I am a geographer with primary research interests in urban and regional development, agrarian transformations, migration, and climatic change. I have regional expertise and fieldwork experience in South Asia, particularly India (Bihar and West Bengal). My PhD research on India’s Emergent Urban Formations was funded by an NWO Research Talent Grant, and published in a range of international journals such as the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, World Development, and the Economic and Political Weekly. For my postdoc research at the PGM department of the ITC Faculty Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (University of Twente) I will be investigating how former agrarian villages along the Indo-Gangetic Plain respond and adapt to systemic environmental change. Increasingly erratic weather patterns push hundreds of millions of people out of their agrarian livelihoods which sets them adrift in search for alternative ways to forge a living. We know preciously little about where this happens, predictions/forecasts about where this will happen in the near future, the precise magnitude of labor nomadization in this part of the Gangetic Plain, or how local village communities are transforming through this pathway.
My involvement at 4TU Centre for Resilience Engineering is to bring both regional expertise on a critical part of the South Asia realm, and a geographer’s perspective on questions of resilience and climate change. I thereby aim to contribute to and integrate social science and physical science perspectives and methodologies to this unique Centre.
Questions of resilience and adaptation to climate change are, without doubt, some of the most urgent questions of our time. The Centre brings together a diverse group of people, with various backgrounds, regional expertise, methodologies and skillsets, to tackle these incredibly pressing questions. What I find particularly important about the Centre is that it combines knowledge from the social sciences and the physical sciences, two spheres of academia that typically remain divorced from each other. This continued dialogue between hitherto separate scientific fields makes this Centre highly relevant to future resilience research.