Kate is a postdoctoral researcher in the Sustainable Development team. She has a background in human geography as well as science and technology studies. Kate pursues interdisciplinary and problem-solving research that explores the interactions and relationship between climate and society. Her research is particularly focused on social and institutional dimensions of climate change adaptation at multiple scales, including in sub-Saharan Africa and among private sector actors.

Kate leads the Women Entrepreneurs in Climate Change Adaptation (WECCA) project, which investigates specific barriers to adaptation faced by female-led businesses.

Kate is embedded within the Conservation and Development workstream of forestLab, focusing on inclusive, climate-resilient integrated landscape management approaches in equatorial Africa.

She is a member of the Development Corridors Partnership, where her work focuses on how Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) objectives can be more closely integrated into development corridors in East Africa.

Kate is also a member of the Climate Resilience in the UK Wine Sector (CREWS-UK) research team, focusing on adaptation pathways to support sustainability in British wine production.

Kate’s other recent projects include:
– The NERC funded El Niño project that explored the impact of El Niño-related floods and drought – and associated water and electricity supply disruption – on small and medium enterprises in Botswana, Kenya and Zambia
– The Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies (PRISE) program, where her work focused on examining the role of the private sector/multi-stakeholder partnerships in climate change adaptation and climate resilient development in Kenya and Senegal


Prior to joining Grantham, Kate completed her PhD at King’s College London, where she explored ecological worldviews and public perceptions of geoengineering through an ethnographic case study of the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation’s ocean fertilisation experiment. Kate also holds an MRes in Environmental Social Science Research and a BSc in Environmental Geography and International Development from the University of East Anglia.

Research interests

  • Climate change adaptation and development, including the role of the private sector
  • Sub-Saharan Africa and climate change
  • Development corridors and Chinese investment in Africa
  • Climate change and viticulture
  • Climate risk and hydropower
  • Participation and geoengineering


Research - 2021

Research - 2020

The analysis suggests that the Sustainable Development Goals and their targets mostly create conditions that aid the achievement of each other within development corridors but that there are trade-offs between some goals and other development gains. The authors signal priority areas for investment, policy reorientation and strengthened safeguards, to maximise positive SDG interactions and minimise negative ones. Read more

This paper investigates the role of multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs) in supporting the development of enabling conditions for adaptation to climate change among micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries, with a focus on Kenya. Read more

Research - 2018

The El Niño event in 2015/2016 was one of the strongest since at least 1950. Through surveys and interviews with... Read more

Research - 2017


Policy - 2019

Policy - 2018

With substantial new hydropower generation planned for eastern and southern Africa, how can risks from rainfall variations and climate change be overcome to ensure reliable supply and socioeconomic development? This brief analyses the challenges and provides recommendations to policymakers, the energy sector and development partners. Read more

National governments, with development partners, have an important role to play in supporting adaptation and climate-resilient development among private actors – households, producers and small businesses – in the semi-arid lands of developing countries, argues this brief, a final output from the Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies (PRISE) project. Read more

Policy - 2017


Books - 2018


News - 2020

This article argues that a radical shift is needed in semi-arid policy landscapes, that refocuses on leveraging existing climate change adaptive capacities of private actors – women, farmers, businesses and cooperatives – to cope with and respond to prevailing environmental shocks and weather extremes. Read more

News - 2019

UK viticulture has been touted as a sector that stands to gain from climate change. As we enter English and Welsh Wine Week 2019, much excitement surrounds the sector, especially following last year’s ‘harvest of the century’. But producers should be considering the risks, as well as the opportunities, of a changing climate, says Kate Gannon. Read more

News - 2018

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