Emma Tompkins

University of Southampton

Current Position
Research Fellow

Role at Tyndall
Emma holds a Readership in environment and development in Geography & Environment at the University of Southampton.
Emma has worked on climate change adaptation since 2001, specifically barriers and limits to institutional adaptation, public-private partnerships for adaptation, and drivers of individual action and national policy on adaptation.
Emma sits on the Editorial Board of Ecology and Society and on the Advisory Group for the UK Climate Impacts Programme. She is a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report Five. Emma was a contributing author to the IPCC Special Report on Climate Extremes and Disasters (2012), an expert reviewer for the IPCC fourth Assessment Report, and she provides ongoing expert reviews for research councils in the UK and seven other European countries. She is currently part of the Lead Expert Group supporting the Government Office of Science Foresight project on ‘Improving Future Disaster Anticipation and Resilience’
Emma has published numerous papers, articles and policy briefs on environmental management, adaptation to climate change, and social and ecological resilience, as well as handbooks on surviving climate change in small islands and participatory coastal zone management.
She has a PhD Environmental Science (UEA), MSc Environmental and Resource Economics (UCL) and BA Economics (Leicester).

Research Interests

  • Sustainable adaptation to climate change;
  • Social transitions and processes of institutional change;
  • Individual behaviour in a changing environment. 
  • Caribbean, and low-lying island adaptation to weather extremes

Research articles

Tompkins, E.L., and Eakin, H. 2011. Managing private and public adaptation to climate change. Global Environmental Change.

Tompkins, E.L., and Eakin, H. October 2011. Managing privately-provided public adaptation goods. Global Environmental Change. External link to full article|
Adger, W.N., Brown, K., Nelson, D.R., Berkes, F., Eakin, H., Folke, C., Galvin, K., Gunderson, L., Goulden, M., O'Brien, K., Ruitenbeek, J. and Tompkins, E.L. July 2011. Resilience implications of policy responses to climate change. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews Climate Change, v.2, pp.757-766. External link to full article|
Barange, M., Allen, I., Allison, E., Badjeck, M., Blanchard, J., Drakeford, B., Dulvy, N.K., Harle, J., Holmes, R., Holt, J., Jennings, S., Lowe, J., Merino, G., Mullon, C., Piling, G., Rodwell, L., Tompkins, E.L., and Werner, F. 2011. Predicting the impacts and socio-economic consequences of climate change on global marine ecosystems and fisheries. In: Cochrane, K.L., Ommer, R., Perry, I., Cury, P. (Ed) World Fisheries: A Socio-Ecological Analysis, Fish and Aquatic Resources, Wiley-Blackwell, pp.31.
Boyd, E. and Tompkins, E.L. 2010. Climate Change. A beginners guide. Oneworld Pubns Ltd.
Tompkins, E.L., Boyd, E., Nicholson-Cole, S., Adger, W.N., Weatherhead, K., Arnell, N. October 2010. Observed adaptation to climate change: UK evidence of transition to a well-adapting society? Global Environmental Change, v.20, pp.627-635. External link to full article|
Tompkins, E.L., and Hurlston, L.A. March 2010. Public-private partnerships for storm risk management in the Cayman Islands. Working paper, Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, London and Leeds, UK. Download PDF of paper| (332KB)
Eakin, H., Tompkins, E.L., Nelson, D., and Anderies, J.M. 2009. Hidden costs and disparate uncertainties: trade-offs involved in approaches to climate policy. In: Adger; N.W; Lorenzoni, I., Brien, O.K. (Ed) Adapting to Climate Change: thresholds, values, and governance, Cambridge University Press, pp.212-226.
Doria, M; Boyd, E; Tompkins, E; and Adger, W. November 2009. Using expert elicitation to define successful adaptation to climate change. Environmental Science & Policy, v.12, pp.810-819. External link to full article|
Tompkins, E.L., Hurlston, L., and Poortinga, W. January 2009. Foreignness as a constraint on learning: the impact of migrants on disaster resilience in small islands. Environmental Hazards, v.8. External link to full article| (PDF, 394KB)
Tompkins, E.L., Lemos, M.C., and Boyd, E. October 2008. A less disastrous disaster: managing response to climate-driven hazards in the Cayman Islands and NE Brazil. Global Environmental Change, v.18, pp.736-745. External link to full article|
Tompkins, E., and Amundsen, H. February 2008. Perceptions of the effectiveness of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in advancing national action on climate change. Environmental Science & Policy, v.11, pp.1-13. External link to full article|
Tompkins, E., Brown, K., and Few, R. September 2008. Scenario-based stakeholder engagement: a framework for incorporating climate change into coastal decision making. Journal of Environmental Management, v.88, pp.1580-1592. External link to full article|
Boyd, E., Osbahr, H., Ericksen, P.J., Tompkins, E.L., Lemos, M.C., and Miller, F. 2008. Resilience and 'climatizing' development: examples and policy implications. Development, v.51, pp.390-396. External link to full article|

Contact information

E-mail: E.L.Tompkins@soton.ac.uk

Phone: +44 (0)2380 596711

Postal Address
Dr. Emma L. Tompkins
Reader Environment & Development
Geography & Environment (44/2083) M35,
University of Southampton (Highfield Campus)
Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK