Rosalind Cornforth

  • Director, Professor of Climate and Development - Walker Institute

Research interests

Professor Rosalind Cornforth, Director of The Walker Institute has proven leadership expertise working on the ground in developing countries, designing early warning systems and implementing large-scale interdisciplinary projects around managing for climate resilience. A Professor of Climate and Development, she is an expert in bringing academics from different disciplines to work together to support climate resilience and development. As a leading innovator in knowledge exchange and multi-stakeholder engagement, she links science, policy and practice to drive solution-orientated research and build capacity on the ground.

A Meteorologist by training, she has many years’ experience collaborating with policymakers, communities and international organisations particularly across sub-Saharan Africa. Her work is creating a portfolio of research designed across all scales with a wide range of stakeholder groups to help build a climate resilient future.

She is currently PI/Co-PI on several major collaborative research projects in Africa and Asia on climate change impact modelling and risk assessment, readiness tools and scaling-up for implementation through practice-focused partners, and the translation of evidence into advice and political action. Current research focus is on building robust inter-disciplinary research to better understand and communicate the potential impact of climate change on livelihood systems and the capacity of livelihood systems, people and communities in the Global South, to adapt.

In 2011, she established the African Climate Exchange (AfClix), which brings together academics, policymakers and practitioners to identify how climate science can play a role in reducing people’s vulnerabilities to weather-related hazards in Africa; and following this through with action on the ground to strengthen capacity and promote resilience.

In 2015, Professor Cornforth became Director of the Walker Institute at the University of Reading, which is driving bottom-up, problem-focused interdisciplinary solutions to climate-related issues in developing countries, and facilitating the two way transfer of knowledge, learning and methodologies between the global south and north.

Her most recent external roles include: Technical Advisor to the African Union Development Agency and the African Union Disaster Risk Reduction Leadership team.