Emma Tompkins

Associate, based at University of Southampton

Emma Tompkins

Emma holds a Readership in environment and development in the School of Geography & Environment at the University of Southampton.

Emma teaches undergraduate courses in environment and development and global environmental change.

Emma has worked on climate change adaptation since 2001, specifically barriers and limits to institutional adaptation, public-private partnerships for adaptation, and drivers of individual action and national policy on adaptation.

Emma sits on the Editorial Board of Ecology and Society and on the Advisory Group for the UK Climate Impacts Programme.

She is a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report Five.


Emma was part of the lead expert group for the Government Office of Science Foresight project, ‘Reducing Risk of Future Disasters’.

She was also a contributing author to the IPCC Special Report on Climate Extremes and Disasters, an expert reviewer for the IPCC fourth Assessment Report, and provides ongoing expert reviews for research councils in the UK and seven other European countries.

Emma has published numerous papers, articles and policy briefs on environmental management, adaptation to climate change, and social and ecological resilience, as well as handbooks on surviving climate change in small islands and participatory coastal zone management.

She has a PhD Environmental Science (UEA), MSc Environmental and Resource Economics (UCL) and BA Economics (Leicester).

Research interests

  • Sustainable adaptation to climate change;
  • Social transitions and processes of institutional change;
  • Individual behaviour in a changing environment.

Research articles


Working papers