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Dr Hayley Leck

Dr Hayley Leck


Research Fellow


Department of Geography
School of Global Affairs
Room 6.22, Bush House (NE)
King's College London 


Hayley is a development geographer with a research focus on climate-resilient development in sub-Saharan Africa, specialising in urban climate adaptation, resilience, and disaster risk management. She has extensive experience working at the interface of environmental/climate change and development analysis on issues of livelihoods, vulnerability, governance of climate adaptation and disaster risk in Southern Africa, and interdisciplinary engagement with diverse research institutes, governmental organizations, NGOs and other stakeholders.

In her current role as a Research Fellow in the Geography Department Hayley is a lead researcher and co-ordinator for the large multi-country interdisciplinary research programme Urban Africa: Risk Knowledge (Urban ARK) Programme (

Prior to joining King’s Hayley was a Post Doctoral Researcher at the Grantham Research Institute (GRI) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Hayley holds a PhD in Geography from Royal Holloway, University of London. Her current research focuses on the governance of climate adaptation, urban resilience and the social and policy elements of urban disaster risk in sub-Saharan Africa. She is particularly interested in understanding how individuals and societies in diverse contexts perceive and respond to environmental change and disasters and the institutional, social and other factors that influence capacities for adaptation and transformation at multiple scales. 

Recent publications

Pelling, M., Leck, H., Pasquini, L., Ajibade, I., Osuteye, E., Parnell, S., Lwasa, S., Johnson, C., Fraser, A., Barcena, A., Boubacar, S. 2018. Africa’s Urban Adaptation Transition Under a 1.5 Degree Climate, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 31, 10-15,

Fraser, A., Leck, H., Pelling, M., Parnell, S., Lwasa, S., and Brown, D (eds). 2017. Africa’s Urban Risk and Resilience, Editorial, Special Issue in International Journal for Disaster Risk Reduction, 26, 1-6:

Fraser, A., Leck, H., Pelling, M., Parnell, S., Brown, D., and Lwasa, S. 2017. Meeting the challenge of risk-sensitive and resilient urban development in sub-Saharan Africa: Directions for future research and practice, International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 26, 106-109

Dodman, D., Leck, H., Rusca, M., and Colenbrander, S. 2017. African Urbanisation and Urbanism: Implications for risk accumulation and reduction, International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction,

Surminski, S., and Leck, H. 2017. From agenda-setting to implementation - the role of Multi-Sectoral Partnerships in addressing urban climate risks: From awareness to action, Earths Future, DOI:10.1002/2016EF000497.

Leck, H. 2017. “The Role of Culture in Climate Adaption: ‘The Nkanyamba Caused That Storm’.” Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal, 2:2-3, p 296-315, doi:10.1080/23802014.2017.1408424.

Smith, T., Murrey. A., Leck, H. 2017. 'What Kind of Witchcraft is this?' Development, Magic and Spiritual Ontologies, Editorial, Special Issue in Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal pp. 141-156, DOI: 10.1080/23802014.2017.1411209

Averchenkova, A., Crick, F., Kocornik-Mina, A., Leck, H and Surminski, S (alphabetical order). 2016. ‘Multinational and large national corporations and climate adaptation - Are we asking the right questions?’ A review of current knowledge and a new research perspective, WIREs Clim Change, p 517-536.

Leck, H., and Roberts, D. 2015. ‘What lies beneath: understanding the invisible aspects of municipal climate change governance’, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 13, p61-67.

Leck, H., Conway, D., Bradshaw, M., Rees, J. 2015. ‘Tracing the water-energy-food nexus: conceptual and operational challenges’. Geography Compass, 9 (8), p445-460.

Simon, D. and Leck, H. 2015. ‘Understanding climate adaptation and transformation challenges in African cities’, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 13, p109-116.

Simon, D. and Leck, H. 2015. ‘Sustainability challenges: assessing climate change adaptation in Africa’ Editorial for Special Issue in Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 13.

Simon, D. and Leck, H. 2014. Understanding urban adaptation challenges in diverse contexts, Editorial for Special Issue in Urban Climate,7 (2), p1-5.

**Leck, H. and Simon, D. 2013. Climate Change demands that we work co- operatively’: Fostering multiscalar collaboration and co-operation for effective governance of climate change adaptation and mitigation, Urban Studies, 50 (6). ** Article selected for Urban Studies Virtual Special Issue (VSI) programme. Article appeared in Issue on, "Urban debates for climate change after the Kyoto Protocol" for its significant contribution to this particular debate.

Simon, D., and Leck, H. 2010. Urbanising the Global Environmental Change and Human Security Agendas, Climate and Development, 2, pp. 263-275.

For a full list of Hayley's publications visit her research profile.

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