SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Cherry Briggs

MBiochem (Oxford), MSc (UCL), MRes (SOAS)


Cherry Briggs
Cherry Briggs
Email address:
Thesis title:
The politics and ethics of climate change adaptation in Sri Lanka's Dry Zone (working title)
Internal Supervisors


Following an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry, I trained in education and spent several years living and working in Sri Lanka and Colombia. My time overseas inspired me to take an MSc in Social and Cultural Anthropology when I returned to the UK. Whilst living in Sri Lanka I had frequently travelled to the Dry Zone and had learned of the problems rural farming communities were experiencing as a result of the changing climate, and the challenges adaptation was likely to bring. Believing that anthropology's methods could contribute new perspectives on this, I applied for and was awarded an ESRC studentship to undertake an ethnographic study of climate change adaptation in the region.

PhD Research

An ethnographic study of two large-scale adaptation projects in Sri Lanka's Dry Zone will form the basis of this research. These projects are being funded by the UNFCCCs Green Climate Fund, which is one of the biggest sources of climate finance for the developing world. I will be considering the politics and ethics of distribution that underpin climate finance and exploring how this mediates relationships between donors and recipients. I will also be studying how adaptation intersects with regional histories of water management and how the changing climate is creating new geographies.