We are delighted to welcome Dr Sophie Blackburn to the Global Development Research Division.

Sophie has a PhD in Human Geography and an MSc in Disasters, Development and Adaptation from King’s College London. She joins us from Oxford Brookes University where she was previously Senior Lecturer in Development Geography.

Using interdisciplinary approaches and a political ecology lens, Sophie specialises in unravelling the relationship between uneven development and disaster risk. In particular, her work examines how power relations at multiple scales shape geographies of vulnerability and resilience, and the political conditions that either inhibit or enable risk reduction and climate change adaptation. To date her work has focused on the Caribbean and Indian subcontinent, with ongoing research examining the political legacy of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in the Andaman Islands.

Sophie is currently part of the GCRF-funded international project Tomorrow’s Cities, which seeks to reduce disaster risk for the poor in rapidly growing cities of the global South. She is a contributing author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) AR5 Cross-Chapter Paper ‘Cities and Settlements by the Sea’, and has undertaken consultancy for the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).