Her research interests include urban resilience, water security, Indigenous knowledge and environmental psychology. Before starting her PhD, she was working at the Global Environment Facility (GEF) of the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C. (USA). She has previously worked as a consultant focusing on climate change projects in Peru and Latin America, and internet at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). In 2013, she earned an MSc in Environmental Governance from the University of Freiburg (Germany) with a thesis on the adaptive capacity to climate change in protected areas. She also holds a Bachelor’s Degree (Licentiate) in Political Science from the Pontifica Universidad Catolica del Peru, where she completed her thesis on the implementation of the Clean Development Mechanism. 


Anuszka Mosurska (PhD).
University of Leeds. 2019 – 

Research focus: Representations of Indigeneity in disaster risk reduction.

Anuszka’s key research interests are in disaster vulnerability and Indigenous rights in the Arctic. Following her BScGeography degree at the University of Exeter, Anuszka completed her Master’s at UCL’s Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR), where she focused on insider/outside relations in Utqiagvik, Alaska, and how these facilitate or hindered disaster risk reduction. Having joined the Priestley International Centre for Climate on a 1+3 PhD programme in 2018, she aims to further develop her Arctic disaster risk reduction work, with a focus on Indigenous peoples’ portrayals in UNISDR literature. Alongside this, Anuszka continues to be involved with disaster risk reduction and emergency management initiatives in Utqiagvik. 


Angus Naylor (PhD).
University of Leeds. 2017 – 

Research focus: The real-time monitoring of dynamic climate change vulnerability. 

Angus is a PhD student at the University of Leeds’ Priestley International Centre for Climate. His research is funded through the UK Economic and Social Research Council’s ‘White Rose Doctoral Training Scholarship’ and Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada’s (CIRNAC) ‘Climate Change Preparedness in the North Program’. He comes from an Earth Sciences background, having previously completed a BSc in Geology with Physical Geography from the University of Keele in 2014. In 2015, his work developed a stronger social sciences and social-ecological systems basis when he undertook an MSc in Risk, Disaster and Resilience at University College London. This was followed by an MA in Social Research at the University of Leeds in 2017/18. Angus’ current research interests in include Indigenous circumpolar food security, contextual social-ecological systems vulnerability, and Inuit land use and subsistence practices. In 2019, he co-authored an internal report for the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) on ‘Food Security and Indigenous Peoples in the Arctic’, which was subsequently presented as a keynote for the FAO’s ‘Expert Seminar on Traditional Knowledge and Indigenous Peoples’ Fisheries in the Arctic Region’ in Rome. His PhD, conducted in collaboration with Dr. Tristan Pearce at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) is titled: ‘Tooniktoyok: The real-time monitoring of dynamic climate change vulnerability among Inuit hunters of Canada’s Far North’, and aims to develop new approaches to understanding vulnerability within social-ecological systems through the use of a novel GPS and participatory mapping methodology.

Iván Villaverde Canosa (Research Assistant). 

University of Leeds. 2020 – 

Research focus: Urban resilience and adaptation, adaptation tracking, and coupled socio-ecological systems vulnerability.

After completing a bachelor’s degree in Geography and Territorial Management from the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela in 2018, Iván moved to the UK to undertake a MSc in Climate Change and Environmental Policy at the University of Leeds (2018/2019), with a thesis focusing upon adaptation tracking in the Arctic. Since 2019, Iván has conducted research with the Global Adaptation Mapping Initiative, and is collaborating with other researchers to map and review human adaptation responses to climate change across the globe. His current research interests relate to the human dimensions of climate change in the circumpolar north, with a particular focus on urban resilience and adaptation, adaptation tracking, and coupled socio-ecological systems vulnerability.

Melanie Flynn (PhD).
University of Leeds. 2017 – 

Research focus: Participatory scenario planning for adaptation in Inuit communities. 

Melanie is a PhD student working with Indigenous communities in the Arctic to explore culturally appropriate ways to plan for and adapt to climate change. Her research interests include knowledge co-production, effective adaptation, participatory methods and useable science. 

Anne Sietsma (PhD).
University of Leeds. 2019 – 

Research focus: Application of machine learning methods for climate change adaptation. 

After a Bachelor’s degree in Technology and Liberal Arts and Sciences, Anne completed a Joint International MSc in Sustainable Development. Throughout his studies, he has been interested in interdisciplinary problems in general, and climate change in particular. In his PhD project, Anne is exploring the application of machine learning methods for climate change adaptation. More specifically, he is analysing text data from around the world on climate change to see if we can identify trends and regional differences. The use of computer-based methods in adaptation research is relatively new, so the project is exploratory in nature. However, the aim is for his results to inform concrete actions and to support future international decision making. 

Antonia Sohns (PhD).
McGill University. 2016 – 

Research focus: Household water vulnerability in Alaska.

Antonia is a PhD Candidate in the Geography Department at McGill University. Her research focuses on water security in Arctic households. Before coming to McGill, Antonia worked at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. on the Thirsty Energy Initiative. She completed an MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management at the University of Oxford, where she focused on the water-energy nexus and water requirements of hydraulic fracturing operations in Pinedale, Wyoming. She also holds a BSc in Earth Systems, Oceans track from Stanford University.  

Eranga Galappaththi (PhD).
McGill University. 2016 –

Research focus: Opportunities for adaptation to climate change: A comparative analysis of Indigenous fisheries in the Canadian Arctic and Eastern Sri Lanka.

Eranaga is finishing his PhD at McGill University under the co-direction of Elena Bennett (McGill) and James Ford (Leeds). His thesis is entitled “Opportunities for adaptation to climate change: A comparative analysis of Indigenous fisheries systems in the Canadian Arctic and Eastern Sri Lanka”. The comparison of these Inuit (Arctic) and Coastal-Vedda (Sri Lanka) communities, which are both different geographically yet remarkably similar in terms of adaptive responses, has led to some fascinating findings – some of which are now published. Eranga’s research interests include systems-level adaptation to climate change, social-ecological systems resilience, commons, community-based management and (adaptive) co-management, Indigenous and local knowledge, and food security. He has been incorporated multiple global climate assessments to address critical research gaps in his interest areas. Eranga holds a Master’s degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Manitoba and studied community-based shrimp aquaculture systems in Sri Lanka under the supervision of Fikret Berkes. He holds an MBA from the University of Peradeniya and a BSc in Fisheries and Marine Science from the Ocean University of Sri Lanka. Eranga spent the fall of 2019 at Stanford University with Roz Naylor, to share research findings and write the final part of his PhD thesis.  


Dr. Katie McQuaid (UKRI Fellow).
University of Leeds. 2019 –

Research focus: Gender, generation and climate change (GENERATE): Creative approaches to building inclusive and climate resilient cities in Uganda and Myanmar.



– ALEX LESNIKOWSKI (PhD) 2019. Climate change adaptation policy formulation among local governments: A policy instruments approach. PhD Thesis. McGill University.


– MAUDE BEAUMIER. (2012). Vulnerability of Inuit women’s food system to climate change in the context of multiple socio-economic stresses – a case study of Arviat, Nunavut. MA Thesis.
– SARA STATHAM. (2012). Anomalous climatic conditions during winter 2010/11 and vulnerability of the traditional Inuit food system in Iqaluit, Nunavut. MA Thesis.
– MYA SHERMAN. (2014). Vulnerability and adaptive capacity of community food systems in the Peruvian Amazon: A case study from Panaillo. MA Thesis.
– MICHELLE MALLIET. (2014). Indigenous peoples in international climate policy. MA Thesis.
– JOANNA MACDONALD. (2014). From the Minds of Youth: Exploring Inuit Youth Resilience within a Changing Climate and Applications for Climate Change Adaptation in Nunatsiavut, Labrador, Canada. MA Thesis.
– ANNA BUNCE. (2015). Gender and the human dimensions of climate change: Global discourse and local perspectives from the Canadian Arctic. MA Thesis.
– KAITLYN FINNER. (2015). Food from here and there, from us and them: Characterizing the food system of Rigolet, Nunatsiavut, Canada. MA Thesis.
– LEWIS ARCHER. (2016). A decadal reanalysis of climate change vulnerability in the Canadian Arctic: The case of Arctic Bay. MA Thesis.
– MALCOLM AROS. (2016). Adaptation to climate change in urban areas: A global assessment and a case study of Dhaka, Bangladesh. MA Thesis.
– DYLAN CLARK. (2016). Vulnerability to injury: assessing biophysical and social determinants of land-user injuries in Nunavut, Canada. MA Thesis.
– KNUT KITCHING. (2016). Tuktu and environmental change: Inuit caribou harvesting on southern Baffin Island. MA Thesis.
– STEPHANIE AUSTIN. (2017). Public Health Adaptation to Climate Change in the Federalist States of Canada and Germany. MA Thesis.
– DARYA ANDERSEN. (2018).The Impacts of Permafrost Thaw and Social Changes on Bakeapple Picking. MSc thesis.


– TERENCE EUPLE EPULE. 2016 – 2018. Food systems and climate change. McGill University.
– NATHAN DEBORTOLI. 2016 – 2018. Vulnerability indicator development. McGill University.
– JESSE SAYLES. 2016 -2017. Adaptation governance in the Arctic. McGill University.
– ASHLEE CUNSOLO WILLOX. 2012-2013. Indigenous knowledge for adapting to the health effects of climate change. McGill University