Researcher Profile

Professor Petra Tschakert

Petra Tschakert
Petra Tschakert

Phone: +61 8 6488 7673

Previous Positions

Pennsylvania State University, Department of Geography and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (2005-2015)

New and Noteworthy

PhD students:
- Karen Paiva Henrique: Contested Grounds: Examining the Contours of Flood Adaptation along São Paulo’s Tietê River
- Claudia Franca de Abreu: Belonging in Postcolonial times: The Guarani revitalization movement as a means of achieving resilience and wellbeing in indigenous communities
- Thanh Hoang Trung: Wetland management: Understanding and Responding to Multiple Environmental Stressors in the Tam Giang Coastal Lagoon, Vietnam
- Mark Crosweller: The Ethical Premise of Leading People through the Adversity and Losses of Disasters
- Thi Hong Van Le: The politics of transformation for sustainable future adaptation: A case study in the Mekong and Red River delta regions in Vietnam
- Alicea Garcia: Identity, Subjectivity, and Power: How gendered determinants of social inequality affect smallholders' capacities to adapt to climate change in Ghana's Central Region
- Muhammad Rafay Muzamil: The politics of climate change adaptation in the context of conflict: Implications for rural livelihoods in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan
- Basil Amuzu-Sefordzi: Renewable energy adoption in sub-Saharan Africa: A case study from Ghana

Funding Received

• Worldwide Universities Network (WUN): Non-market valuation of loss and damage under climate change, Tschakert PI (Barnett, Tuana, Pannell, Alston, Woodward, New, Ziervogel, Abu, Sallu, Prout, Bessette, Pandit, Kragt, Godden Co-PIs), 2016, £ 10,000
• UWA, Research Collaboration Award: Non-market valuation of loss and damage under climate change, Tschakert PI, 2016, AUD17,000
• National Science Foundation (NSF-CNH): Climatic Extremes, Mining, and Mycobacterium Ulcerans: A Coupled Systems Approach (reBUild), Tschakert PI (Amankwah, Smithwick, Oppong, Singha, Parker, and Ward Co-PIs), a collaboration between the Pennsylvania State University, the University of Mines and Technology, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the University of Ghana, the Ghana Health Directorate (all in Ghana), the University of Northern Texas, the Colorado School of Mines, and the University of Iowa, 2009-2015. US$1,421,997.
• Pennsylvania State University, Social Science Research Institute: Building a Research Infrastructure on Human and Environmental Health in the West African Gold Mining Sector, Tschakert (PI), 2007-2008. US$17,395
• Pennsylvania State University, Africa Research Center: Contaminated Identities: Impacts of Arsenic & Mercury Exposure among Small-Scale Miners in Ghana, Tschakert (PI) (K. Singha Co-PI), 2006-2007. US$9,980
• Pennsylvania State University, EMS Wilson Research Initiation Grant: The Rocky Path to Sustainability: Livelihood Risks and Opportunities among Small-Scale Gold Miners in Ghana, Tschakert (PI), 2006-2007. US$9,864
• National Science Foundation (Office of International Science and Engineering), US-Ghana Workshop on Resilience in the Small-Scale Mining Sector of Ghana, Tschakert (PI), 2007-2009. US$59,609.
• National Institutes of Health: Global Health and Georesource Management in Africa, Airhihenbuwa (PI), 2006-2009. US$192,375.
• International Social Science Council (ISSC): TCHANGE – Addressing the Climate Crisis through Value Transformation, Tschakert PI, in collaboration with partners in South Africa, India, UK, Norway, and the US, 2014-2015. €29,980
• International Social Science Council (ISSC): KNET - Knowledge Network for Enabling Transformation, Fazey PI, 2014-2015. €29,887.
• Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway: Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme (HICAP), Agrawal project manager, 2011-2016. US$12,000,000.
• National Science Foundation (NSF-DRU): Anticipatory Learning for Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience (ALCCAR), Tschakert PI (Tamminga, Prins, Crane, Liwenga, Modoc, Asiedu, Keju, Shaffer Co-PIs), in collaboration with the University of Ghana, the University of Dar-es-Salaam, The Afram Plains Development Organization (APDO), and the Red Cross/Red Crescent Tanzania, 2009-2013. US$749,478.
• Worldwide Universities Network (WUN): Limits to Adaptation, Tschakert PI (Ziervogel, Alston, Wittenbury, Tuana, Shackleton, Mugera, Crane CO-PIs), in collaboration with the University of Cape Town, Rhodes University, University of Western Australia, and Monash University, 2011-2012. US$53,750.
• USAID: Climate Change Collective Learning and Observatory Network Ghana (CCLONG), Tschakert PI (Codjoe, Adiku, Abekoe, Sagoe Co-PIs), in collaboration with the University of Ghana, 2006-2010. US$759,928.
• Worldwide Universities Network (WUN): Gender and Climate Change, Tuana and Sachs PI, 2010-2012. £ 20,000.
• AESEDA/Pennsylvania State University: Climate and Society in Senegal, Fuentes PI, in collaboration with the University of Cheikh Anta Diop, 2011-2013. US$77,500.
• Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment: “A Stronger, More Resilient New York”: Responding to Sandy in the Rockaways, Tschakert (PI), 2014-2015. US$21,446.
• Penn State Sustainability Institute: Climate Change and Conflict Management, Fowler (PI), 2014-2015. US$49,500.
• Worldwide Universities Network (WUN): Resilient pasts and sustainable futures? Designing socially significant scenarios, R. Marchant (PI), 2012-2013. £ 20,000.
• Research Council of Norway: Transformative change: Integrating responsibilities, solidarity, and care into dominant climate science, policy and public discourse - Agenda setting workshop. A. St. Clair (PI), 2012. US$32,200.
• Advancing Capacity to Support Climate Change Adaptation (ACCCA), UNITAR: Food Security and Adaptation to Climate Change in the Afram Plains of Ghana, Codjoe (PI), 2007-2008. US$69,724.
• Pennsylvania State University, George H. Deike, Jr. Research Grant: Solastalgia: Environmentally-Induced Distress and Illness due to Climatic Changes among Africa's Poor, Tschakert PI (Tutu Co-PI), 2008-2010. US$49,967.
• US Agency for International Development (USAID), through USGS/USDI: Spatially Explicit Modeling of Soil Organic Carbon (SEMSOC) in Ghana, Mali, Niger & Burkina Faso, Tschakert (PI), 2004-2006. US$250,000
• Canada-Panama Fund, Canadian Embassy in Panama, and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA): Proyecto de carbono para atraer y manejar inversiones en forma de bonos verdes, Potvin (PI), 2003-2005. US$72,710
• US Agency for International Development (USAID): Sequestration of Carbon in Soil Organic Matter (SOCSOM) in Senegal, Tieszen (PI), 200-2003. US$315,000

Roles, responsibilities and expertise

Tschakert co-coordinates the Master of International Development at UWA.
GEOG5002: Case Studies in Development Practice
GEOG5004: Place-based Development

She also co-ordinates the new Broadening A unit GEOG1104 Disasters!


My research activities and practice focus broadly on human-environment interactions and more specifically on rural livelihoods, environmental change, marginalization, social learning, and deliberate societal transformation. My academic training is in Geography, Applied Anthropology, and Arid Lands Resources Sciences. My main interest lies in the theoretical and empirical intersections of political ecology, environmental justice, complex systems science, and participatory research. It is the result of a long-term commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship and extended periods of field work and capacity building, particularly in West Africa. I seek to understand the strategies small-scale resource users, primarily subsistence farmers and miners, employ in adapting to environmental stresses, coping with socio-economic, political, and institutional exclusion, and dealing with intangible losses. I draw on participatory research (PR) as an epistemological framework that promotes critical engagement with marginalized communities (of space and practice). I have found that participatory mapping, diagramming, environmental theatre, and participatory video are wonderful albeit not uncontested tools to open up alternative routes for 'doing' geography. My ultimate goal is to expand people’s opportunities for enhancing livelihood resilience.

Dr. Tschakert is Centenary Professor in Rural Development. She coordinates the UWA Master of International Development.

Professor Tschakert is Coordinating Lead Author (CLA) of Chapter 5 "Sustainable Development, Poverty Eradication and Reducing Inequalities" of the Special Report on 1.5C Global Warming of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Previously, she was CLA on the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), on Chapter 13 (“Livelihoods and Poverty”) of the Working Group II Report on Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, and was part of the Core Writing Team of the AR5 Synthesis Report.

PhD, 2003, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA: Arid Lands Resource Sciences, with minor in Applied Anthropology
MagPhil, 1991, Karl Franzens Universitaet, Graz, Austria: Geography & Economics, French

ID: 4771502

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