Dr Susannah M. Sallu

Dr Susannah M. Sallu


Susannah is an Associate Professor in Environment and Development based in the Sustainability Research Institute of the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds. Over the past 10 years Susannah has played a key role in shaping the Masters degrees in the Sustainability Research Institute, and cross-faculty research initiatives such as the Centre for Global Development. Susannah is currently a member of the School of Earth & Environment Steering Committee and a member of the ESRC Climate Change Centre for Economics and Policy, Priestley International Centre for Climate and Centre for Global Development at the Univerity.

Susannah has a PhD from the Department of Geography at the University of Oxford, an MSc. in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London and a BSc.(Hons.) in Tropical Environmental Science from the University of Aberdeen. Susannah has also worked for the Society for Environmental Exploration (a collaboration between Frontier UK and the University of Dar es Salaam) in Tanzania, Forest Research (UK Forestry Commission) and UNICEF. Susannah is a member of the Development Studies Association and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.


  • Environment & Development Research Group Leader

Research interests

Susannah is an interdisciplinary research scientist whose research draws on multiple disciplines. Susannah’s research focuses broadly on human-environment interactions and more specifically on rural livelihoods, environmental change, marginalisation and natural resource governance.

Her main interest lies in the theoretical and empirical intersections of political ecology, complex systems science and environmental justice. Susannah and her research team have particular regional expertise in Africa and work together in participatory ways with communities and a wide range of academic and non-academic partners to develop better understanding of:

  • The dynamics, resilience and vulnerability of social-ecological systems, landscapes, and livelihoods
  • The impact on human well-being and livelihoods of differing modes of conservation and ecosystem services governance and management, and climate change
  • Climate change adaptation and development
  • Climate compatible development intervention and policy

Susannah has a particular interest in East and Southern Africa, particularly Tanzania, where she has worked for over 18 years.

Research projects


<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • DPhil Geography, University of Oxford
  • MSc Environmental Technology, Imperial College, University of London
  • BSc Tropical Environmental Science, University of Aberdeen

Professional memberships

  • Royal Geographical Society
  • Development Studies Association

Student education

Susannah is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and leads Undergraduate and Masters teaching on Sustainable Development, Environment and Development and Political Ecology. Susannah was Programme Leader of the MSc Sustainability (Environment & Development) 2008-2015 and continues to support alumni. Susannah currently teaches on the following modules in the School of Earth and Environment:

  • Environment-Development International Field Course
  • Critical perspectives in Environment and Development
  • Sustainable Development in Practice

Susannah also supervises Undergraduate and Masters research dissertations conducted on environment-development issues, and specialises in supervising overseas fieldwork. Past projects have included studies on rural livelihood dynamics in Uganda, development intervention for food security in Kenya, volunteer tourism in Cambodia, marine conservation in Indonesia, the CDM and energy access in Tanzania.

Research students

  • Siobhan Ruth Smith Exploring gender dimensions in the adoption of climate-smart agriculture Practices in Sub-Saharan Africa. Priestley International Centre for Climate Scholarship (2018-present)

  • Jamie Carr The impact of livelihood-focused interventions on forest ecosystems, deforestation, and associated environmental processes. NERC studentship (2017-present).

  • Robin Loveridge Investigating wins, loss and trade-offs for biodiversity and human well-being across protected area networks. ESRC White Rose Network Studentship, University of York & Leeds (2017-present).

  • Marta Gaworek-Michalczenia Delivering integrated climate change adaptation and resilience programmes: Evaluating adaptive capacity and human well-being outcomes of a complex multi-objective climate-development programme. ESRC White Rose Collaborative Studentship (2016-present)



Past research students

  • Dr. Kate Massarella Perspectives on a pilot: exploring actor framings, experiences and impacts of multi-scale forest conservation and development pilot projects in Tanzania. White Rose ESRC Studentship, University of York & Leeds (2014-2018).

  • Dr. Edward Butt Exploring the climate, human health and environmental benefits of clean cook stove initiatives. United Bank of Carbon and School of Earth & Environment funded (2013-2018).

  • Dr. Sonia Hoque (2013-2016) Differential livelihood adaptation to socio-ecological change in coastal Bangladesh (University of Leeds International Research Scholarship funded).

  • Dr. Eleanor Jew Developing land management strategies for miombo woodland for biodiversity conservation, agricultural productivity and ecosystem service provision in Tanzania (NERC studentship) (2011-2015).

  • Dr. Cristina Cleghorn The relationship between agrobiodiversity, food security, dietary diversity and nutritional status in Eastern Sub-Saharan Africa (University Scholarship in collaboration with IDRC funded EcoHealth project) (2010-2014).

  • Dr. Emmanuel Kwayu The Role of Payments for Ecosystem Services on Poverty Alleviation and Watershed Conservation in Tanzania (DUCE Scholarship) (2009-2016).

  • Dr. Julia Latham Perceptions of governance: examining forest conservation policy at the community level in Tanzania and the implications for REDD+ (ESRC Studentship, University of York) (2009-2014).

  • Dr. Salma Hegga Household flood preparedness in Kilosa District-Morogoro, Tanzania. (University of Southampton) (DUCE Scholarship) (2009-2013).

  • Dr. Monirul Islam Vulnerability and Adaptation of Fisheries-Based Livelihoods of Bangladesh to Climate Variability and Change (Commonwealth Scholarship) (2009-2013).

  • Dr. Rose Cairns A critical analysis of the discourses of conservation and science on the Galapagos Islands (ESRC/NERC Studentship) (2008-2011).

Research groups and institutes

  • Sustainability Research Institute
  • Environment and Development
  • Social and Political Dimensions of Sustainability

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="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>