Project Team

Principal Investigator and ESRC lead: Dr Caroline Upton, School of Geography, Geology and the Environment, University of Leicester (
Dr Upton, an environmental geographer & social scientist, has worked extensively with pastoralist communities in Central Asia & East Africa on issues of governance; adaptation/ response to environmental & socio-economic change; livelihoods & the poverty/conservation nexus; ecosystem services, valuation & diverse human-nature ontologies. She has extensive experience of working with interdisciplinary teams as PI & CO-I across a range of recent projects.

Co-Investigator and NERC lead: Dr Sarah Johnson, Centre for Landscape and Climate Research (CLCR), University of Leicester (
Dr Johnson’s work focuses on the application of remote sensing (RS) and earth observation (EO) technologies for understanding the land surface environment. Her main interests lie in the use of RS for evaluating land cover/use change in pasture/rangelands, agricultural soil moisture, the impact of the environment on livestock diseases, crop type mapping, yield prediction & the spread of pests & diseases under climate change. She has many years practical industrial experience of working with user organisations e.g. national agencies/government departments, NGOs (both in the UK & abroad) as well as with the commercial sector, to capture their varied information needs & develop information services to meet those requirements.

Co-Investigator and AHRC lead: Dr David Sneath, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge, (
Dr Sneath brings a wealth of experience of research with pastoralist communities, especially in Central Asia, with particular attention to issues such as cultural & historical meanings, knowledges & perceptions of environment & environmental change. He is the Director of the Mongolia & Inner Asia Studies Unit & a key member of the Cambridge University interdepartmental & interdisciplinary Climate Histories Research Group, dedicated to communicating cultural knowledge of environmental change. His key research interests include; mobile pastoralism; land use & the environment; the anthropology of development; representations of past & present 'nomadic' steppe society; decollectivisation & postsocialist social transformations; & the political economy & ecology of Mongolia & Inner Asia.


In- Country Partners:


Lead in-Country Partner: Professor Bockline Omedo Bebe, Egerton University (
Professor Bebe has extensive expertise in livestock production systems, with research interests in systems modelling, climate change adaptation and mitigation, livestock value chain analysis and development and agricultural innovation systems. He has extensive experience with pastoral communities in building resilience to drought & fodder production in Kenyan arid lands. His work is characteristically applied & policy-oriented. He consults for pastoral livelihood intervention programmes in Kenya & for the East African Community.

Dr Charles Recha and Dr Richard Ochieng were key parts of the Kenyan team, providing invaluable additional expertise in geography, climatology, climate risk and adaptive capacity amongst pastoralist communities.

NGO Partner: Indigenous Livelihoods Enhancement Partnership (ILEPA), Stanley Kimaren Riamit.
ILEPA are the key in-country NGO partner. A pastoralist NGO led by Stanley Kimaren Riamit, they have extensive practical experience of working with and supporting pastoralist communities in terms of livelihoods, land rights and development, including through promoting adaptation and resilience.


Lead in-Country Partner: Dr Batbuyan Batjav, Centre for Nomadic Pastoralism Studies
Trained in rural sociology, pastoral development and natural resource management and by discipline a geographer, Batbuyan has an extensive history of research and publication on pastoralist issues in Mongolia, including in relation to ‘resilience’, climate vulnerability and adaptation. Formerly Director of the Institute of Geography & GeoEcology, Mongolian Academy of Sciences, he now runs his own Centre for Nomadic Pastoralism Studies.

NGO Partner:  Shombodon Dorlig, Rural Investment Support Centre (RISC)
RISC is a Mongolian non-profit making and non-governmental organization (NGO). As a key part of its network of consultants, researchers and lecturers, Shombodon Dorlig has particularly extensive experience of the agricultural sector and rural development.

Additional Project Consultant: Mongolian Society for Range Management (MSRM), Professor D. Dorligsuren;
MRSM is one of the key organisations in Mongolia working on issues of sustainable resource use and livelihoods, conservation and pasture management. They specialise in work and capacity building with herders’ groups and collaborate with in-country and international academic institutions, donors and in policy makers to facilitate co-realisation of conservation and livelihood goals.

Project Partners (Global): World Initiative for Sustainable Pastoralism (WISP)/ IUCN: Dr Jonathan Davies.

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