Dr Kate Lonsdale

Dr Kate Lonsdale


Kate Lonsdale is currently one of two UK Research and Innnovation Champions for the Strategic Priority funded UK Climate Resilience Programme.  This role includes consulting with academics and practitioners to understand research and innovation gaps and opportunities to shape and ensure the success of the £19m research programme. She has worked on adaptation to a changing climate as a researcher, trainer, facilitator, consultant, mentor, evaluator and in an advisory capacity for over 24 years in both developed and developing country contexts and has lead and managed projects in a range of settings including civil society, academia and government policy and within organizations that aim to create a bridge between these different sectors.  Kate also has 15 years of experience in designing and facilitating participatory research processes, workshops and events.  Kate has worked at the Environmental Change Institute Oxford (1997-2002); Stockholm Environment Institute (2002-2008)’ UK Climate Impacts Programme (2008-2011).  She was the Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research Visiting Fellow in 2012.  She was the Open University, CADWAGO Research Fellow (2013 -2014) managing the UK cases and the cross-cutting theme of ‘systemic water governance’.Since 2014, she operated in a freelance capacity. Projects included e.g. Learning Team Lead, HMG Climate Change Compass (Learning from current International Climate Finance programmes to inform future climate finance investment decisions and policy); Adaptation to Climate Change in China – Phase II (ACCCII) Developing Guidelines and training Provincial researchers on  adaptation planning to inform the 5 year planning process in 3 provinces and the autonomous regions of Ningxia and Inner Mongolia; Developing a Civil Society Adaptation Strategy Tool  (Ministry of Environment, Brazil and UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office); UK Climate Impacts Programme, Oxford University (2015)  ‘Transformational adaptation’: collating perspectives on this term and running a workshop to explore potential for future work as well as working with organisations e.g. Heritage Lottery Fund and National Trust on how a changing climate influences their work.  She was Climate Change Practice Area Lead for IOD PARC (2017-19) developing a team and leading evaluation and organisational development projects e.g. for UNICEF, Practical Action and MOPAN. I was an advisor for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Climate Change and Social Justice Programme (2009-2014) and Trustee and Chair of Climate Outreach. (2006 -2016).





  • UK Climate Resilience Co-Champion

Research interests

I am interested in the governance of complex systems such as how we respond to the risks arising from a changing climate.  Do we have the institutions, policies, legislation we need to manage this well?  I am also interested in the social justice implications of a changing climate and the ways in which the climate impacts directly and the ways in which we respond may act to exacerbate existing inequality.  I am interested in action research and how to bring non academic partners into the research process.  I am also interested in how organisations reflect and learn (key aspects of resilience) and the practice of facilitating change in groups, organisations and systems.  I am interested in ‘boundary spanning’ roles, organisations and initiatives that bring together groups that might not otherwise meet or work together and enabling new groups, organisations, initiatives to make sense of climate information and identify meaningful adaptation actions. 

<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>


  • PG Diploma (merit) Change Agent Skills and Strategies, Surrey University
  • PhD Sheffield Hallam University, Monitoring Combined Sewer Overflows. Funded by Yorkshire Water Plc
  • MSc. Environmental Management and Pollution Control, Manchester University & UMIST
  • BA Pure and Applied Biology, Oxford University

Research groups and institutes

  • Sustainability Research Institute