Nicholas Simpson

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Africa Climate and Development Initiative, University of Cape Town

Research interests

Nick Simpson is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Africa Climate & Development Initiative (ACDI), University of Cape Town. He is the Chapter Scientist for Chapter 9 “Africa Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” of the 6th Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Nick’s current research concentrates on the complexity of climate risk, how everyday African’s perceive climate change, energy poverty / access, and security practices at the interface of climate change and conflict.

Nick's previous research has extended security studies to the governance of new 'Anthropocene' risks / harms. This work has extended our understanding of responses to unanticipated and severe Anthropocene events; such as the Cape Town drought. Nick was also the first to establish theoretical and practice ready consilience between the capabilities approach and environmental assessment. His PhD concentrated on human capabilities for participatory sustainable decision-making in environmental assessment.

Nick’s research also focuses on the very bottom end of the economic spectrum, aiming to support the creation and improvement of livelihoods and small businesses of those most at environmental and economic risk. His work with Tearfund (UK) has identified 'design principles' that inform the conceptualization and evaluation of projects to aid in the replication of emerging sustainability-orientated work for humanitarian NGOs. Their latest collaboration concentrates on off-grid low carbon energy and credit solutions in Africa for informal and marginalized communities.