Who We Are


Professor Chris Hilson

Chris Hilson is an academic lawyer with a particular interest in the use of legal mobilisation by social movement actors to achieve policy change. He was the first to come up with the idea of legal opportunity structure as a theory to explain why groups turn to litigation as a strategy. Much of his recent work has explored these ideas in the context of climate change litigation, where one of the key aims is to achieve climate justice. He is currently working on issues of time in climate change litigation and on legal mobilisation and governance of climate displacement. He is a legal Adviser to Client Earth and was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Environmental Law between 2007-2012. In 2014 he acted as an expert witness for Friends of the Earth Scotland at a public inquiry into coal bed methane, which included advising on statutory climate duties.


Selected publications

Associate Directors

Professor Ted Shepherd

Ted Shepherd holds the Grantham Chair in Climate Science. He is a climate dynamicist whose current research is focused on understanding and characterizing the deep uncertainties associated with the atmospheric circulation response to climate change, including extreme events, which has major implications for regional adaptation and societal risk. He is developing a storyline approach to this issue, as a means of connecting climate dynamics to the human dimension of climate change.



Selected publications

Dr Alex Arnall

Alex is an environmental geographer, specialising in the study of migration, movement and displacement of people and things. His work is characterised by an environment theme, including climate change, agricultural development and food systems. Much of his empirical research has taken place in the Maldives, Mozambique and the UK. Alex has a DPhil in Geography from the University of Oxford on development processes in flood-affected communities undergoing population resettlement. Prior to joining the University of Reading, he worked as a Consultant for the international firm Environmental Resources Management (ERM) and then as a Research Officer at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). Alex’s research has been funded by the ESRC, FCDO, Australian Research Council, Research Council of Norway and British Academy. He has carried out consultancy for a number of development agencies, including GIZ, Save the Children, Oxfam and WWF and has supervised PhD students funded by the ESRC, Commonwealth Scholarship Commission and Leverhulme Trust.

Selected publications


Vicky Kapogianni

Vicky is an interdisciplinary scholar interested in exploring jurisdictional challenges and accountability gaps within the migration field, along with issues related to forced displacement, reparations, and genocide. Her research extends to investigating mechanisms for advancing accountability, redress, and prevention within the transitional justice context and beyond. Currently, her project titled ‘Reconceptualising the Nexus Between Genocide, the Ocean, and the Existing International Legal Mechanisms: The Case of the Caribbean’ delves into the profound impact of genocide discourse on shaping perceptions of sea-related violence, encompassing migrant drownings and the ramifications of climate change on coastal regions.
Her second project, ‘Island Nations Going Under: Submerged Statehood, Legal Protections Beyond Refugee Status’, unravels the complex intersections of statehood, ‘forced’ relocation, and the legal rights of populations affected by climate change, disasters, and severe environmental harm. Her research scrutinises how these multifaceted issues align with the existing framework of international law or necessitate innovative solutions de lege ferenda.

Ciara McCabe

Ciara McCabe is a Professor of Neuroscience, Psychopharmacology and Mental Health. She specialises in understanding human reward processing (pleasure and motivation) by examining both neural and behavioural responses. She is interested in how reward behaviour is impacted by mental health disorders such as depression with a focus on the symptom of anhedonia. She works with adolescents and young people and has a particular interest in the effects of Climate Change on youth mental health. She is working alongside Prof Hawkins in Meteorology funded by the NERC to examine young people’s experiences of climate change and how this is related to their mental health and propensity for climate action.


Eugene Mohareb

Dr Eugene Mohareb is a Lecturer in Sustainable Urban Systems within the School of the Built Environment at the University of Reading, UK. A food engineer by training, Eugene’s research explores urban greenhouse gas mitigation measures as they relate to food systems, housing, and waste management, using the frameworks of life cycle assessment and urban metabolism. Ultimately, his research investigates how equitable access to sustainable urban resource flows can be realised, along with policy goals that can enable this.



Selected publications


Juliana Velez-Echeverri

Juliana Velez-Echeverri is a PhD candidate at the University of Reading School of Law, and the recipient of a University of Reading International Research Studentship award. Juliana is a human rights activist and lawyer with a post-graduate specialisation in environmental and climate law. She is currently investigating the use of the law by communities impacted by climate-related disasters in Colombia. Juliana is a co-founder of the Latin-American Centre of Environmental Studies (Celeam) and has experience in strategic litigation, research in human rights and environmental law in Colombia.




External Affiliates

Professor Catriona McKinnon

Catriona McKinnon is a political theorist working on climate ethics, with a particular interest in the questions of intergenerational justice raised by climate change. She has argued in defence of the precautionary principle, has innovated the idea of using corrective justice to tackle climate damages to future people, and is developing a distinctive account of the ethics of governing geoengineering. She was Principal Investigator on a £1m Leverhulme funded Doctoral Programme on Climate Justice, out of which the Reading Centre for Climate and Justice grew, and has held five prestigious Fellowship grants for her work on climate justice from the AHRC, the British Academy, and the Leverhulme Trust. She is finishing a book defending a new international criminal offence to address conduct endangering human extinction, as well as writing an introductory book on climate justice for Polity Press. She is an member of a Working Group convened by the Forum for Climate Engineering that is writing a Report on the Governance of Solar Radiation Management for publication summer 2018.

Selected publications


Professor Chuks Okereke

Chuks Okereke’s research interest in the ethical and political economy dimensions of global climate governance. His research is focused on exploring options for combining effective climate governance with the reduction of global poverty and inequality. He has played leading role in many high profile research and policy initiatives on climate governance in Africa. He was the founding Project Manager of the Rwandan Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy, and Principal Investigator of the African Adaptation Initiative (AAI), commissioned by the Committee of African Heads of State on Climate Change (CAHSOCC). He was a Lead Author in Fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report (Chapter 4: Equity and Sustainable Development) and in the United Nations Environment Programme’s Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Assessment, (Chapter on Africa). Okereke is currently leading a Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Network Project on Governing Inclusive Green Growth in Africa.

Selected publications:


Advisory Board

Senior Advisor

Mrs. Mary Robinson

Mrs Robinson is President of the Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice, and Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. She is a former President of Ireland (1990-1997) and a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002). In 2014 –2015 she was the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change. And in 2016 the UN Secretary-General appointed Mary Robinson as a Special Envoy on El Niño and Climate. Mrs Robinson has been the recipient of many honours, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama. She is a member of the Elders, former Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders and a member of the Club of Madrid.




Professor Robyn Eckersley

Robyn Eckersley is a Professor and Head of Political Science at the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. She has published widely in the fields of environmental politics, political theory and international relations, with a special focus on the ethics and governance of climate change, including in journals such as Political StudiesEuropean Journal of International Relations and Global Environmental Politics. She has published influential books such as The Green State: Rethinking Democracy and Sovereignty (2004), which won the Melbourne Woodward Medal in 2005, and Environmentalism and Political Theory: Towards an Ecocentric Approach (1992). Her recent work has focused on climate change politics, including climate justice, the international climate negotiations, the interplay between the trade and climate regimes, comparative climate politics and climate discourses. Her most recent book is Globalization and the Environment (2013) (co-authored with Peter Christoff).


Professor David Schlosberg

David Schlosberg is Professor of Environmental Politics at the University of Sydney, and co-director of the Sydney Environmental Institute. He has published widely on environmental politics, environmental movements, and political theory, and in particular the intersection of the three. He is the author of Defining Environmental Justice (2007), as well as the co-author of Climate-Challenged Society (Oxford, 2013) (with John S. Dryzek and Richard B. Norgaard) and co-editor ofThe Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society (2011), and The Oxford Handbook of Environmental Political Theory (2016). His current research includes work on climate justice, in particular on justice in climate adaptation strategies and policies, and the question of human obligations of justice to the nonhuman realm. He is also examining the sustainable practices of new environmental movement groups – in particular their attention to flows of power and goods in relation to food, energy, and sustainable fashion – and continues with theoretical work at the interface of justice, democracy, and human/nonhuman relations in the Anthropocene.

Professor Henry Shue

Henry Shue is Professor Emeritus of Politics and International Relations, and Senior Research Fellow Emeritus at Merton College, Oxford, and Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for International Studies of the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. His writings in the field of climate justice have been influential since the early 1990s, and he is the author of Climate Justice: Vulnerability and Protection (2014). He is also known for his book Basic Rights (1980) and for his work on the topics of morality in war and torture. His research has focused on the role of human rights, especially economic rights, in international affairs and, more generally, on institutions to protect the vulnerable. His current research is primarily on explanations for the urgency of far more ambitious policies to eliminate fossil fuels in order to avoid irreversible damage to future generations.


Affiliated Staff

School of Agriculture, Policy and Development

Dr Nick Bardsley

I am associate professor of behavioural and ecological economics in the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development. My research focuses on two areas. Firstly, I am researching the economics of climate change, and am interested in particular in insights from ecological economics and behavioural economics. Recent work examines household energy use, particularly spatial heating and motor fuels, and a current project addresses deforestation. Secondly, I conduct experimental investigations of decision making, and address related methodological issues. For example, I have been looking at evidence contradicting received theories of economic behaviour and testing alternative theories, particularly ones positing ‘social preferences’ or collective rationality. The methodological work has focussed on issues for the conduct and interpretation of experiments involving human subjects.

Dr Grady Walker

Grady Walker is a visual methods qualitative researcher whose interests include the methodology of participatory action-research, inquiry through creativity, critical pedagogy and theory, dialogical narrative analysis, and subjectivity in the context of the Anthropocene. Walker worked for many years as a documentary filmmaker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. His filmography includes stories of refugees, labour migrants, indentured servants, and others living life at the margins of global society. Following a decade of filmmaking, he joined New York University, where he received his master’s degree in environmental conservation education. Later he joined the PhD cohort at the Centre for Communication and Social Change at the University of Queensland, Australia, where in his research he applied a critical lens to established methods of video ethnography and participatory approaches. Walker’s doctoral research focused on developing a video-based praxis tethered to the Freirean tradition of education. At UQ he developed and taught a master’s-level course called Participatory Media Production. Currently, as a postdoctoral research at the Walker Institute, he is a member of the team working on HyCRISTAL, the Future Climate for Africa research consortium focusing on East Africa.  His current research interests include action-research methods that challenge hegemony in climate change adaptation practice.

School of Biological Sciences

Professor Tom Oliver

Professor Oliver’s research focusses on biodiversity. In particular he is interested in understanding the interacting impacts of climate change and land use upon biodiversity and consequent impacts for ecosystem functions and services. This involves developing methods and tools to quantify and communicate environmental risk in order to support environmental decision-making. He is Research Division Leader for Ecology and Evolution at the University of Reading, a member of several government working groups on habitat fragmentation and climate change adaptation and a member of the European Environment Agency scientific committee.

Department of Economics

Dr Sophie Clot

Sophie Clot’s research interests are in behavioural economics with a particular focus on how human behaviour interacts with environmental conservation and development issues, using both lab and field experiments. Sophie is involved in research studying the mechanisms of behavioural adaptation and the design of incentives schemes from a general standpoint as well as in research with a more applied approach. Some of her recent projects deal with the effect of moral self-licensing on pro environmental behaviour as well as the impacts of time preferences and framing on environmental conservation programmes.

Professor Uma Kambhampati

Uma Kambhampati is Professor of Economics and Head of School at the University of Reading. Uma is a development economist and over the years has worked on issues relating to sustainable development, child labour and schooling, well-being and happiness, institutions and development and applied industrial economics. She has recently published a book on ‘Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility’. Uma is on the Editorial Team of the European Journal of Development Economics and Feminist Economics.

Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences

Professor Hilary Geoghegan

Professor Geoghegan is a cultural geographer specialising in enthusiasm. Through her research, she seeks to understand more fully what motivates and sustains individual and collective participation in activities, hobbies, interests, projects and research. Her research interests include cultural geography; science and technology as leisure and work; natural environment and climate change through landscape and volunteering; architecture, heritage and museum collections; and citizen science, civic geographies and public histories.

Professor Mike Goodman

I am an interdisciplinary cultural geographer interested in the cultural and media politics of climate change, sustainable consumption and everyday living for the Post-Anthropocene. Related research explores food, culture and politics, celebrities and the media cultures of humanitarianism. I am an associate editor of Climatic Change and edit two book series on food, one with Routledge and the other with Bloomsbury. I am also a visiting scholar at the Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics, University of Brighton.

School of Law

Dr Alison Bisset

Dr Bisset’s research interests include transitional justice, international criminal law, international children’s rights and international judicial cooperation. She has provided training on international criminal law and transitional justice for the British Army, the US Africa Command and the Commonwealth Secretariat. In 2013-14, she worked with the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law on transitional justice in Nepal.

Professor Rosa Freedman

Rosa Freedman is the inaugural Professor of Law, Conflict and Global Development at the University of Reading. She received her LLB, LLM and PhD from the University of London and is a member of Gray’s Inn. Freedman’s research focuses on the UN and human rights, in particular the impact of politics upon the creation and protection of international human rights law. She has published extensively on the UN human rights bodies and on UN peacekeeping and accountability for human rights abuses committed during such operations, including two monographs, two co-edited collections, and articles in American Journal of International Law, European Journal of International Law, Leiden Journal of International Law and Human Rights Quarterly, amongst others. She frequently appears in international and national media, works closely with the UN and with state governments and sits on the advisory boards of international NGOs. Freedman is a member of Research Council peer-review colleges, the Academic Council of the United Nations, the European Society of International Law, and the Society of Legal Scholars.

Dr Ruvi Ziegler

Dr. Reuven (Ruvi) Ziegler is Associate Professor in International Refugee Law at the University of Reading, School of Law, where he is Director of the Global LLM programmes in Human Rights, International Law, and Advanced Legal Studies. Ruvi is also an Academic Fellow of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple; Convenor of the ‘Civil Liberties and Human Rights’ Section of the Society of Legal Scholars; Editor-in-Chief of the Refugee Law Initiative (Institute for Advance Legal Study, University of London) Working Paper Series; Research Associate of the Refuge Studies Centre, Oxford; and a Researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute as part of its Democratic Principles project, focusing on questions of immigration, asylum, and citizenship.

Ruvi’s public engagements include advising ‘New Europeans’; ‘Britain in Europe’ academic expert; chairing the Oxford European Association; and serving on the advisory council of ‘Rene Cassin’. Previously, Ruvi was a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School’s Immigration and Refugee Clinic and with the Human Rights Program; a Tutor in Public International Law at Oxford.

Ruvi holds DPhil, MPhil, and BCL degrees from the University of Oxford; LL.M. with specialisation in Public Law from Hebrew University; and a joint LLB and BA from the University of Haifa.  He was admitted with honours to the Israeli bar in 2003.

Ruvi’s recently published book is ‘Voting Rights of Refugees’ (Cambridge University Press, 2017).  Ruvi’s areas of research interest include International Refugee Law, Citizenship & Electoral Rights, Comparative Constitutional Law, and International Humanitarian Law.

Department of Meteorology

Professor William Collins

William Collins is Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Earth System Modelling. His research interests include biogeochemical feedbacks in the Earth System, climate impacts of short-lived climate pollutants, impacts of climate change on air quality, and impacts of ozone and nitrogen deposition on ecosystems. Professor Collins has contributed to reports for the UNEP, IPCC and World Bank.

Professor Ros Cornforth

A Professor of Climate and Development, Ros is an expert in bringing academics from different disciplines to work together to support climate resilience and development. As a leading innovator in knowledge exchange and multi-stakeholder engagement, she links science, policy and practice to drive solution-orientated research and build capacity on the ground.

A Meteorologist by training, she has many years’ experience collaborating with policymakers, communities and international organisations particularly across sub-Saharan Africa. Her work is creating a portfolio of research designed across all scales with a wide range of stakeholder groups to help build a climate resilient future.

In 2011, she established the African Climate Exchange (AfClix), which brings together academics, policymakers and practitioners to identify how climate science can play a role in reducing people’s vulnerabilities to weather-related hazards in Africa; and following this through with action on the ground to strengthen capacity and promote resilience.

In 2015, Ros became Director of the Walker Institute at the University of Reading, which is driving bottom-up, problem-focused interdisciplinary solutions to climate-related issues in Africa, South Asia and the Americas.

She is a big believer in working together and learning together.

Professor Ed Hawkins

Ed Hawkins is Professor of Climate Science at the University of Reading, and Academic Lead for Public Engagement in the Department of Meteorology. His research interests include climate variability and change, especially for the near-term; the history of climate science; and public understanding and visualisation of climate science. He is a regular contributor to discussions on climate science on national radio, television and newspapers.

Department of Philosophy

Dr Luke Elson

Luke Elson has research interests in moral philosophy, and especially in questions of vagueness/indeterminacy in ethics and rationality. He is in the early stages of a research project concerning ‘climate rationality’: even if we agree that climate change is a problem, and that we owe a duty to others (in space or in time) to mitigate it, there remain questions such as: how much of our present-day energy consumption should we sacrifice-can a line be drawn in any non-arbitrary way? Vagueness often poses decision-theoretic problems in contexts where many individually-negligible costs amount to something quite significant: since each cigarette brings a clear amount of pleasure, and has negligible health effects, shouldn’t we (setting aside addiction) smoke it? But then shouldn’t we smoke every cigarette? Following the work of Chrisoula Andreou, Dr Elson is interested in the connections between climate change and the so-called ‘Puzzle of the Self-Torturer’.

Department of Politics and International Relations

Dr Jonathan Golub

Dr. Golub is Head of the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Reading. His research interests include research methods, European Union institutions and policymaking, international political economy, environmental policy and judicial politics.

Dr Rob Jubb

Robert Jubb is Lecturer in Political Theory in the Department of Politics and International Relations. He has published on a number of questions related to climate change justice, particularly that of participation in and responsibility for collective harms and wrongs. In that context, he is also interested in discussions about the acceptability of various forms of resistance to injustice, up to and including political violence. His work has appeared in, amongst others, Journal of Politics, Political Studies, Journal of Moral Philosophy, and Social Theory and Practice.



Where we came from

The Reading Centre for Climate and Justice has grown out of the Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Programme in Climate Justice. The five year programme provides funding for up to 15 doctoral students to undertake research across a range of areas related to Climate Justice. Explore the current scholars’ research projects, and their blog.