School of Earth and Environment

Emma Tompkins Dr Emma Tompkins


Email address:

Affiliation: Sustainability Research Institute


Emma is based in Southampton University, but retains a visiting position at Leeds. Emma has worked on climate change adaptation since 2001 specifically barriers and limits to institutional adaptation, public-private partnerships for adaptation, and drivers of individual action and national policy on adaptation.
Emma sits on the Editorial Board of Ecology and Society and on the Advisory Group for the UK Climate Impacts Programme.
She is a lead author of the IPCC AR5, a contributing author to the IPCC Special Report on Climate Extremes and Disasters (due 2011), was an expert reviewer for the IPCC fourth Assessment Report, and provides on-going expert reviews for research councils in the UK and seven other European countries. She has published numerous papers, articles and policy briefs on environmental management, adaptation to climate change, and social and ecological resilience as well as handbooks on surviving climate change in small islands and participatory coastal zone management. She has a PhD Environmental Science (UEA), MSc Environmental and Resource Economics (UCL) and BA Economics (Leicester).

Research interests:

Her research interests include:
1. sustainable adaptation to climate change 2. decision support tools for climate change decision making 3. social transitions and processes of institutional change 4. individual behavioural change Her research areas are: 1. natural hazards, especially tropical cyclones, floods and droughts 2. climate change 3. small island states 4. coastal zones


Emma co-teaches the Masters module SOEE 5550 (Climate change impacts and adaptation) with Andy Challinor.

PhD supervision:

Emma is currently supervising: Rachel Berman Mainstream climate change and development in sub-Saharan Africa: Can 'good development' interventions deliver effective low carbon climate resilient growth? Arnoldo Matus Kramer (started 2007) Adaptation to Climate Change in the Tourism Sector of the Rapidly Urbanizing Yucatan Caribbean Coast Khandaker Munim (started 2008) Implications of Salinity Intrusion for Food Security in Two Food Systems in South-western Bangladesh Paola Hernandez Montes de Oca (started Feb 2009) Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Public-Private Partnerships as Drivers for SMEs to Fight Climate Change in the Southeast of Mexico Salma Hegga (started 2009) Disaster resilience in the Mzinga wetland in Tanzania Steven Orchard (started 2010) Adaptation and development: Pathways to a sustainable future She is interested in supervising in the following areas:

  • climate change adaptation
  • resilience and development
  • risk management and risk communication
  • decision support tools for climate change decision making;
  • psychological and economic limits to adaptation
  • integrated coastal zone management
  • small island sustainability.