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Nicholas Simpson

Nick Simpson is a postdoctoral research fellow at the African Climate & Development Initiative (ACDI), University of Cape Town. Nick’s current research concentrates on the complexity of climate risk, climate change literacy, perception and response, energy access, and security practices at the interface of climate change and conflict. He is a Lead author on Chapter 9 “Africa Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” of the 6th Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Lead Author of forthcoming ICAMOS-IPCC-UNESCO White Paper on impacts, risks and vulnerability of heritage from climate change globally.

Nick's previous research has extended security studies to the governance of new 'Anthropocene' harmscapes. This work has extended our understanding of responses to unanticipated and severe Anthropocene events; such as the Cape Town drought. Nick was also the first to establish theoretical and practice ready consilience between the capabilities approach and environmental assessment. His PhD concentrated on participatory sustainable decision making and human wellbeing.

Nick’s research also focuses on the very bottom end of the economic spectrum, aiming to support the creation and improvement of livelihoods and small businesses of those most at environmental and economic risk. His work with Tearfund (UK) has identified 'design principles' that inform the conceptualization and evaluation of projects to aid in the replication of emerging sustainability-orientated work for humanitarian NGOs. Their latest collaboration concentrates on off-grid low carbon energy and credit solutions in Africa for informal and marginalized communities.

Some examples of Nick’s recent research:

Simpson, N. P., Mach, K. J., Constable, A.,et al. 2021. A framework for complex climate change risk assessment. One Earth. 4(4): 489-501. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2021.03.005

Simpson, N.P. Rabenold, C., Sowman, M., Shearing, CD., 2021. Adoption rationales and effects of off-grid renewable energy access for African youth: A case study from Tanzania, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 141(110793): 1-17, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2021.110793.

Simpson, N.P., and Daehnhardt, M., 2021. Design principles for sustainability: Tearfund’s expanding international development approach, Development in Practicehttps://doi.org/10.1080/09614524.2021.1937557

Cole, H.D., et al., (2021). Managing city-scale slow-onset disasters: Learning from Cape Town’s 2015-2018 drought disaster planning. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reductionhttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2021.102459   

Williams, P., Simpson, N.,  Totin, E., North, M. and Trisos, C. 2021. “Feasibility Assessment of Climate Change Adaptation Options across Africa: An Evidence-Based Review.” Environmental Research Letters, 2021. http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ac092d.

Turek-Hankins L.L. et al., 2021. Climate change adaptation to extreme heat: A global systematic review of implemented action, Oxford Open Climate Changehttps://doi.org/10.1093/oxfclm/kgab005

Simpson, N.P., 2021. Insurance in the Anthropocene: Exposure, Solvency and Manoeuvrability, in Cameron Holley, Liam Phelan and Clifford Shearing (eds.) Criminology and Climate: Insurance, Finance and the Regulation of HarmscapesRoutledge Series: Criminology on the Edge, Routledge, Sydney.

Simpson, N.P., Shearing, CD., Dupont, B. 2020. ‘Partial functional redundancy': an expression of resilience in the Cape Town drought. Climate Risk Management. 28, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crm.2020.100216

Simpson, N.P., Shearing, CD., Dupont, B. 2020. Gated adaptation during the Cape Town drought: Mentalities, transitions and pathways to partial nodes of water securitySociety & Natural Resources. 33(8): 1041-1049, https://doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2020.1712756

Simpson, N.P., Ouweneel, B., 2020. Synthesis Report: South Africa climate change and security, in Hardt et al., Climate change in security perceptions, conceptions and practices at the United Nations Security Council, Berlin Climate and Security Conference 2020, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and The German Foreign Office, Potsdam, Germany. https://ifsh.de/file/publication/Research_Report/005/200818_IFSH_Research_Report_005_01.pdf

Simpson, N.P. 2020. Demonstrating the use of a theoretically inspired Q-methodology for the evaluation of public participation in EIA, Operant Subjectivity: The International Journal of Q Methodology, 42: 1-31. https://doi.org/10.15133/j.os.2020.001

Simpson, N.P., Shearing, C. & Dupont B. 2019. Climate gating: A case study of emerging responses to Anthropocene RisksClimate Risk Management vol. 26.

Simpson, N., Simpson, K., Shearing, C. & Cirolia, L.R. 2019. Municipal Finance and Resilience Lessons for Urban Infrastructure Management: A Case Study from the Cape Town Drought. International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development (TJUE). https://doi.org/10.1080/19463138.2019.1642203

Liu Liu and  Simpson, N.P. 2019. Building a sustainable future: Environmental and economic sustainability: a practical guide. Tearfund.

Simpson, N.P., Shearing, C. & Dupont, B.. 2019. When Anthropocene shocks contest conventional mentalities: a case study from Cape Town, Climate and Development, DOI: 10.1080/17565529.2019.1609402

Simpson, N.P. and Krönke, M. 2019. Police in Zimbabwe: Helping hand or iron fist? Afrobarometer

Mutongwizo, T., Holley, C.,  Shearing, C.D. &  Simpson, N.P. 2019. Resilience policing: An emerging response to shifting harm landscapes, Policing.  https://doi.org/10.1093/police/paz033

Simpson, N.P. 2018. Accommodating landscape-scale shocks: Lessons on transition from Cape Town and Puerto Rico, Geoforumhttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2018.12.005

Simpson, N.P. and Basta, C. 2018. Sufficiently capable for effective participation in environmental impact assessment? Environmental Impact Assessment Review, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eiar.2018.03.004

Simpson, N.P. 2018. Applying the capability approach to enhance the conceptualisation of well-being in environmental assessment. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, https://doi.org/10.1080/19452829.2018.1469118

Williams, et al., 2018A systematic review of how vulnerability of smallholder agricultural systems to changing climate is assessed in Africa, Environmental Research Letters, http://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aae026