Hayley Leck

Former Post Doctoral Researcher

Hayley’s research focused on climate change adaptation and the political ecology of climate resilient development. She worked as a Post Doctoral Researcher at the Institute from March 2013 until June 2015. Hayley went on to work at the Geography Department at Kings College, London.


Hayley holds a PhD in Geography from Royal Holloway, University of London, and a BSocSci Honours Degree in Geography and Environmental Management (Summa Cum Laude), along with a BSocSci Degree in Environmental Studies (Cum Laude) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Research interests

  • Multi-scalar governance of adaptation to climate change ;
  • Social and cultural dimensions of adaptation in urban and rural contexts;
  • Political ecology;
  • Human security and disaster risk reduction;
  • Water – energy – food nexus
Swenja Surminski
Working paper  24 March, 2016

You never adapt alone – the role of Multi-Sectoral Partnerships in addressing urban climate risks

While multi-sectoral partnerships (MSPs) now form an increasingly popular and important part of the global climate and disaster risk governance landscape, particularly in urban areas, literature offers little critical investigation … read more »


Research article  17 August, 2015

Tracing the water-energy-food nexus: description, theory and practice

The ‘nexus’ between water, energy and food (WEF) has gained increasing attention globally in research, business and policy spheres. We review the premise of recent initiatives framed around the nexus, … read more »

Research article  29 March, 2015

Understanding climate adaptation and transformation challenges in African cities

This critical assessment of climate adaptation and transformation challenges, agendas and actions across Africa draws on the principal findings and analyses of the papers in this special issue of COSUST. read more »

Research article  22 March, 2015

Editorial overview: Sustainability challenges: assessing climate change adaptation in Africa

Simon, D. and Leck, H (2015).  In: Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability

Working paper  11 March, 2015

Multinational corporations and climate adaptation – Are we asking the right questions? A review of current knowledge and a new research perspective

Adapting to climate change requires the engagement of all actors in society. Until recently, predominant research focus has been on governments, communities and the third sector as key actors in … read more »

Research article  27 February, 2015

What lies beneath: understanding the invisible aspects of municipal climate change governance

Municipal or local government climate governance has attracted much research attention with a proliferation of literature investigating institutional enablers and barriers to climate action. This paper addresses a gap in this literature through considering critically the role of informal/shadow systems and spaces; the significant inner social workings that constitute what we call the ‘invisible aspects’ of municipal institutions for learning and decision-making processes. read more »


Research article  20 May, 2014

Beyond urban-rural boundaries: Encouraging inter-municipal collaboration for climate change adaptation in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Chapter 5 in Steele,W., Alizadeh, T., Eslami-Andargoli, L., and Serrao-Neumann, S (eds) Planning Across Borders in a Climate of Change, Routledge: London.

Research article  27 March, 2014

Urban Dynamics and the Challenges of Global Environmental Change in the South

Simon, D., and Leck, H. 2014. In Parnell, S., and Oldfield, S (eds.) A Routledge Handbook on Cities and the Global South, Routledge: London.

Research article  6 March, 2014

The ethics of doing research with interpreters: Including both the researcher's and the interpreter's voice.

Leck, H. 2014. Chapter 6 in Lunn, J. Fieldwork in the Global South: Ethical Challenges and Dilemmas, Routledge: London.

Research article  1 March, 2014

Urban Adaptation to Climate/Environmental Change: Governance, Policy and Planning, Understanding urban adaptation challenges in diverse contexts

Simon, D., and Leck, H. 2014. Editorial introduction : Special issue on Urban Adaptation to Climate/Environmental Change, Urban Climate,7, (2), p1-5.


Research article  13 June, 2013

Cities, Human Security and Global Environmental Change

Simon, D., and Leck, H. 2013. In O’Brien, K., Wolf, J., and Sygna, L. (eds.) A Changing Environment for Human Security: Transformative approaches Research, Policy and Action, Earthscan.

Research article  9 June, 2013

The Role of Local Politicians and Political Realities in Shaping Urban Climate Change Agendas: The Case of eThekwini Municipality

Leck, H. 2013. In Urbanization and Global Environmental Change Research, Urbanization and Global Environmental Change Viewpoints, No.9.


Research article  8 November, 2012

A critical analysis of the contribution of municipal low carbon lifestyle innovations to sustainable development: Durban, South Africa

Scott, D., Sutherland, C., Schiermeyer, EL., Leck, H., and Beling, A. 2012. In Pelfini, A., Fulquet, G., Beling, A. (eds.). La Energía de los Emergentes. Innovación y cooperación para la … read more »

Research article  11 June, 2012

Social and Cultural Barriers to Adaptation Implementation: The Case of South Africa

Leck, H., Sutherland, C., Scott, D., and Oelofse, G. 2011. Chapter 4 in Masters, L., and Duff, L. (eds.) Overcoming Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation Implementation in Southern Africa, Pretoria: … read more »

More in research publications


In the news  16 June, 2014

A nexus approach to global challenges

Resource challenges are highly interconnected. Can the idea of a food-energy-water ‘nexus’ become more than another buzzword, and help us to identify solutions? The Guardian

More in news