Meet the Fellows

Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort 2023/24

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Aidatu Abubakar

Aidatu Abubakari

School of Business and Technology of Lakeside University College  (LUCG) - Ghana

Aidatu is a lecturer at LUCG and a PhD candidate at the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, University of Ghana (UG). Her research interests include sustainability and green marketing, international marketing, electronic business, consumer behaviour and decision-making. She is particularly interested in understanding and promoting green consumption behaviours to curb climate change. Her PhD research focused on Ghanian consumers’ purchasing intentions around renewable energy. As an early career researcher, she has co-authored several publications and had book chapters published. Aidatu’s long-term goal is to become a leading marketing scholar and to make meaningful contributions to our knowledge on green and sustainable consumption.

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. 

Aslam Saja

Dr Aslam Saja

South Eastern University   (SEUSL) - Sri Lanka

Dr Saja is a Senior Lecturer at SEUSL. His area of specialism is disaster and climate risk management, with cross-cutting themes to the engineering sector. Dr Saja has a PhD in Built Environment from Queensland University of Technology, Australia. He also has an MSc in Disaster Management and BSc Engineering with a renewable energy. He has been published in several top-tier international journals, covering disaster/climate resilience and disaster risk assessment with an urban focus. He is currently involved in research on heat wave impacts in urban areas, municipal solid waste management, climate change-energy nexus and critical infrastructure resilience. Dr Saja is a Young Scientist for the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) programme, Global Community Solutions Fellow of IREX, USA, and Fellow of Climate Action Champion Network, South Asia.

Chinwe Ogunji (2)

Dr Chinwe Ogunji

Alex-Ekwueme Federal University  (AE-FUNAI) - Nigeria

Dr Ogunji is an early career researcher with a PhD in Social Studies Education with a focus on climate  change education. Her areas of research interest are climate change education and gender mainstreaming in teaching and learning in higher education institutions. In 2020, her project team won a project grant funded by Global Challenges Research Funds (GCRF) for a project titled ‘Investigating the Needs of Student Mothers in Nigerian Higher Institutions’. She independently won another grant in 2021 from the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) for a project entitled 'Equipping a Critical Mass of Change Agents through Climate Action'. She is a Research Assistant for the African Policy Research Institute (APRI) project on 'Climate Adaptation Strategies and Initiatives: Issues and Pathways in Nigeria'. She is also a Fellow of the Centre for Climate Change and Development (CCCD) at AE-FUNAI. ​

Daniel Otieno (1)

Dr Daniel Otieno

Kenyatta University  (KU) - Kenya

As well as being an educator at Kenyatta University, Dr Otieno is an inaugural member of the Global Centre for Pluralism’s Educating for Pluralism Innovation Lab, in Canada. He holds a PhD in Educational Administration and teaches educational management and research, leadership, and IT for education. He has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on values-based leadership, digital literacy, blended learning, and virtual exchange. His current research focuses are internationalisation through virtual exchange, and pluralism, social justice and climate action. He is a UN certified virtual exchange facilitator for the Soliya Connect Program and the Sharing Perspectives Foundation. He has co-designed and implemented Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) programs, on decolonising higher education, with partners in Europe, Africa and the Americas. As lead consultant at the Center for Values Education, he advocates for equity, diversity and inclusion in workspaces.

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.

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.

Ephias Mugari

Dr Ephias Mugari

University of Venda  (UNIVEN) - South Africa

Dr Mugari is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the South Africa/Flanders Climate Adaptation Research and Training Partnership (SAF-ADAPT) project. His current research spans across climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and climate resilience in South Africa’s Limpopo Province. This research aims to promote the role of nature-based solutions in advancing sustainable, climate-resilient livelihoods. Through knowledge co-creation and transdisciplinary approaches, it is also working to identify sustainable, effective, and scalable adaptation and disaster risk reduction strategies. In 2019, while studying for 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. This selection recognised his transdisciplinary research in climate change adaptation.

Haruna Jimoh

Haruna Jimoh

University of Lagos  (UNILAG) - Nigeria

Haruna Jimoh is a Lecturer in UNILAG’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning (URP). He is also a cluster member of Urbanization and Population Dynamics at their Centre for Housing and Sustainable Development. His research interest is broadly focused on sustainable urbanisation and land governance. He is passionate about contributing to developmental policies aimed at improving environmental liveability and human livelihood. He has published articles in local and international outlets and holds bachelor's and Master's degrees in URP from the Federal University of Technology Akure, Nigeria. He also holds a URP PhD from Nigeria’s University of Ibadan. On top of his URP credentials, he has an MBA from the National Open University of Nigeria, and a Master of Geographic Information Science from LUND University, Sweden. He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners and a registered practitioner with the Town Planners Registration Council of Nigeria.

Kingsley Orievulu

Dr Kingsley Orievulu

Africa Health Research Institute  (AHRI) - South Africa

Dr Orievulu is a social scientist at AHRI. His research interests are in multidisciplinary approaches to health and development outcomes. His current research focuses on the social dimensions of climate change, and environmental stressors’ impact on HIV positive individuals' care utilisation, and health systems resilience and adaptation. He also leads projects on socio-ethical dimensions of research during disasters, and vaccine perceptions, uptake, and hesitancy among rural and urban populations in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. Dr Orievulu earned his PhD in development studies from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Mohammad R A Bhuiyan (1)

Mohammad Rashed Alam Bhuiyan

 University of Dhaka  (DU) - Bangladesh

Mohammad is currently on study leave from his position as Assistant Professor at DU’s Department of Political Science. He is pursuing his PhD on 'The role of intermediaries in understanding the relations of migration (in) equality and development'. This study was commissioned by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Coventry University’s South-South Migration, Inequality and Development Hub. Via the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS), he also completed an MSc in Sustainable Development, from the UK’s University of Exeter. He has worked across several collaborative research projects, covering various forms of internal and international migration, adaptation to climate change, sustainable and inclusive urban development, and migrants' rights and well-being. He was previously a Research Associate for the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU).

Parimala Renganayaki (1)

Dr S Parimala Renganayaki

Vellore Institute of Technology  (VIT) - India

Dr Renganayaki is an Associate Professor, in the Department of Environmental and Water Resources Engineering, at VIT’s School of Civil Engineering. She completed her B.E Civil Engineering, M.E Water Resources Engineering and PhD in the domain of Groundwater Hydrology, Tamil Nadu, India. Her Post Doctorate is from United Arab Emirates University. Her major research areas include water resources management - managed aquifer recharge, surface and groundwater interaction, groundwater modelling, groundwater quality, hydrogeological investigation, and application of isotopes in groundwater studies. She is also the principal investigator of projects funded by India’s Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). She has worked on international projects funded by the European Commission, National water Testing Centre, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as a bilateral project funded by DST.

Praveen Kumar

Dr Praveen Kumar

Tata Institute of Social Sciences  (TISS) - India

Dr Kumar is Assistant Professor at TISS’s Centre for Environment, Climate Change and Sustainability Studies. He was previously a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Hydrology at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). His doctoral degree focused on assessing climate change vulnerability and adaptation strategies of socio-ecological systems in the Central Himalaya. This was completed at the School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), India. He was awarded a DAAD PhD scholarship at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. As a socioecologist, with a keen interest in human geography and landscape ecology, he is passionate about interdisciplinary research and teaching. His research aims to explore the dynamics and interrelationships between social and ecological systems, with a focus on socio-ecological systems, sustainability, nature-based solutions, climate change vulnerability and adaptation, and Himalayan Forest ecosystems.

Sara Hamza

Dr Sara A Hamza

Ain Shams University  (ASU) - Egypt

Dr Hamza has years of professional and academic experience as an architect, urban designer, and researcher. She works as an Assistant Professor at ASU. Her research interests include energy transition, community energy and environmental planning. She received her MSc from Ain Shams University in 2014, with a thesis titled ‘Environmental Solutions as a Main Approach to Sustainable Neighbourhoods’. In 2020, she obtained her PhD from the Oxford Brookes University, UK, with a thesis entitled ‘Guiding the Renewable Energy Transition in Developing Countries: Towards an Integrated Model for Providing RE in Low-Income Housing in Egypt’. During her time in the UK, she participated in numerous teaching-related activities, including seminars, fieldwork, design studios, and lectures. She worked as an assistant lecturer on two modules related to urban design and planning. She also received the Associate Fellowship from Advance HE. 

Sathishraja Palaniraja

Dr Sathishrajaa Palaniraja

ESIC Medical College and Hospital - India

Dr Palaniraja is an early career researcher from Pondicherry, South India. Having completed his post-graduation (Community Medicine) from Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), he is now Assistant Professor at ESIC Medical College and Hospital. His areas of interest include non-communicable diseases, health inequity among marginalized communities, community-based health policy and systems research, and health promotion. He is currently working on developing and evaluating interventions to improve the health outcomes of vulnerable populations. He has been the principal investigator and co-investigator of several grant projects under the Government of India. He has published over 50 articles in indexed national and international journals. Dr Palaniraja was awarded a full scholarship to attend the prestigious International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Summer School in Lyon, France. He has received a Best Proposal Award for promoting public health practices from the World NCD Federation.

Saumya Kumar

Saumya Kumar

Tata Institute of Social Sciences  (TISS) - India

Saumya works as Assistant Professor for the International Federation of Red Cross and Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Tata Institute for Social Sciences (TISS) Programme in Disaster Management. She coordinates and manages the programme and is responsible for educating humanitarian professionals from across the world. She also teaches courses on transboundary governance, and peace and conflict studies, for the MA/MSc in Disaster Management. Her areas of interest include disaster governance, disaster recovery, comparative law, international law, and peace and conflict studies. Saumya graduated from National Law University (NLU), in Jodhpur, India and completed her postgraduate studies at from the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), in Kolkata, India. She specialised in international and comparative law. She is currently pursuing her PhD at TISS, focusing on disaster recovery policies in South Asia.

Dr Temitope Sogbanmu

Dr Temitope Sogbanmu

University of Lagos  (UNILAG) - Nigeria

Dr Sogbanmuis is an Environmental Toxicologist with more than 15 years of experience in the risk assessment and management of organic pollutants in various matrices. This is with a view to develop and provide targeted environmental management advice to regulators and industry practitioners and policymakers. She is a multiple award and grant winning scholar, with several published pieces. She is the founder of the Evidence Use in Environmental Policymaking in Nigeria (EUEPiN) and Environmental Evidence Portal for Nigeria (EEPoN) projects. Current projects include monitoring plastic pollution in aquatic ecosystems, investigating the sustainability challenges at the food-climate-biodiversity nexus, and scaling up participatory approaches to facilitate evidence-informed air quality management in Africa. Dr Sogbanmu is a strong advocate of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6, 11, 13, and 14, and of AU Agenda 2063 Goal 7. She holds a PhD in Environmental Toxicology and Pollution Management and lectures at UNILAG.

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.