Professor Claire Helen Quinn

Professor Claire Helen Quinn


I am an environmental social scientist with over 20 years of experience working on interdisciplinary projects in Africa, Europe and Asia. My research advances understanding of social-ecological systems focusing on: 1) smallholder livelihood vulnerability, adaptation and resilience; and 2) knowledge and governance for climate smart agriculture. I am interdisciplinary in my approach, drawing on theories and methods from both the natural and social sciences. My research has improved our understanding of the role natural resources in smallholder livelihoods, of institutions in shaping livelihoods and adaptation to climate change, and has advanced practice in stakeholder engagement and knowledge exchange.

Research interests

Current projects:

  • Co-Director – Food Systems Research Network for Africa; FSNet-Africa

Recent projects:

Current research students:

  • Tyas Trialfhianty (2020-2023) Social-Ecological Analysis for Evaluating Marine Protected Areas (co-supervised with Baria Beger School of Biological Sciences (SBS)).  Home country bursary (Malaysia).
  • Katy Davis (2019-2022) Participatory climate modelling, trail access and mental health in the Arctic (co-supervised with James Ford, Priestley Centre, University of Leeds). Priestley Scholarship funded.
  • Hanna Pettersson (2018-2021) The future of human-carnivore co-existence in Europe (co-supervised with George Holmes, SRI, University of Leeds). NERC DTP funded.
  • Zubaida Baba (2018-2021) Environmental and social implications of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in North East Nigeria (co-supervised with Lindsay Stringer, University of York). Home country bursary (Nigeria).

Completed research students:

  • Jonas Cromwell (Completed 2022) Food Waste and Recovery in Food Supply Chain in Tanzania: From Global Supply Chain to Local Food Systems (co-supervised with Stephen Whitfield, SRI, and Megan Blake, Geography, University of Sheffield). ESRC WRDTP funded (3+1).
  • Louise Anderson (Completed 2022) A functional understanding of coral reef resilience to support management (co-supervised with Maria Beger and Alison Dunn, SBS). NERC DTP funded.
  • Stephanie Bradbeer (Completed 2022) Better Biosecurity to Slow the Spread of Invasive Non Native Species (co-supervised with Alison Dunn, SBS). NERC-CASE funded.
  • Gabriel Lopez Porras (completed 2019) Assessing water governance in Mexico’s semi-arid grassland systems, with a view to identifying entry points for improving resilience (co-supervised with Lindsay Stringer, SRI).
  • Caitriona Shannon (Completed 2019) Slowing the spread of invasive alien species: biosecurity best practice and stakeholder engagement (co-supervised with Alison Dunn, SBS). NERC DTP funded.
  • Vincent Basupi (completed 2018) Privatisation of communal lands: Challenges and prospects for sustainable land and environmental management in the lower Okavango Delta areas, Botswana (co-supervised with Andrew Dougill, SRI). Botswana International University of Science & Technology funded.
  • Charles Ekure (completed 2017) Identifying the Potential of Participatory Modelling and Mobile Data Collection to Enhance Implementation of Integrated Water Resources Management (co-supervised with Barbara Evans, School of Civil Engineering). Commonwealth Scholarship funded.
  • Ben Wood (completed 2016) Socially just triple-wins? An evaluation of projects that pursue climate compatible development goals in Malawi (co-supervised with Andrew Dougill & Lindsay Stringer, SRI). ESRC (CCCEP) funded.
  • Sonia Hoque (completed 2016) Understanding poverty through the lens of sustainable livelihoods and climate change vulnerability: a comparison of climatic hotspots in Bangladesh (co-supervised with Susannah Sallu, SRI). University of Leeds International Research Scholarship funded.
  • Joanes Atela (Completed 2015) REDD+ institutional design and implementation within local socioeconomic settings: evidence from Kenya (co-supervised with Piers Forster, Priestley Centre). University of Leeds International Research Scholarship funded.
  • Steven Orchard (Completed 2015) Exploring adaptive capacity in mangrove social-ecological systems of rural Vietnam (co-supervised with Lindsay Stringer, SRI). ESRC (CCCEP) funded.
  • Rachel Berman (Completed 2015) Developing climate change coping capacity into adaptive capacity in Uganda (co-supervised with Jouni Paavola, SRI). ESRC funded.
  • Chloe Sutcliffe (Completed 2015) Cultivar adoption as a strategy for adapting to climate change: maize variety selection and cultivation amongst small-scale farmers in Malawi (co-supervised with Andrew Dougill, SRI). ESRC (CCCEP) funded.
  • Felix Kalaba (Completed 2014) Forest ecosystem services, rural livelihoods and carbon storage in Miombo woodland in the Copperbelt region of Zambia (co-supervised with Andrew Dougill, SRI). Commonwealth Scholarship funded.
  • Yingluk Kanchanaroek (Completed 2014) Property Rights Regimes in Complex Fishery Management in Tonle Sap: Combining Choice Experiments and Agent-Based Simulations (co-supervised with Mette Termensen, Aarhus University, Denmark). Thammasat University and EEPSEA (Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia) funded.
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, Social Policy and Environmental Management, University of York
  • MRes, Ecology and Environmental Management, University of York
  • BSc, (Hons) Biological Sciences: Ecology specialism Kings College

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Student education

I teach at both undergraduate and Masters levels and supervise both undergraduate and Masters Dissertations.

Research groups and institutes

  • Environment and Development
  • Sustainability Research Institute

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>