Adapting to flooding and coastal change

The 2023/24 Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort will focus on five key themes, each supported by an academic theme lead.

Digital pixelated forest

Sea-level rise and intensifying coastal storms as a result of climate change are understood to be exacerbating issues such as flooding and coastal erosion (EC). This research theme will bring together researchers interested in adapting to flooding and/or coastal change and will take a systems thinking approach to the essential stages of successful adaptation strategies, utilising interdisciplinarity to investigate the four sub-themes of the science-policy-implementation-evaluation nexus: (1) Climate change risk assessment; (2) The science to policy and planning process; (3) Implementing adaptation interventions; (4) Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of climate change adaptation actions. 

Meet the fellows

Zulfaqar Saadi

Dr Zulfaqar Sa’adi

Universiti Teknologi  (UTM) - Malaysia

Dr Sa’adi works as a postdoctoral researcher, in the field of hydro-climatology and climate change, at UTM’s Centre for Environmental Sustainability and Water Security (IPASA). Through his interaction with hub-wide partners, he actively participates and collaborates with over 100 individuals from across the world. These individuals have a multitude of backgrounds, experiences, and skills. His aim is to develop and foster an impactful career in the interdisciplinary field of hydro-climatology and climate change. He also hopes to strengthen the capacity to address environmental issues through scientific and practical information and produce knowledge and tools to support organisational policy growth and sustainable development. In his research work, he is an ardent user of R programming language. This has substantially accelerated his research output. He has wide-ranging experience in hydrological, climatological, and biogeochemical modelling using various types of advanced tools.

Emmanuel Joel

Dr Emmanuel Joel

Anchor University  (AUL) - Nigeria

Dr Joel received a B.Tech (Hons) in Physics from Federal University of Technology Akure in the year 2006. He obtained both a master’s and PhD degree in Industrial Physics with interest in Applied Geophysics at Covenant University, Nigeria in the years 2012 and 2018 respectively. In 2021, he joined AUL as a Senior Lecturer and research scientist in the Department of Earth Sciences. He is currently the acting Head of Department. In 2017 and 2019, he won a grant from Covenant University Centre for Research, Innovation and Discovery (CUCRID) and May and Barker Pharmaceuticals. He has been published in over fifty scientific journals. Dr Joel’s areas of specialty include the use of geophysical techniques and remote sensing for groundwater and environmental studies, nuclear geosciences and geo-health, geo-materials, gravitational field variation and climate change.

Dr Daniel Ugwu Photo

Dr Daniel Onyedikachi Ugwu

David Umahi Federal University of Health Sciences  (DUFUHS) - Nigeria

Dr Onyedikachi Ugwu is a researcher and development expert with hands-on experience in using evidence-based policy research, advocacy, and local climate action initiatives to tackle the devastating impact of climate change on Nigeria and Africa. He has a PhD in Environmental Biochemistry, from the University of Nigeria, and is currently a lecturer in DUFUHS’s Department of Medical Biochemistry. He has had several journal articles, conference papers, policy reports and op-eds published, covering environmental toxicology/policy, climate change and development discourse. He is a 2022 Fellow of the Climate Governance, Diplomacy and Negotiations Leadership Program. He is also a member of the National Expert Working Group on CBD Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (CBD COP) for Nigeria and a 2020 ONE Campaign Champion.

Ali Akbar

Ali Akbar Hingorjo

University of Sindh  (USINDH) - Pakistan

Ali ​is an environmental journalist and PhD scholar. His academic research focuses on environmental and climate change communication. Ali’s work on the media coverage of environmental problems in Pakistan is published in national and international research journals. His PhD dissertation was an exploratory sequential study on the role of digital media in climate change communication. His Master of Philosophy (MPhil) thesis looked into the role of mobile phones in creating enviro-social awareness among the fishermen of Pakistan’s Indus Delta. Ali's future research interests centre on the role of the media in discourse and reaction to climate induced flood hazards. He received a Pakistan Business Council (PBC) excellence award for his coverage of flood situations in 2010, as well as a World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) climate award in 2015. 

Ephias Mugari

Dr Ephias Mugari

University of Venda - South Africa

Dr Mugari is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the South Africa/Flanders Climate Adaptation Research and Training Partnership (SAF-ADAPT) project at the University of Venda, South Africa.

His current research spans across climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and climate resilience in Limpopo Province. This research aims to promote the role of nature-based solutions in advancing sustainable, climate-resilient livelihoods and identifying sustainable, effective, and scalable adaptation and disaster risk reduction strategies through knowledge co-creation and transdisciplinary approaches.

In 2019 while studying towards his PhD on the barriers and enablers to Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) within the Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) project, he was selected as a Junior Scientist by the Right Livelihood College, in Bonn, Germany, for engaging in transdisciplinary research in climate change adaptation. Ephias enjoys engaging stakeholders in climate change adaptation aimed at enhancing participation in development planning and governance processes at various scales.

Meet the theme lead

Headshot of Dr Andrew Russell

Dr Andrew Russell

Queen Mary University, London

Dr Russell's research interests cover climate change impact, adaptation and policy. He has a particular interest in flood risk management and coastal erosion risks. He is a British Academy Innovation Fellow and is leading a project on flood risk management policy and target setting in the UK. Dr Russell was previously a senior lecturer at Brunel University, London and worked in two UK government departments and at the UK’s statutory climate change advice body. He is a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society (FRMetS) and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).