Ellen Cunningham

  • Doctoral researcher/Policy consultant - University of Glasgow

Research interests

I am passionate about communicating the economic costs of climate change in order to incentivise effective adaptation policy. 

I have a background in Earth Sciences (BA 1:1, Trinity College Dublin) and Environmental Economics (MSc, Distinction, University of St Andrews).

I am a Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Scholarship Holder at the University of Glasgow for my PhD research on the economic impacts of water scarcity to households in Sudan. I am currently based in Khartoum, Sudan and will be conducting the field data collection part of my study in  Winter 2021. My research focuses on further understanding the myriad pathways through which water scarcity can impact households in Sudan and how they interact to curb economic potential. Such impacts range from the physiological and mental health toll of water colection duties to impacts on livelihoods and food security. My research aims to identify intra-household disparaties and vulnerable groups (e.g. infants & new mothers, women and girls).  

Before starting my PhD in 2021 I worked as environmental and climate policy consultant in the private sector for 3 years, conducting multi-lateral water policy analysis for the European Commission, Defra, World Bank and UNEP. I also worked on climate adaptation strategies related to mangrove conservation in the Carribean, for the Government of the British Virgin Islands. 

I believe that multi disciplinary engagement across policy, academic and the private sector is needed to ensure a successful COP21. I believe that my experience in real-life policy analysis and academic research will provide useful input to this expert network.