Kate Brown

Katrina Brown

Research Group

Tom James, Michalis Revamatas and Lucy Szaboova - PhD Students

Tom Chaigneau, Tara Quinn  - Associate Research Fellows

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Professor Katrina Brown

Chair in Social Science


I am an environmental social scientist, specialising in environmental change, development, vulnerability and resilience. My research focuses on how individuals and societies understand and respond to change, and their different capacities for adaptation and transformation. I am committed to interdisciplinary research on sustainability and have led international research teams to examine environmental change and poverty alleviation in developing countries.

I am also a member of the Geography department in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences.

You can find out more by watching a two-minute video of me explaining my work.

Research publication titles

Research interests

  • Ecosystem services and human wellbeing
  • Global environmental change
  • Resilience, transformation and sustainability

Current projects

  • SPACES: Sustainable poverty alleviation from coastal ecosystem services. This project is part of a seven-year, £40 million research programme funded by Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA).  ESPA is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and National Environment Research Council (NERC) to provide new knowledge demonstrating how ecosystem services can reduce poverty and enhance wellbeing for the world’s poor.
  • The Royal Society: The Human Resilience to Climate Change and Disasters Working Group has a remit to demonstrate how evidence-based decision-making can be carried out to increase human resilience through consideration of ecosystem-based approaches, alongside other adaptation and disaster risk reduction options.
  • The Resilience Alliance: This is a research organisation comprised of scientists and practitioners from many disciplines who collaborate to explore the dynamics of social-ecological systems. 
  • P-Mowtick: Participatory modelling of wellbeing trade-offs in coastal Kenya
  • Global Environmental Change (co-editor)


  • PhD Women’s farming groups in semi-arid Kenya (University of Nottingham)
  • MSc Tropical Agricultural Development (University of Reading)
  • BSc Agricultural and Environmental Science (University of Newcastle upon Tyne)


2012 Chair in Social Science, University of Exeter
1991-2012 University of East Anglia (Professor of Development Studies since 2004)
ESRC Professorial Fellowship on ‘Resilient Development in Social Ecological Systems’
2004-2010 Deputy Director for Social Sciences and Leader, International Development Programme, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research

Contact details

Email katrina.brown@exeter.ac.uk
Telephone +44 (0) 1326 255903
Building Environment and Sustainability Institute
Room 2.02

University of Exeter
Penryn Campus
Cornwall TR10 9FE