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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  People  /  Research Students  /  Andrew Papworth

Andrew Papworth


Department of Geography

University College London

Pearson Building

Gower Street



Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 2206


Twitter: @ajpapworth


Dr Samuel Randalls

Prof Mark Maslin


Academic Experience


2013 – Present, University College London

PhD, Department of Geography


2017, University of Virginia (USA)

Visiting Scholar, School of Nursing


2012 – 2013, University of York

MSc, Health Sciences


2004 – 2007, University of Durham

BA Hons, Geography


Grants and Awards

  • Emerging Scholar Award (2017 Food Studies Conference), 2017 (US$225)
  • Overseas Institutional Visit grant and enhanced stipend (ESRC), 2017 (£2,787)
  • Fieldwork grant and enhanced stipend (ESRC), 2016 (£12,155)
  • Spanish language training grant and enhanced stipend (ESRC), 2015 (£6,591)
  • Fieldwork grant and enhanced stipend (ESRC), 2015 (£1,186)
  • ESRC/NERC Doctoral Training Centre Multidisciplinary Studentship at UCL Geography (c. £75K plus tuition; £4K training grant)
  • NIHR CLAHRC ARiAS MSc Studentship at the University of York (£13,590 plus tuition; £1K training grant)

    Professional Affiliations

    Royal Society for Public Health

    Society for Latin American Studies

    Royal Geographical Society

    American Association of Geographers


    Relevant Employment

    2010 – 2012, World Cancer Research Fund (UK)

    2009, Reckitt Benckiser Health Care UK Ltd

    2008, Agencia Consulting (Working with East Riding of Yorkshire Primary Care Trust)




    PhD Title: Food Security and Climate in Nicaragua

    Climate change is likely to have a large impact on global food security as it could have harmful effects on food resources and food production through a number of pathways. Sea-level rise, and increased flooding and droughts could affect crop yields either through the direct loss of crops or indirectly through plant diseases and pest infestations. Seafood yields could be reduced through changes in aquatic populations due to warmer ocean temperatures, ocean acidification and extreme weather events. Flooding, heat waves and droughts could also expose market and governance weaknesses, and increase food safety issues.

    Most climate change and food security research has largely been conducted at the global or national levels using aggregated data, thus obscuring the heterogeneity that exists both between and within smaller, more local geographical areas. Some research has focused on specific case studies, but the views of local people have been missed. This is important because people’s vulnerability and their ability to respond to climate threats are greatly dependent on their perception of climate and the threat it poses.

    Other studies have investigated the factors that could contribute to a community’s ability to respond to climate impacts on their food security. These studies highlight the importance of educational status, the diversity of livelihood strategies and the strength of food sharing networks, but they have not shown how these have played out in practice during climate shocks.

    This project will attempt to address these shortcomings by focusing on three communities of the Rama indigenous group that live on Nicaragua’s east coast. It will investigate the current challenges to the communities’ food security, explore local understandings of food security threats and ask about past responses to climate shocks. This will be accomplished through in-depth interviews, focus groups, surveys and food diaries.

    My project is supported by an ESRC/NERC Multidisciplinary Studentship.

    Previous research

    I was funded by a NIHR CLAHRC ARiAS Studentship to investigate the service coverage of an Alcohol Health Worker service in a large teaching hospital. The results from the research were presented to the service providers and commissioners. A peer-reviewed article of the findings has been published by the British Journal of Nursing.

    Publications and Dissemination


    Peer-reviewed publications

    Papworth A, Lloyd C, Baker S (2017) Examining an alcohol health worker service's patient coverage British Journal of Nursing Vol. 26, 1, 18-23, doi:10.12968/bjon.2017.26.1.18

    Papworth A, Randalls S, Maslin M A (2015) Is climate change the greatest threat to global health? Geographical Journal Vol. 181, 4, 413–422, doi: 10.1111/geoj.12127


      Conference Presentations

      The erosion of traditional food-sharing practices amongst the Rama indigenous group of Nicaragua. 2017 Food Studies Conference, 26 October 2017, Rome, Italy (Emerging Scholar Awardee)

      The difficulties faced by indigenous people in developing countries when accessing health care; A case study in Nicaragua. 2017 Qualitative Health Research Conference, 17 October 2017, Québec City, Canada

      Can your wealth change your perception of ‘bad’ weather? A case study of the Rama indigenous group, Nicaragua. 2017 Society for Latin American Studies Conference, 6 April 2017, Glasgow, UK

      From Data to Results: Investigating Food Security in the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve, Nicaragua. Conversations in Geography: Bridging Gaps II, 1 March 2017, London, UK

      Difficulties disseminating research findings on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua: “Them come from outside and never tell us what them find”. 2017 RiDNet Conference, 29 January 2017, Leeds, UK

      Understanding the impacts of climate shocks on the food security of the Rama indigenous group, Nicaragua. 2016 American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, 30 April 2016, San Francisco, USA



      Conducting a mixed-methods investigation into the impact of climate change on food. Lunchtime lecture for the School of Nursing at the University of Virginia (25 April 2017, Charlottesville, USA)

      Climate change and vulnerable populations: interdisciplinary methods to understand health. Lecture for the "Culture and Access to Healthcare" module (NUIP 4003) run by the School of Nursing at the University of Virginia (12 April 2017, Charlottesville, USA)

      Conducting research with the Rama. Presented to students on the "UVA Nursing in Nicaragua: Community Health Clinical" run by the University of Virginia (9 March 2016, Bluefields, Nicaragua)

      Food security and climate change in Nicaragua. Presented to students on the "Sustainability in Nicaragua: Implications for Public Health and Prosperity" programme run by the University of Virginia (14 January 2016, Bluefields, Nicaragua)



      Papworth A (2015) How to address poverty and improve global health World Economic Forum (Published in collaboration with The Conversation)

      Papworth A (2015) No, climate change is not the biggest risk to global health The Conversation

      Papworth A (2014) What price ecosystem services? Climate Snack