Declan Conway

Professorial Research Fellow

Declan Conway joined the Grantham Research Institute as a Professorial Research Fellow on the 28th October 2013.


Declan’s research cuts across water, climate and society, with a strong focus on adaptation and international development. Originally a geographer, Declan draws on insights from different disciplines to pursue problem focused research. He has over 20 years experience working in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia (particularly China). Declan’s research funding has included the EU, UK departments DFID, Defra and DECC, UK NERC and ESRC, US NSF and the World Bank.

Research Interests

  • Water security and climate change
  • Adaptation and development
  • Water-energy-food Nexus
  • China and climate change
  • Nile Basin and climate change

Prospective PhD Students

Declan welcomes prospective PhD students and can be contacted with ideas related to any of the above areas. He is particularly interested in novel/unusual ideas that cut across disciplines.
Visit the ‘Study with us’ page for further information on applying to be a PhD student with us.


Research article  26 August, 2015

Climate and southern Africa's water–energy–food nexus

Nature Climate Change 5, 837–846 (2015) doi:10.1038/nclimate2735 Declan Conway, Emma Archer van Garderen, Delphine Deryng, Steve Dorling, Tobias Krueger, Willem Landman, Bruce Lankford, Karen Lebek, Tim Osborn,    Claudia Ringler, James … read more »

installation and assembly of a pump in Burkina Faso funded humanitarian associassion. Workers boarding system manual control surface.
Working paper  24 June, 2015

Invention and diffusion of water supply and water efficiency technologies: insights from a global patent dataset

This paper identifies over 50 000 patents filed worldwide in various water-related technologies between 1990 and 2010, distinguishing between those related to availability (supply) and conservation (demand) technologies. read more »


Research article  20 December, 2014

Social vulnerability in three high-poverty climate change hot spots: What does the climate change literature tell us?

This paper reviews the state of knowledge on social vulnerability to climate change in three hot spots (deltas, semi-arid regions and snowpack- or glacier-fed river basins) in Africa, Central Asia and South Asia, using elements of systematic review methods. read more »

Research article  17 September, 2014

Climate change and International River Boundaries: fixed points in shifting sands

We review the historical and legal role of International River Boundaries highlighting the paradox that exists between the stability needed for a boundary and the dynamism of fluvial landscapes in a changing climate. read more »

Research article  25 April, 2014

Strategies for improving adaptation practice in developing countries

The international community's support for adaptation in developing countries has proliferated through numerous complementary funding mechanisms. A range of serious practical issues are emerging, however, as adaptation moves from theory and international negotiation to implementation. We identify three areas deserving greater scrutiny: in-country priorities, entry points and delivery systems, and provide recommendations for improving adaptation practice. These concerns, if not addressed, have the potential to hamper attempts at effective delivery and to increase the vulnerability of intended beneficiaries of the adaptation agenda. read more »

Research article  19 March, 2014

Global crop yield response to extreme heat stress under multiple climate change futures

This study applies the global crop model PEGASUS to quantify, for the first time at the global scale, impacts of extreme heat stress on maize, spring wheat and soybean yields resulting from 72 climate change scenarios for the 21st century. read more »

Research article  5 March, 2014

Global Environmental Change: taking stock at a time of transition

Conway, D., Barnett, J., Betsill, M.M., Lebel, L. and Seto, K.C. (2014). Global Environmental Change 25, 1-4.

More in research publications

In the news  29 October, 2015

Physical and political impacts: Complex river boundaries at risk

Many international river basins are suffering from climate-driven impacts, with implications for national security. Now, research highlights the need to analyse shifting river boundaries to better understand potential socio-political threats. read more »

Announcement  28 October, 2015

Grantham Research Institute to lead consortium on climate variability and change in central and southern Africa

The Institute is to lead one of the five research consortia that form the Future Climate for Africa (FCFA) Programme, funded by the UK’s Department for International Development and the Natural Environment Research Council. read more »

Commentary  26 August, 2015

Climate is critical in southern Africa’s water-energy-food nexus

Professorial Research Fellow, Declan Conway, writes about the recent upsurge in research and policy interest in natural resource scarcity, particularly in relation to the water-energy-food nexus. read more »

Announcement  14 August, 2015

What scale for water governance?

Declan Conway is among a number of leading experts in the field to contribute to a series of essays debating key issues in freshwater research and management in Science magazine. read more »

In the news  28 January, 2015

Policy: Hard choices and soft outcomes?

Asia's mega-deltas are densely populated and face multiple stressors including upstream development and sea-level rise. Adapting to these challenges requires difficult choices between hard and soft responses set within a strongly political context. read more »


Announcement  13 August, 2014

Global Environmental Change

LSE adminsinistered journal ranked as the highest impact journal in the environmental sciences. read more »

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

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Conferences 26 Mar 2015

Green Growth and the New Industrial Revolution

Keynote Speakers Professor Cameron Hepburn, University of Oxford and Grantham Research Institute Simon Upton, Environment Director, OECD Chairs Professor Dame Judith Rees, Grantham Research Institute Professor Sam Fankhauser, Grantham Research … read more »

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