Dr Caroline Upton
Senior Lecturer in Human Geography
- Tel: 0116 252 3824
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax: 0116 252 3854
- Office: Bennett Building F64b
I completed my doctoral research in Geography at the University of Cambridge in 2004 and spent two years there as a lecturer and research officer prior to joining the Geography Department at Leicester in 2006.
In my research I am concerned with exploring dynamic interactions between policy, practice and rural livelihoods in the context of debates around environmental governance, environmental justice, ecosystem services and climate change adaptation. I am also interested in diverse concepts of nature and environment and their relationships with identity, conservation & land use. I have worked on these issues particularly amongst pastoralist communities and in post-Soviet spaces, especially Mongolia. More recent work has been undertaken amongst pastoralist and sedentary communities in Kenya and Kazakhstan, often drawing on insights from political ecology.
I have recently started a new three year Darwin Initiative funded project in Mongolia, ‘Values and Valuation: New Approaches to Conservation in Mongolia’. This project explores the application of the ecosystem services concept amongst local pastoralist populations, including development of pilot payment for ecosystem services schemes in rangelands, and with specific reference to contested aspects of value and valuation.
Other ongoing/ recent work has addressed the following themes:
- Endogenous and donor-driven evolution of resource management institutions amongst pastoralists
- Evolution of land tenure regimes, especially in post-Soviet contexts, and links between land reform, land inequality and poverty.
- Collective action, social capital and emergent civil society in post-Soviet contexts.
- The poverty/conservation nexus, with reference to resource governance around Protected Areas and community-based resource management.
- Values and valuation of nature and ecosystem services
- Pastoral livelihood strategies, adaptation and activism
Recent research projects and publications have often adopted an interdisciplinary perspective, through collaboration with colleagues in anthropology and conservation biology. Publications in preparation include articles written collaboratively with activists and policy-makers.
Current and Recent Research Projects:
- Principal Investigator: Values and Valuation: New Approaches to Conservation in Mongolia
This three year interdisciplinary study will generate policy and practice relevant knowledge of values of ecosystem services amongst pastoralist communities, their contributions to biodiversity and livelihoods and conservation strategies. It will explore new participatory methods and approaches to issues of value and valuation, especially around cultural services.
- Principal Investigator: Community, Place and Pastoralism: Nature and Society in Post-Soviet Central Asia (Leverhulme Trust, 2010-2012)
Leverhulme Mongolia Report
- Co-Investigator: East African Great Lakes Observatory (EAGLO). ESPA Programme Framework Grant, 2010-2012 (joint DFID/ ESRC/ NERC).
EAGLO ECOSYSTEM SERVICES REPORT
- Co-Investigator: Sustainable Water and Roses from Naivasha, Kenya. Swiss COOP, 2012-2014
- Co-Investigator: Feasibility Study: Sustainable Water and Roses from Naivasha, Kenya. Swiss COOP, 2011.
- Principal Investigator: ‘Common Ground’? Identity, Activism and the Global Pastoralists’ Movement. British Academy Project Grant, 2009-2010.
- Principal Investigator: Mining and Resistance: New Struggles on Mongolia’s Pastoral Commons. RGS-IBG Small Research Grant, 2007-2008.
- Principal Investigator: ‘Development and Change: Institutional Innovation and Mongolian Pastoralism’. British Academy Small Project Grant, 2006.
- Associate Editor Society and Natural Resources
- Fellow of Royal Geographical Society/ Institute of British Geographers
- Member, International Association for Study of the Commons (IASC)
- Member, Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit, University of Cambridge
Ed Morrison - ‘From Moses to roses: the ecosystem services of papyrus wetlands’ (co supervisor with David Harper, Biology)
Choikhand Janchivlamdan - ‘Scalar dimensions of environmental governance: conservation, trade and the Saker falcon in Mongolia’ (co-supervisor with Mike Bradshaw)
Lee Hewitson - ‘Community-based natural resource management, livelihoods and landscape in North-Eastern Namibia’ (co-supervisor with Clare Madge)
Usman Isyaku - ‘Analysis of environmental governance and social impacts of UN-REDD+ projects in Nigeria’ (co-supervisor with Jenny Pickerill)
Research Areas for PhD Supervision
Institutional dimensions of natural resource management, with particular reference to pastoralists; land reform and inequality, conservation discourses, values and practices.
Enquiries: If you are interested in studying for a PhD in one of these research areas, please make informal enquiries via geogPhD@le.ac.uk
Selected Recent Publications
Morrison, E.H.J., Upton, C., Pacini, N., Odhiambo-K’oyooh, K., and Harper, D.M. 2013. Public perceptions of papyrus: community appraisal of wetland ecosystem services at Lake Naivasha, Kenya. Ecohydrology & Hydrobiology (in press).
Upton, C. 2012. Adaptive capacity and institutional evolution in contemporary pastoral societies. Applied Geography 33: 135-141.
Upton, C. 2012. Managing Mongolia’s commons: land reforms, social contexts and institutional change. Society and Natural Resources 25: 156-175.
Upton, C. 2012. ‘Mining, resistance and pastoral livelihoods in contemporary Mongolia’. In Dierkes, J. (Ed). Change in democratic Mongolia: social relations, health, mobile pastoralism and mining. Netherlands: Brill, pp. 223-248.
Brown, G., Kraftl, P., Pickerill, J. and Upton, C. 2012. Holding the future together: towards a theorisation of the spaces and times of transition. Environment and Planning A 44(7): 1607-1623.
Morrison, E., Upton, C., Odhiambo-K’oyooh, K., & Harper, D.M. 2011. Managing the natural capital of papyrus within riparian zones of Lake Victoria, Kenya. Hydrobiologia: 1-13.