Climate change and conflict, dynamics of political protest, food security, sustainable development, African politics or just random thoughts.
I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Nevada, Reno, a position I've held since 2015. Between January and August of 2017 I took leave from UNR to accept a position as a Senior Researcher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) in Norway, where I worked on the Climate Variability and Security Threats (CLIMSEC) project funded by the European Research Council. My research focuses on the nexus of the environment, conflict, and development. I am particularly interested in the links between food security / food prices and urban political unrest. Other research interests include urban poverty, informal settlements, food security, and climate change adaptation in sub-Saharan Africa. I received my Ph.D. in Public Policy from The University of Texas at Austin in 2015. During my tenure at UT I worked as a research assistant at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law on the Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS) and the Complex Emergencies and Political Stability in Asia (CEPSA) projects, both funded by the Minerva Initiative of the U.S. Department of Defense. In that capacity, I served as the Deputy Director of an LBJ School Policy Research Project titled Urban Resilience to Climate Change Challenges in Africa and I was the primary author of a dataset of education and infrastructure indicators for subnational regions of Africa. My work has appeared in the Journal of Peace Research, International Security,Political Geography, and Climatic Change. I have also authored or coauthored several reports for governmental and research organizations including USAID, CGIAR, and the German Marshall Fund. I have presented at numerous international conferences and workshops. I hold a BA in political science from Lipscomb University in Nashville, a law degree from Emory University in Atlanta, and a Master of Public Affairs from The University of Texas at Austin. I have traveled extensively in throughout Africa and have worked for Doctors Without Borders in Ethiopia, Impumelelo Social Innovations Centre in South Africa, and the International Food Policy Research Institute in Uganda.