School of Earth and Environment

Marta Gaworek-Michalczenia

Postgraduate Researcher

Email address:
Room: 9.157

Affiliation: Sustainability Research Institute


I am a PhD researcher at the Sustainability Research Institute (SRI), University of Leeds. My project aims to critically examine interactions between multiple interventions being implemented in rural Tanzania as part of the Integrated Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Programme – led by the EU initiated - Global Climate Change Alliance. In my research I will investigate how those multidimensional interventions impact on local communities, their adaptive capacity and well-being. This research also entails collaborative partnerships with conservation and development practitioners working on the ground in East Usambara Mountains in north-eastern Tanzania: the ONGAWA and Tanzania Forest Conservation Group.

Although I started my academic career in natural sciences, after coming to the realisation that most of the drivers of environmental change are socio-political in nature I decided to complement my deductive research practice with theories and methodologies from social science. Hence, in 2014 I enrolled to read an interdisciplinary MSc in Anthropology, Environment and Development at UCL to deepen my understanding of the social aspects of development and natural resource governance and its implications for vulnerable communities in developing countries.

In this PhD project I will draw on the cross-disciplinary school of thought to critically evaluate approaches undertaken to reduce climate-related vulnerabilities in poor countries. The research will involve extensive fieldwork in Tanzania collaborating with local government, NGOs and grassroots work, experience that I gained through my work on a pioneering conservation programme in Dominica (ZSL) and my anthropological research in Guyana. Both were collaborative projects, involving many stakeholders including the Government and NGOs, aiming to protect local biodiversity but also safeguarding local livelihoods. Those experiences taught me the huge importance of an in-depth understanding of the local context to inform decision-making. I became a passionate advocate of innovative and adaptive strategies that recognise the importance of local peoples’ voices and community-based management models that support participation and accountability.


PhD Candidate in Environment and Development, University of Leeds, 2016 - present

MSc Anthropology, Environment and Development (Distinction), University College London, 2014 - 2015

MSc Environmental Biology (Distinction), Jagiellonien University, 2006 - 2008

BSc Environmental Protection (2:1), Jagiellonian University, 2003 - 2006

Project details

Project title

Evaluating adaptive capacity and human well-being outcomes of complex multi-objective climate-development programmes.


Dr Susannah Sallu and Dr Monica Di Gregorio


ESRC White Rose DTC Collaborative Studentship

Start date

1 October 2016