2020-2021 DPhils Welcomed to OWN

OWN is pleased to welcome a new cohort of DPhil students in the School of Geography and the Environment. If you want to learn more or contact them, you can find them in our OWN directory. Below is a bit of what each is expecting to research. The DPhil programme has a mix of postgraduate students; some are working on projects outlined through external funding and others are solely responsible for determining the topic of their research and therefore start out in a ‘wider’ research space.

Olivia Becher’s research interest is in large scale water system risks and adaptation–in particular, guiding water infrastructure development in the context of climate, hydrological, and water quality related risks.

Deng Majok Chol is modelling the wetlands and simulating hydrological responses to future climatic change in the Sudd Basin of South Sudan. He is also exploring the human and societal impacts of largescale hydrological variability, historical resilience, climatic migration as possibly adaptation to the tipping points, and socio-technical interventions that may enhance or detract resilience.

Sophie Erfurth is a hydrologist conducting research on common pool resource (CPR) governance in the context of fragile political systems. Her research strives to shed light on the evolution of water institutions in relation to political instability and hydroclimatic risks and contributes to coupled systems modelling and analysis of social and hydrological interactions.

Rob Ferritto’s research interests include women’s empowerment and gender equality at the intersection of sustainable development.

Ella Fleming works on water scarcity, climate conflict and migration in Africa and studies its implications for UK security and defence.

Gina Gilson is studying the governance of informal water markets in East Africa, with a particular focus on property rights, collective action, and resource sustainability. Gina’s research is part of NEWAVE.

Katie Kowal’s research focus is on opportunities for seasonal forecasts to enhance drought preparedness with a focus in Central America.

Johannes Wagner’s research examines the payment behaviors of rural consumers and facilities in sub-Saharan Africa to attract non-traditional funding. He focuses on policy and governance issues informing how rural consumers pay for water across service delivery models, payment methods, and political spaces using both qualitative and quantitative methods. His work is part of NEWAVE.