Dr Neelambari Phalkey PhD

Dr Neelambari Phalkey

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow

Contact details

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham

Dr Phalkey is an interdisciplinary researcher in climate vulnerability and resilience to natural hazards in the global south. She brings ten years of research experience from district, national and international level through her academic and research work in a university, think tank organisations and the NGO sector. She is also a published photographer and filmmaker. Currently, she is the lead researcher for the ESRC funded project entitled: Sustaining Island Communities through Increased Resilience to Climate Change (SCIRCC).


  • PhD Human Geography - Queens University Belfast, Belfast, UK
  • MSc Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management (Erasmus Mundus - MESPOM) - Central European University, Budapest, Hungary and University of Manchester, UK
  • Research Training Program - Centre for Studies in Social Sciences (CSSSC), Kolkata, India
  • MA Sociology - University of Mumbai, Mumbai, India
  • BA Sociology - University of Mumbai, Mumbai India


Dr Phalkey holds a PhD in Human Geography from the Queens University Belfast and joined the School as an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow in October 2018. Prior to her doctoral degree programme, she worked as Senior Research Associate at the Center for Conservation Governance and Policy, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, (ATREE), Bangalore, India. She was earlier awarded an Erasmus Mundus Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management (MESPOM), University of Manchester, UK. Before that, she completed the Research Training Program (MPhil) of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences (CSSSC), Kolkata, India and read for a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Mumbai, India.

Dr Phalkey has worked as a consultant with the WWF in India and conducted desk research on the Western Ghats which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. She has also taught Sociology and Social Anthropology at A levels in India for which she developed material for teaching and was responsible for mentoring, assessing student projects and other learning activities. During her work as a Resource Person and Consultant in environmental education with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) India - Pune Division, she developed materials for and implemented instructional activities for young adults (14-18 years). She has preliminary experience in curriculum development, mapping and implementation for undergraduate students through her work with a short course on Science and Technology in India for the Central University Jharkhand, Ranchi, India.


  • Human Geography: Agrarian change in the Global South (co-taught with Dr Fraser Sugden)
  • Physical Geography: Catchment Water Management (co-taught with Dr Sami Ullah and Dr Fraser Sugden)


Dr Phalkey’s research interests lie at the intersection of environmental studies and the social sciences - at the convergence of nature and culture. She is particularly interested in the relationships within households and communities that shape vulnerability, resilience, and adaptation to hydro-meteorological disasters.

  • Climate Vulnerability, Resilience and Risk
  • Climate Adaptation and Livelihoods
  • Hydro-meteorological hazards and Socio-ecological Systems
  • Migration and Urban Climate Resilience

Other activities

Recent films and photographs

  • 2017: submitted ‘Quitting Deltas’ in the category of Doctoral or Early Career Film, Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Research in Film Awards. Swindon, UK.   

  • 2017: filmed interviews with Asian community for The People of Partition in Birmingham- a free exhibition, funded by Birmingham City Council supported by Arts Council England, Birmingham, UK.

  • 2017: short film ‘Path less Travelled’ was shown at the Flat Pack: Assemble and MAC Birmingham at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. UK.

  • 2016: submitted ‘Quitting Deltas’ for It Happens Only in India a video story contest by Deutsche Welle (DW) Germany and Scroll.in, India.

  • 2012-15: four of her photographs from the doctoral fieldwork have featured on the cover pages for annual reports of Max Weber Stiftung Foundation, German Humanities Institutes Abroad, London, UK.



Mukherjee N, Lele N and Phalkey N. “Challenges of life in mangrove ecosystems: a case study of the Sunderbans,”, Orient Blackswan, India, 2017.

Phalkey, N. 2017. Climate Resilience: The Sundarbans Challenge, Annual State of India's Environment Report, Down to Earth, 2017.

Phalkey, N and Purushothaman, S. 2010. The tourist does leave a footprint, Down to Earth, February 2010.