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PhD Researchers

Postgraduate research is a central part of the research culture in the Centre for Global Development (CGD). The postgraduate student community is comprised of MSc students and PhD researchers who are undertaking a diverse range of cutting edge projects.

In this page, you can find further details about the PhD researchers at the Centre for Global Development, including their thematic focus and contact details. If you are interested in commencing postgraduate study in this area, please contact Prof Katy Jenkins or Prof Matt Baillie Smith, co-Directors of the Centre.


Profile-Image-AneetaAneeta Shajan

Supervisors: Prof Steve Taylor and Dr Rebecca Frilund

PhD research summary: Aneeta's PhD research looks at return migration from Gulf economic region to Kerala, India. The research aims to conceptualise the impact of migration on the health outcomes of migrants in the Kerala‐Gulf corridor. The effect is analysed by examining if and how temporary international migration has brought about accelerated health vulnerabilities amongst migrants compared to non‐migrants from the same origin area. It does so by navigating how migration has led to better opportunities, income, lifestyle, and quality of life and how these factors have affected the health‐seeking behaviours of migrants in the destination country.




Profile-Image-AngelicaAngelica Ribichini

Supervisors: Dr Oliver Hensengerth, Prof Matt Baillie Smith and Dr Joanna Allan

PhD research summary: Through an intersectional feminist lens, Angelica's research explores youth vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta - a region that is widely considered to be one of the most exposed to the impacts of climate change globally. Employing a participatory action research (PAR) methodology, the project seeks to illuminate how intersecting markers of power and inequality shape young people's experience of, and ability to cope with, changing living conditions in the delta area.   




Becky Richardson Profile PictureBecky Richardson

Supervisor: Prof Andrew Collins

PhD working title: Child-centred Disaster Risk Reduction; the use of creative methods to understand hazard scenarios and risk communication pathways for children living in informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya

PhD research summary:  Becky’s research seeks to critically explore child-centred health risk communication within the field of disaster risk reduction (DRR) with children living in informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya.  Children have the right to be heard and listened to, as stated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child (UNCRC, 1989) yet their voices rarely contribute to policy or practice despite being a marginalised group.  This research applies a child-centred approach to understand children’s perceptions of hazard and risk that impact their health and wellbeing in school and their neighbourhood. Those risks are then explored further to see how they are communicated within the child’s own networks and linked to local level innovative solutions to reduce risk and improve health and wellbeing. A participatory action research (PAR) method is applied, adopting creative and arts-based tools to enhance engagement, trust, and equality in power relationships. Methods include deep mapping, walking interviews, body mapping, model-making, storytelling, and drawing.



Profile-Image-Benita-SilokoBenita Siloko 

Supervisors: Dr Oliver Hensengerth and Prof Helena Farrand Carrapico

PhD working title: Human security, livelihoods and environmental degradation in the Niger Delta Region, Nigeria

PhD research summary: Benita’s PhD research seeks to understand and address the complex connection between vulnerability, human security, and livelihoods in the context of environmental degradation, in the Niger Delta region, Nigeria. Understanding the factors that shape or contributes to social vulnerabilities of the Niger Delta or a community is important, as this will inform the needed entry points to increase resilience. The environment is humans first right, without a safe environment, we cannot exist to claim other rights – be it social, political, or economic rights. Benita’s research further brings together the concept of environmental security, justice and emancipation and the rights-based approach to human security.


Twitter: @BenitaSiloko



Bina Limbu Profile PictureBina Limbu

Supervisors: Dr Katie Oven and Dr Sarah Hughes

PhD working title: Living with mountain hazards: Everyday experiences of rural households in Nepal

PhD research summary: Owner-driven approaches to disaster risk reduction (DRR) have been globally endorsed under the Sendai Framework 2015-2030, however, much ambiguity exists regarding how to effectively integrate community participation and local knowledge into DRR practices. The current literatures contrastingly portray disaster-affected people either as ‘suffering victims’ driven to risky locations, or as the ‘drivers of their own change’ possessing indigenous knowledge and social capital. However, in the messiness of everyday reality, householders constantly negotiate with state and non-state bodies to rebuild their lives and livelihoods, but do they end up any more resilient than before? This research aims to seek answers by carrying out ethnographic study of people living in geo-hazardous locations in Dhading district of Nepal (prone to landslides, floods and earthquakes). In doing so, this study explores what kind of socio-economic, political, and environmental factors interplay in their everyday lives and how these shape their agency and decisions-making regarding hazards.


LinkedIn: Bina's LinkedIn Profile


Aijazi, O., Amburgey, E., Limbu, B., Suji, M., Binks, J., Balaz-Munn, C., Rankin, K., & Shneiderman, S. (2021). The Ethnography of Collaboration: Navigating Power Relationships in Joint Research. Collaborative Anthropologies, 13(2), 56-99.

Le Billon, P., Suji, M., Baniya, J., Limbu, B., Paudel, D., Rankin, K., Rawal, N., & Shneiderman, S. (2020). Disaster Financialization: Earthquakes, Cashflows and Shifting Household Economies in Nepal. Development and Change, 51(4), 939-969.

Limbu, B., Baniya, J., Suji, M., & Shneiderman, S. (2019, 19 February 2019). Reconstruction conundrums. The Kathmandu Post.

Limbu, B., Rawal, N., Suji, M., Subedi, P., & Baniya, J. (2019). Reconstructing Nepal: Post-Earthquake Experiences from Bhaktapur, Dhading and Sindhupalchowk.

Shneiderman, S., Hirslund, D., Baniya, J., Billon, P. L., Limbu, B., Pandey, B., Rankin, K., Rawal, N., Subedi, P. C., Suji, M., Thapa, D., & Warner, C. (2021). Expertise, Labour, and Mobility in Nepal's Post-Conflict, Post-Disaster Reconstruction: Law, Construction, and Finance as Domains of Social Transformation. In M. Liechty, M. Hutt, & S. Lotter (Eds.), Epicentre to Aftermath: Rebuilding and Remembering in the Wake of Nepal's Earthquakes (pp. 49-86). Cambridge University Press.

Shneiderman, S. B., Limbu, B., Baniya, J., Suji, M., Rawal, N., Subedi, P. C., & Warner, C. D. (2022). House, Household, and Home: Revisiting Anthropological and Policy Frameworks through Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Experiences in Nepal. Current Anthropology.

Suji, M., Limbu, B., Rawal, N., Subedi, P. C., & Baniya, J. (2020). Reconstructing Nepal: Bhaktapur—Heritage and Urban Reconstruction [Working paper].



Profile-Image-FloorFloor van der Hout

Supervisors: Prof Katy Jenkins and Dr Hilary Francis

PhD working title: Women territory defenders’ activism in Bolivia: weaving resistance against extractivism through affective, careful and relational politics

PhD research summary: Floor’s PhD research focuses on women territory defenders’ anti-extractive activism in Bolivia. Using a life history approach, she explores how the defensoras weave their resistance against proposed extractivist projects in their territories through affective, careful and relational politics. In her research she bring feminist thought from the ‘Global North’, around embodiment, relationality and intersectionality, into conversation with the work of anti-colonial indigenous and feminist scholars from Abya Yala. Her ethnographic fieldwork builds on seven years of engagement with Indigenous groups in the Bolivian Lowlands. In her work, Floor is particularly interested in decolonial methodologies, activist scholarship, radical pedagogies, and social justice. 


Twitter: @FloorHout


Van der Hout, F. (2022). From Colonial Extractivism to Hearting and Feelthinking, Contention, 10(1), 46-64.

Rasch, E. D., van der Hout, F., & Köhne, M. (2022). Engaged Anthropology and Scholar Activism, Contention, 10(1), 1-12.



Profile-Image-GeoffreyGeoffrey Bwireh

Supervisors: Dr Robert Newbery and Prof Matt Baillie Smith

PhD working title: Volunteerism, mixed embeddedness and entrepreneurial behaviour of Congolese youth refugees in Nakivale settlement in Uganda

PhD research summary: Geoffrey’s PhD analyses human capital, volunteerism, social networks, and performance of youth refugees owned micro-enterprises in Ugandan refugee settlements. Existing evidence suggests that engaging refugees in entrepreneurial activities can support their embeddedness within society; at the same time, volunteerism is increasingly being celebrated as a silver bullet strategy for enhancing aid and development in the global South. However, although the majority of the world’s refugee population is hosted in global South countries, research into refugees entrepreneurship has mainly focused on issues of mobility and individuals’ dual-embeddedness within host countries of the global North. This research thus explores human capital, volunteerism and social networks through the experiences of young refugee entrepreneurs living in Uganda refugee settlements.


Twitter: @GeffreyBwireh

LinkedIn: Geoffrey’s LinkedIn Profile 



Profile-Image-JosephJos Bamborough

Supervisor: Prof Matt Baillie Smith

PhD research summary: Joseph’s research project explores concepts at the heart of contemporary thinking around humanitarian response through a lens of ‘everyday’ work within international non-governmental organisations (iNGOs).  It builds on four critical (and overlapping) bodies of literature:  population displacement, humanitarian localisation, supply chain management, and ‘geographies of the everyday’, within the context of conflict in the Middle East, to develop an understanding of how workers manage the flow of goods and services, funds, and information through their supply chains.


LinkedIn: Joseph's LinkedIn profile 



Profile-Image-LindsayLindsay Bewick

Supervisors: Prof Matt Baillie Smith and Prof Katy Jenkins

PhD research summary: Lindsay's PhD research seeks to critically explore the ways in which entrepreneurial activities enable urban women refugees to create livelihoods opportunities, focusing on three key inter-related lenses – biographies, solidarities and space. Taking the emphasis away from current policy and programming which has a narrow focus on how entrepreneurship leads to local economic contributions, the broader everyday experiences and interactions of urban women refugees will be investigated using visual and participatory methods. The research will take place in Uganda.


LinkedIn: Lindsay's LinkedIn profile 



Mridula Paul Profile PictureMridula Mary Paul

Supervisor: Dr Francis Masse and Prof Andrew Collins

PhD working title: The making of One Health: Cultural politics and political ecology of the global responses to zoonoses

PhD research summary: Although zoonotic diseases have significantly impacted already vulnerable forest-/wildlife-dependant and herder communities in developing countries, the thrust of the global response to zoonoses is surveillance and ‘hotspot’ mapping with the expressed goal of containing the spread “closer to their source” i.e., locations in the global South. The scientific research on zoonoses that inform policies for response are therefore political endeavours as much as scientific ones, because they implicitly confer certain spaces and groups of people with more culpability for zoonotic disease emergence. As a dominant paradigm addressing public health and zoonoses, One Health provides the ideal ground for exploring the cultural politics of the science and expertise underpinning global responses to zoonoses. The PhD project aims to merge the political ecology of human-animal relations and the political ecology of health, thereby contributing to the emerging field of political ecology of zoonoses and One Health.  


Twitter: @MridulaMPaul



Profile-Image-NikhilNikhil Panicker

Supervisors: Prof Steve Taylor and Dr Darryl Humble

PhD research summary: Nikhil's PhD research aims to conceptualise inequalities between social categories in the international migration corridor between Kerala, India and the Middle East. By understanding how regimes of international migration are being formulated through assemblages of infrastructures that produce different migrant categories, his project analyses who is free to move, who is forced to move, when they can or must move, how they ought to move, and who cannot move.


LinkedIn: Nikhil's LinkedIn profile 



Robert-Bowden-ProfileRobert Bowden

Supervisor: Prof Matt Baillie Smith

PhD research summary: Robert's PhD project is a collaborative research in partnership with the international NGO Christian Aid, focused on the dynamics of ‘transformational’ supporter engagement and global citizenship in relation to Christian Aid’s work in the UK.  




Profile-Image-Robert-EgweaRobert Olet Egwea

Supervisors: Prof Matt Baillie Smith and Dr Francis Masse

PhD working title: The impact of tree protection strategies on rural livelihoods in the shea tree belt of Uganda

PhD research summary: Robert’s PhD research investigates the impact of tree protection strategies on livelihoods in Uganda's shea tree belt, a vital ecosystem supporting the livelihoods of millions of people in a region that has experienced significant deforestation in recent years, leading to soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, reduced water quality, poverty, and food insecurity. The study will contribute to knowledge on deforestation, climate change mitigation, and livelihood outcomes in the global South by providing insights into the complex interrelationships between various tree protection strategies, challenges, and livelihoods in the shea tree belt. The original contribution to knowledge in this study lies in the synthesis of the concepts of agency, theory of access and sustainable livelihoods approach to understand these relationships. While previous studies have explored the environmental benefits of tree protection strategies, this study highlights the crucial role of the strategies in supporting the livelihoods of rural communities in the global south, particularly in the shea tree belt.


LinkedIn: Robert's LinkedIn Profile 



Profile-Image-Ruth-StevensonRuth Stevenson

Supervisors: Prof Steve Taylor and Prof Katy Jenkins

Summary: Ruth's PhD research seeks to critically explore the relationship between international migration and women’s development within Kerala, India, where overseas migrants provide 40% of state income. The international migration process in India is still largely male dominated, and dominant discourses celebrate the positive relationship between migration and Indian development. This research will make a distinctive contribution to an emerging body of literature focusing on migration and inclusive development by focusing on Keralan women ‘left behind’, the challenges they face, and the longer term impacts on women in the Keralan model of development which has seen vast improvements in health outcomes and literacy rates in Kerala.  




Profile-Image-MaxineSichelesile N. Maxine Mpofu

Supervisors: Prof Matt Baillie Smith and Dr Reem Talhouk

PhD working title: A Critical Analysis of How Young People with Disabilities Shape the Development of Rural Zimbabwe

PhD research summary: Maxine is interested in Youth Geographies, with a particular focus on the elasticity of young personhood and the nuanced experience of global development. The current research project employs Participatory Research approaches to collaborate with diverse young people with disabilities in interrogating the nature of Participatory Development in rural Zimbabwe. The project seeks to contribute to studies filling the dearth of Development Geographies literature that captures decolonised youth narratives, by the youth and for the youth in the global South.


Twitter: @maxine_mpofu

LinkedIn: Maxine's LinkedIn Profile 



Profile-Image-Shamima-ShanuShamima Akter Shanu

Supervisors: Prof Matt Baillie Smith and Dr Katie Oven

PhD working title: Voluntary Labour in the Climate Emergency: Exploring the Experiences of Youth Volunteers in the Context of Climate-Vulnerable Bengal Delta

PhD research summary: Shamima’s PhD research explores the roles of youth volunteers in climate emergency at the Bengal delta in South Asia. This delta is repeatedly affected by disasters and ongoing climate impacts. Despite inclusion in diverse policy objectives and ambitions, young volunteers’ lived experiences, voices and practices are absent from popular, scholarly and policy thinking. Therefore, this research aims to explore the everyday life experiences of those marginal youth volunteers amongst climate vulnerable communities in Bangladesh. This research adopts participatory research approaches to collaborate with diverse stakeholders in the coastal communities in order to generate new knowledge that will contribute to both volunteer and climate change domains separately and combinedly. Shamima’s overall research interests are related to climate change adaptation, disasters risk reduction, water and sanitation, mangrove ecosystem and deltaic ecosystem.


Twitter: @ShamimaShanu

LinkedIn: Shamima’s LinkedIn profile



Profile-Image-SophiaSophia Valle-Cornibert     

Supervisor: Prof Katy Jenkins     

PhD research summary: Sophia is a feminist social anthropologist from Chile. Her research seeks to critically explore women’s social and political mobilisation and its articulation with the gendered impacts of large-scale mining, in the Atacama Desert, in the north of Chile. With a focus on feminist decolonial perspectives, her research navigates through participatory and visual ethnographic (filmmaking) methodologies, with the intention of exploring through more collaborative and collective processes for the creation and dissemination of knowledge.


Twitter: @CornibertSophia



Emily-Tzu-Jung Feng Profile PictureTzu Jung Feng (Emily)

Supervisor: Prof Katy Jenkins    

PhD research summary: Tzu Jung (Emily) is interested in everyday resilience and the geography of medical voluntourism, with a particular focus on health professional identity and their voluntary experiences in the development of community well-being in the global South. Through feminist participatory research and visual ethnographic methodologies, her current research project seeks to contribute to studies of gender inequality in the medical profession, both among health professionals and within their households.







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