Kate is a Research Fellow 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 is co-Principal Investigator on the Behavioural Adaptation for water Security and INclusion (BASIN) project. BASIN is an impact-focused, transdisciplinary partnership led by the Grantham Research Institute, WaterAid and Water Witness International under the CLimate Adaptation and REsilience (CLARE) programme. It brings together four universities, three NGOs and a knowledge broker to apply multi-level behavioural and psychological science for adaptation in Africa, to enhance water security for the most vulnerable.

She also leads the Women Entrepreneurs in Climate Change Adaptation (WECCA) project, which investigates specific barriers to adaptation faced by female-led businesses in 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 resilience in English and Welsh wine production.

Kate’s other recent projects include:

  • The Development Corridors Partnership, where her work focused on how Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) objectives can be more closely integrated into development corridors in East Africa.
  • 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

  • Social and institutional dimensions of climate change adaptation and sustainable development, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa and equity outcomes;
  • Autonomous adaptation to climate change, including among small businesses and within agricultural value chains;
  • The role of gender and intersectionality in climate change adaptation;
  • Private sector investment in Africa;
  • Community participation in environmental governance;
  • Geographies of geoengineering;
  • Climate change and viticulture.


Research - 2023

Research - 2022

The authors of this paper simulate the projected repetition of the UK's highest yielding season —2018— and use an analogue approach to model the 1999–2018 mean growing season temperatures from Pinot noir producing areas of Champagne (France), Burgundy (France) and Baden (Germany) over the UK during 2021–2040. Read more

The authors of this paper conduct a systematic review to synthesize existing knowledge on differential vulnerability of female entrepreneurs in Africa to climate risk, in relation to their sensitivity to extreme climate events and their adaptive capacity. Read more

Research - 2021

In this paper the authors advance a novel approach to integrated assessment of the ways in which the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are likely to manifest and interact within a given development context, using Q-Methodology and the conceptual framing of imaginaries. Read more

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 - 2024

Policy - 2023

This policy brief draws on research undertaken in Laikipia County in central Kenya to underscore the challenges faced by female entrepreneurs in Africa in the face of climate change and how policy can support them to build strong, climate-resilient businesses across Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. Read more

Policy - 2022

This report [in French] is the result of research conducted in the semi-arid Kaolack region of Senegal, as part of the Women Entrepreneurs in Climate Change Adaptation (WECCA) project. Read more

Policy - 2021

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 - 2023

Books - 2018


News - 2024

News - 2023

In many water-stressed parts of the world there need to be improvements in decision-making around water resources to make climate change adaptation more effective and equitable in policy and practice. This commentary introduces the issues and a new project called BASIN that aims to draw insights from behavioural and psychological sciences to improve decision-making in this area. Read more

News - 2022

Kate Gannon considers the role multi-stakeholder partnerships could play in supporting entrepreneurship in so-called ‘development corridors’ in sub-Saharan Africa and in enabling them to deliver not just infrastructure, but a more integrated and equitable form of development as communities strive to adapt to climate change. Read more

News - 2020

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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