School of Earth and Environment

Claire Quinn Dr Claire Quinn

Associate Professor: Natural Resources Management; Deputy Director of Research (Excellence)

Telephone number: +44(0) 113 34 38700
Email address:
Room: 9.107


I am an environmental social scientist with 20 years of experience working on interdisciplinary projects in the UK, Africa and Asia. My research interests lie at the interface between social and natural dimensions of environmental change and sustainability. My research advances understanding of social-ecological systems focusing on: 1) livelihood vulnerability, adaptation and resilience in agricultural systems; and 2) knowledge and governance in sustainable natural resources management. I am interdisciplinary in my approach, drawing theories and methods from both the social and natural sciences.

Currently I work on a number of different projects. I work with the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy to link top-down and bottom-up approaches in climate change adaptation research in sub-Saharan Africa. I am part of a consortium of researchers from across Europe investigating the prevention and remediation of degradation of soils through land care (RECARE). I am collaborating with colleagues in the MENA region to explore agricultural innovation in fish-crop systems in drylands. I also work with World University Network partners to understand intensification in pastoral systems in Africa.


  • BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences: Ecology specialism (Kings College, London)
  • MRes Ecology and Environmental Management (University of York)
  • PhD Social Policy and Environmental Management (University of York).


I am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Research Interests

  • Sustainable livelihoods, vulnerability and adaptation in agricultural systems
  • Governance and institutions for multi-functional landscapes/ecosystem services
  • Water-Energy-Food nexus
  • Bayesian Belief Networks

Research students

Caitriona Shannon (2015-2018) Slowing the spread of invasive alien species: biosecurity best practice and stakeholder engagement (co-supervised with Alison Dunn, School of Biology, University of Leeds). NERC funded.

Vincent Basupi (2014-2017) Privatisation of communal lands: Challenges and prospects for sustainable land and environmental management in the lower Okavango Delta areas, Botswana (co-supervised with Andrew Dougill, SRI, University of Leeds). Botswana International University of Science & Technology funded.

Ben Wood (2013-2016) Climate finance project analysis and climate compatible development in Malawi (co-supervised with Andrew Dougill & Lindsay Stringer, University of Leeds). ESRC (CCCEP) funded.

Sonia Hoque (2013-2016) Understanding poverty through the lens of sustainable livelihoods and climate change vulnerability: a comparison of climatic hotspots in Bangladesh (co-supervised with Susannah Sallu, SRI, University of Leeds). University of Leeds International Research Scholarship funded.

Joanes Atela (Completed 2015) REDD+ institutional design and implementation within local socioeconomic settings: evidence from Kenya (co-supervised with Piers Forster, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds). University of Leeds International Research Scholarship funded.

Steven Orchard (Completed 2015) Exploring adaptive capacity in mangrove social-ecological systems of rural Vietnam (co-supervised with Lindsay Stringer, SRI, University of Leeds). ESRC (CCCEP) funded.

Rachel Berman (Completed 2015) Developing climate change coping capacity into adaptive capacity in Uganda (co-supervised with Jouni Paavola, SRI, University of Leeds). ESRC funded.

Chloe Sutcliffe (Completed 2015) Cultivar adoption as a strategy for adapting to climate change: maize variety selection and cultivation amongst small-scale farmers in Malawi (co-supervised with Andrew Dougill, SRI, University of Leeds). ESRC (CCCEP) funded.

Felix Kalaba (Completed 2014) Forest ecosystem services, rural livelihoods and carbon storage in Miombo woodland in the Copperbelt region of Zambia (co-supervised with Andrew Dougill, SRI, University of Leeds). Commonwealth Scholarship funded.

Yingluk Kanchanaroek (Completed 2014) Property Rights Regimes in Complex Fishery Management in Tonle Sap: Combining Choice Experiments and Agent-Based Simulations (co-supervised with Mette Termensen, Aarhus University, Denmark). Thammasat University and EEPSEA (Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia) funded.

Teaching Interests

I am the module leader for SOEE2690 Managing Biodiversity and SOEE1180 Environment and Ecology. I also give lectures on a range of other modules and supervise both Undergraduate and Masters Dissertations.

Support duties

I am convenor of the Environment and Development Research Group, a group of researchers with expertise across the natural and social sciences, working on issues relating to conservation, adaptation, governance, sustainable land management and development, with a particular focus on drylands and forests.

I am also the biodiversity champion for campus, working with the Sustainability Team on the University Biodiversity Action Plan.