School of Geography

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Meghan Alexander

Assistant Professor in Human Geography, Faculty of Social Sciences



Meghan holds a PhD in Geography from the Flood Hazard Research Centre of Middlesex University and a BSc in Geography (First Class Hons) from the University of Wales Aberystwyth, where she was awarded the Gregynog & James Fairgrieve Prize for the highest academic achievement within the degree scheme. Since completing her PhD, Meghan has undertaken postdoctoral research at Middlesex University, the University of Leeds (Sustainability Research Institute), Cardiff University (School of Earth & Ocean Sciences) and the University of East Anglia (School of Politics, affiliated with the Tyndall Centre of Climate Change Research). In this time, Meghan has been involved in a range of national and international interdisciplinary research consortia, examining matters of flood risk governance and management (STAR-FLOOD, FRMRC2), social capacity building for natural hazards (CapHaz-Net), climate services (SECTEUR), health and well-being on the coast (CoastWEB), and policy dynamics in climate adaptation (Adapt Lock-in).

Expertise Summary

Meghan's research experience spans the following areas:

  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • Environmental and Risk Governance & Policy
  • Flood & Coastal Erosion Risk Management
  • Resilience & Social Vulnerability
  • Social Justice
  • Policy Dynamics (stability & change)
  • Health and Well-being under climate change
  • Research methods - stakeholder interviews, policy analysis, process tracing, workshops and questionnaire surveys

Professional affiliations

Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Research Fellow, Earth System Governance Network

Fellow, Royal Geographical Society

Teaching Summary

I teach on the degree programmes for Geography (BA/BSc) and Environmental Leadership & Management (MSc), on the following modules:

  • Climate Change Decision-making in Context (GEOG4095) (module convenor)
  • People and the Environment (GEOG4090)
  • Project Preparation and Design (GEOG4099)
  • Living with Hazards (GEOG2073) (module convenor for semester 1)
  • Global Climate Change (GEOG3062)
  • Just Futures & their Geographies (GEOG3061)
  • Research Tutorial (GEOG2030)
  • Dissertation supervision
  • Tutorials

I am also the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the School of Geography and Chair the EDI Committee.

Research Summary

Meghan's research centres on climate change adaptation, with a strong focus on governance, policy and risk management. Her current research as part of the Adapt Lock-in Project examines how… read more

Recent Publications

Current Research

Meghan's research centres on climate change adaptation, with a strong focus on governance, policy and risk management. Her current research as part of the Adapt Lock-in Project examines how self-reinforcing 'lock-in' dynamics are created and sustained in ways that maintain 'business as usual' and hinder adaptation action. The research examines six problem domains - including coastal adaptation, water scarcity, mental health under extreme events, heat stress, biodiversity and forestry - and applies stakeholder interviews, policy analysis, process tracing and Qualitative Comparative Analysis to identify and compare lock-ins within/between sectors and countries (UK, Germany and the Netherlands). In turn, the research will identify entry points for dissolving lock-ins and inform policy recommendations for leveraging transformative change to accelerate adaptation and close the adaptation gap. Adapt Lock-in is a collaboration between Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg (Germany), Open Universiteit (Netherlands), and the University of East Anglia (UK); funded through the Open Research Area for the Social Sciences by DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft), the Dutch Research Council NWO (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek) and the Economic and Social Research Council, UK (2019-23) (visit

Meghan is also currently exploring the intersection between climate change and modern day slavery, as part of a recently funded project 'Realigning modern slavery and climate change for equitable governance and action'. This reseach is funded by the Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre (Modern Slavery PEC), and involves the university's Rights Lab, the School of Geography and antislavery organisations Transparentem and International Justice Mission (IJM UK).

Past Research

Past projects:

  • Adapt Lock-in - Understanding the impact of policy lock-ins on climate change adaptation (2019 - 2023). Adapt Lock-in is a €1.5 million project, funded through the Open Research Area (round 5), support by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NOW) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).
  • Understanding effective flood risk governance in England & Wales (Co-investigator) / Developing pragmatic guidance for effective governance in Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management and integrated water management (Co-investigator) (2019 - 2021)
  • The Resilience Games (Principle Investigator) (2018-2019), funded by the GW4 Crucible fund.
  • CoastWEB: Valuing the contribution which coasts make to human health and well-being, with a focus on the alleviation of coastal natural hazards and extreme events (2016 -2019), funded under the Valuing Nature Programme.
  • SECTEUR: Sector Engagement for the Copernicus Climate Change Services (C3S): Translating European User Requirements (2016 -2017)
  • STAR-FLOOD - Strengthening And Redesigning European flood risk practices towards more resilient flood risk governance (2012 - 2016), funded by EU FP7 Programme.
  • CapHaz-Net: Social capacity building for natural hazards: towards more resilient societies (2009 - 2012)

School of Geography

Sir Clive Granger Building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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