Anaa Hassan

Research Project Title: The interplay between environmental/climate change and food security: a study of spatial and temporal dimensions of food systems in the Maldives (As part of the Melbourne/Manchester joint research project titled ‘Sea level rise and everyday lives in SIDS’)

Research Project Summary: My thesis would seek to understand the connections between food security and climate/environmental change, by using Maldives as a case study. A key focus would be placed in exploring these linkages from a temporal and spatial lens to see how food security issues relating to availability, accessibility, utilization and stability have evolved over time and space and the varying socio economic, cultural and political impacts they portray on the society.

Graduate Researcher Profile:

I was born and bred in the Maldives, where climate change is an existential threat, we face every day. This has sparked my interest in the field of environmental sciences and climate change. In 2013, I began my bachelor’s degree in Environment and Sustainability from the University of Keele (UK) (2013-2016). I completed my Bachelor’s degree with a First Class Honours and also achieved the Dissertation Prize for the best dissertation of the year. Right after my undergraduate studies, I began my postgraduate studies in (MA) Environment, Development and Policy from the University of Sussex, UK (2016-2017), where I graduated with a distinction. These university experiences have sparked a real interest for further research in the field. Additionally, I strongly believe that as a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) we face unique challenges and hence there is a dire need to bridge the existing gap in climate change research in the Maldives.

Briefly reflecting on my professional experiences, I began working at the Climate Change Department at the Ministry of Environment in the Maldives on November 2017. I worked as an Assistant Director. This has enhanced my experiences and knowledge in the field, especially in the context of Maldives. Prior to my work at the Ministry, I have also gained professional experience in environmental advocacy and sustainability practices through my brief period of work at the Keele Sustainability Hub in the UK. Additionally, during my 2nd year as an undergrad in the UK, I volunteered to work for a student led project titled the ‘Sustainable Student Bungalow Project’ where I lived with a group of 3 passionate individuals with the aim of promoting sustainable living practices amongst the university students.

My decision to pursue my PhD in Australia is due to the assurance that I will receive a quality education. Furthermore, University of Melbourne/Manchester both have a world-renowned reputation for environment and development research and this particular research programme is of great interest to me as it fits well within my background and research interests; focused on climate change and its impacts on Island States such as the Maldives

Project Duration: 3 – 3.5 years

Supervisors: Dr. Celia McMichael & Prof. Uma Kothari

Home University: University of Melbourne

Partner University: University of Manchester