Dr Lisa Schipper


Research Groups


Dr Lisa Schipper

Environmental Social Science Research Fellow

Academic Profile

I am an Environmental Social Science Research Fellow. Broadly speaking, I am interested in the drivers of social vulnerability to climate change and natural hazards in developing countries, and the role that adaptation can play in reducing that vulnerability. My three focus areas are therefore: (1) understanding the linkages between adaptation to climate change and development; (2) socio-cultural drivers of vulnerability to climate change and natural hazards (particularly religion and gender); and (3) migration and climate change.

I have lived and worked in Central and South America, East Africa and South and Southeast Asia.

I am also a Research Associate with the Overseas Development Institute in London and an Associate with Stockholm Environment Institute Asia Centre in Bangkok, where I was a Senior Research Fellow from 2008-2013. I also spent one year at the Southeast Asia START Regional Centre at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, and lectured at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh city. I have consulted for a number of organisations, including the Asian Development Bank, Mekong River Commission, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, CARE International, and numerous UN and other international organisations.

At the beginning of my career, I worked mainly on climate change policy, and spent many years intensely involved in reporting on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations as the Team Leader for the Earth Negotiations Bulletin published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

I am currently Co-ordinating Lead Author of Chapter 18 of the Working Group 2 contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (‘Climate Resilient Development Pathways’) and a Contributing Author to the Special Report on 1.5C (to be completed toward the end of 2018). I was a Lead Author in the Fifth Assessment Report (WG2, Ch21), and Co-Editor of the WG2 Glossary, as well as a Lead Author in the Special Report on Managing Extreme Events - SREX (Ch2).

I am the Co-Editor of the journal Climate and Development (Taylor and Francis) and sit on the Editorial Boards of the journals World Development Perspectives (Elsevier) and Global Transitions (KeAi).

I hold a PhD in Development Studies from University of East Anglia (2004) with a thesis entitled ‘Adaptation to Climate Change: A Development Perspective’, and I undertook a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the International Water Management Institute in Colombo, Sri Lanka (2005-2007).

I currently supervise two doctoral students: Wendy Conway-Lamb (University of Canberra) and Jamie Havercamp (University of Maine).

I am always open to collaboration with people in different disciplines, especially where there are opportunities to explore new theoretical frameworks and methodologies, and am a strong advocate of social science and gender balance in science and academia.



Schipper, E.L.F., V. Le Masson, L. Langston, S. Kratzer, R. Sogani, E. Nyukuri, M.T. Arana (2017) ‘Closing the Knowledge Gaps on Gender and Climate Change for CCD’ in Nunan. F. (ed.) Making Climate Compatible Development Happen. Routledge: London.


Magnan, A., E.L.F. Schipper et al (2016) ‘Reframing Maladaptation to Climate Change’, WIREs Climate Change DOI: 10.1002/wcc.409

Schipper, E.L.F., Thomalla, F., Vulturius, G, Davis, M. and Johnson, K. (2016) Linking Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change and Development. International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment. 7: 2

Wilkinson, E., L. Schipper, C. Simonet, Z. Kubik (2016) ‘Climate change, migration and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ ODI Briefing Paper.

Nyukuri, E., Naess, L.O., Schipper, L. (2016) ‘Gender and Climate Compatible Development: Kenya Report’, London: CDKN and Practical Action Consulting.


Krueger, F., G. Bankoff, T. Cannon, E.L.F. Schipper, B. Orlowski (eds.) (2015) Cultures and Disasters: Understanding Cultural Framings in Disaster Risk Reduction, Routledge: London.

Schipper, E.L.F. (2015) ‘Religion and Belief Systems’ in Krueger, F., G. Bankoff, T. Cannon, E.L.F. Schipper, B. Orlowski (eds.) Cultures and Disasters: Understanding Cultural Framings in Disaster Risk Reduction, Routledge: London.

Thomalla, F., R. Smith, E.L.F. Schipper ‘Cultural Aspects of Risk to Environmental Changes and Hazards: A Review of Perspectives’ in M. Companion (ed.) (2015) Disasters' Impact on Livelihood and Cultural Survival: Losses, Opportunities, and Mitigation Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Schipper, E.L.F, L. Langston (2015) ‘A comparative overview of resilience measurement frameworks: analysing indicators and approaches’ ODI Working Paper 422.

Jones, L., E. Carabine, E.L.F. Schipper (2015) ‘(Re)conceptualising maladaptation in policy and practice: towards an evaluative framework’ PRISE Working Paper, ODI.


Cannon, T., E.L.F. Schipper, G. Bankoff, F. Krueger (eds.) (2014) World Disasters Report 2014: Focus on Culture and Disasters, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC): Geneva.

Schipper, E.L.F., C. Merli, P. Nunn (2014) ‘Chapter 2: Culture, beliefs and people’s ways of perceiving risk’, in T. Cannon, E.L.F. Schipper, G. Bankoff, F. Krueger (eds.) World Disasters Report 2014: Focus on Culture and Disasters, IFRC: Geneva.

Hewitson, B., A. Janetos, T. Carter, F. Giorgi, R.Jones, W-T Kwon, L. Mearns, E.L.F. Schipper, M. v. Aalst (2014) ‘Chapter 21: Regional Context’ in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II Contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

Schipper, L., L. Langston (2014) ‘Gender equality and Climate Compatible Development Drivers and challenges to people’s empowerment’ ODI/CDKN Working Paper.

2013 and other key previous publications

Schipper, E.L.F., J. Ayers, H. Reid, S. Huq, A. Rahman (eds.) (2013) Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change: Scaling it Up, Routledge: London.

Cardona, O.D, M. van Aalst, J. Birkmann, M. Fordham, G. McGregor, R. Perez, R.S. Pulwarty, E.L.F. Schipper, B.T. Sinh (2012) ‘Chapter 2. Determinants of Risk: Exposure and Vulnerability’ in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

Conway, D., E.L.F. Schipper (2011) ‘Adaptation to climate change in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities identified from Ethiopia’ Global Environmental Change, 1(21): 227-237.

Schipper, E.L.F (2010) ‘Religion as an Integral Part of Determining and Reducing Climate Change and Disaster Risk: an Agenda for Research’ in Voss, M. (ed.) Climate Change: The Social Science Perspective, pp.377-393, VS-Verlag: Wiesbaden, Germany.

Christoplos, I, T. Rodríguez, E.L.F. Schipper, et al (2010) ‘Learning from Recovery after Hurricane Mitch’ Disasters 34(2): S202-S219.

Schipper, E.L.F. (2009) ‘Meeting at the crossroads? Exploring the linkages between climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction’ Climate and Development 1(1): 16-30.

Schipper, E.L.F. and I. Burton (eds.) (2009) The Earthscan Reader in Adaptation to Climate Change Earthscan: London.

Smakhtin, V., E.L.F. Schipper (2008) ‘Droughts: The Impact of Semantics and Perceptions’ Water Policy 10 (2): 131-143.

O’Brien, K., L. Sygna, R. Leichenko, W.N. Adger, J. Barnett, T. Mitchell, L. Schipper, T. Tanner, C. Vogel, C. Mortreux (2008) ‘Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change Adaptation and Human Security’ Report prepared for the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the Global Environmental Change and Human Security (GECHS) Project, GECHS Report 2008: 3.

Schipper, E.L.F. (2006) ‘Conceptual History of Adaptation to Climate Change under the UNFCCC’ Review of European Community and International Environmental Law (RECIEL) 15 (1): 82-92.

Schipper, E.L., E. Boyd (2006) ‘UNFCCC COP 11 and COP/MOP 1: At last, some hope?’ Journal of Environment and Development, 15(1): 75-90.

Schipper, L., M. Pelling (2006) ‘Disaster Risk, Climate Change and International Development: Scope for, and Challenges to, Integration’, Disasters, 30 (1): 19-38.

Burton, I., Huq, S., Lim, B., Pilifosova, O., Schipper, E.L. (2002) ‘From Impacts Assessment to Adaptation Priorities: The Shaping of Adaptation Policy’ Climate Policy, 2-3 (2): 145-159.