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Dr Helen Adams is an environmental social scientist working on the subjective dimensions of human interactions with environmental change, with a focus on marginal regions of low-income countries.

In November 2015, she joined King's from Geography at the University of Exeter, where she worked with Neil Adger on the linkages between human well-being and natural resource dependence in marginal populations of Bangladesh, as part of the Espa funded project, ‘Assessing Health, Livelihoods, Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation in Populous Deltas’ (Espa Deltas). Helen completed her PhD at the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia in 2012. Her thesis examined the role of the environment in migration decision-making in rural Peru.

Prior to starting her PhD, Helen worked with the Climate Change Expert Group at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris on policy frameworks for adaptation to climate change in the water sector and at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat supporting negotiations on adaptation and the implementation of the Nairobi Work Programme. 

Helen is a Contributing Author on the Human Security chapter in the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report, Working Group II.


BSc Natural Sciences, Durham University 
MRes Environmental Social Science, University of East Anglia 
PhD Environmental Social Science, University of East Anglia


  • Migration under environmental change
  • Ecosystem services and wellbeing linkages
  • Subjective wellbeing and environmental change
  • Transformations and socio-ecological resilience
  • Adaptation to climate change
  • Immobility and place attachment

Helen’s research falls under three areas: migration and immobility under environmental change, ecosystem services for poverty alleviation; and transformations and socio-ecological resilience.

Working with Mark Pelling, Helen convenes the Centre for Integrated Research on Risk and Resilience – a college-wide initiative to promote research that critically examines the conceptualisation and use of resilience across three intersecting global challenges: climate change and disaster reduction, conflict and security; and human health.


PhD supervision

Principal supervisor

Further details

See Helen's research profile