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Geography and Environmental Science
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Prof Craig Hutton BSc. Hons., MSc., PhD

Professor of Sustainability Science

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Prof. Hutton’s applied research & consultancy focus lies at the intersection between the environment and social implications of environmental/climate change and management for sustainable development. This socio-ecological research emphasises the coordination of spatial data handling and the management/policy/governance implications of climate change/environmental vulnerability of rural communities, land cover and earth observation in decision-making support systems.

Sustainability is a great deal more than just a changing climate, we need to consider the broader socio-environment and how that intersects with equity, social justice, poverty and a sustainable future

Prof. Hutton has worked in sustainable development for 25 years, the majority of these at the University of Southampton with a focus on:

Research interests

Prof. Hutton’s applied research lies at the intersection between development, adaptation and the social and policy implications of environmental/climate change and sustainable management. This socio-environmental research emphasises the coordination of spatial data handling and the management/policy/governance implications of climate change/environmental vulnerability of communities, land cover and earth observation in decision-making support systems. Current areas of research include;

(i) The development of spatially explicit sustainable livelihood framework (SLF) capitals (such as social capital, natural capital) that can act as inputs to the development of livelihood policy relevant socio-ecological clusters within poor rural landscapes

(ii) working with Government of Bangladesh, using integrated models to test the socio-environmental consequences of specific coastal engineering intervention as part of the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100

(iii) Developing an integrated understating of the socio-environmental conditions, SDG applications and policy/management requirements within the changing dynamics of large-scale delta and associated river system in South and South East Asia

(iv) Developing Scenarios of plausible future states of delta systems with stakeholders

(iv) Assessing the potential impacts and barriers to uptake of solar panel use at community level (rural and urban)

PhD Supervision

  1. Ailish Craig: Association between social capital and food security in Malawi. South Coast Doctoral Centre
  2. Md. Moniruzzaman: Drivers and impacts of Aquiculture development in coastal Bangladesh. Gov. Bangladesh scholarship fund
  3. Kashif Salik:  Exploring potential relationships between migration and well-being: the case of semi-arid regions of rural Pakistan. ODI/IDRC
  4. Martin Watts: Climate change resilience in Forest garden systems of Tanzania. ESRC

Current Projects

Award holder(s)Award holder(s)Award holder(s)Award holder(s)
2020-2021 Dr. Tazmian Rahman & Prof. Craig Hutton MECS/EPSRC E-cooker network for Urban Slums: Benefits and Barriers to implementation £150,000/£22,000/£70,000
2019-2021 Prof. Robert Nicholls & Prof. Craig Hutton NERC Aims to analyse the potential system synergies and conflicts between the SDGs in Ganges Delta £750,000/£30,000/£150,000
2019-2021 Prof. Steven Darby & Prof. Craig Hutton et al. NERC Aim is to understand agricultural systems resilience to hydro meteorological extremes in Mekong Delta £700,000/£30,000/£150,000
  Craig Hutton PI UNICEF Global Child Climate Risk Index £120,000

Research group

Environmental Change and Sustainability (ECaS)

Affiliate research group

Landscape Dynamics and Ecology (LDE)

Research project(s)

Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alliviation in Deltas

Agricultural Implications for Ecosystem Based Adaptation (EBA) to Climate Change in Steppe Ecosystems

This work develops a repeatable process to identify and characterise Socio-Ecological Systems (SES) and their livelihood components, with a focus on the impacts of drought on rural livelihoods in the Steppe region of Central Turkey.

An assessment of the ecosystem service and livelihood implications of government development proposals in coastal Bangladesh

We demonstrate the potential of Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) to inform strategic policy decision making at the regional level, helping to understand key trade-offs and secondary impacts. We document the Delta Dynamic Emulator Model (ΔDIEM), co-produced with stakeholders, to integrate ecosystem services and household wellbeing, being utilised by the Planning Commission of the Government of Bangladesh for its strategic long-term risk planning.

The Application of an Integrated Assessment Model (IAM) to Waterlogging in South West Bangladesh

presents modelled impacts of waterlogging to 2050 in coastal Bangldesh including (i) Key policy relevant findings (ii) Plausible areas for policy development (iii) Potential future research focus areas.

BRAgS - Building Resilient Agricultural Systems: sustainable livelihoods in Mega-Deltas under environmental change (GCRF/BBSRC)

Develop a stakeholder engagement strategy to generate policy relevant scenarios for rice agricultural systems in relation to (a) future water, nutrient and sediment supply; (b) delta-scale adaptations to agricultural practice, and; (c) local-scale adaptations to water and flood management practice.

Opportunities and trade-offs between the SDGs for food, welfare and the environment in deltas

Development of Integrated Assessment Models to addresses mapping the complexity of SDGs within a large-scale social-ecological system , as well as directly supporting the evaluation and development of policies and practises to deliver sustainable development in West Bengal, India.

Socio-ecological and food security future scenario development with policy makers

Development of workshop based socio-ecological and livelihood based scenario strategies in the agricultural sector of the developing South

Slow Onset Hazard Interactions with Enhanced Drought and Flood Extremes in an At-Risk Mega-Delta

The overall aim of this project to understand how agricultural resilience to hydrometeorological extremes can be enhanced through improved predictive capacity and aligned policy and governance, using the Vietnamese Mekong delta (VMD) as a representative exemplar delta.

Deltas, Vulnerability & Climate Change: Migration & Adaptation

Prof. Hutton is on the University committee to establish a cross faculty Sustainability and Resilience Hub

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Book Chapters



Working Papers

  • Course convener for GEOG6098 Introduction to Sustainability within the M.Sc. in Sustainability, School of Geography and Environmental Sciences.
  • Personal Tutor for the MSc Environmental Management & Sustainability
  • Lecturer on Undergraduate GEOG3023 Climate Change and Policy

Prof. Hutton is a Trustee of TGT and regularly sends students to Nepal in order to conduct research in support of the Trust.

The Glacier Trust is a UK based charity that works in partnership with Nepali NGOs and Academia to enable climate change adaptation in the Himalayas.


Climate Change Adaptation: We work with remote communities in the Himalayan mountains and foothills to improve the livelihood chances of subsistence farmers who are already affected by climate change.

Higher Education: We enable young adults to study and train in remote areas, this up skills the next generation of Nepali glaciologists and climate change adaptation professionals.

We Need To Talk About Adaptation: We campaign for more and better efforts to adapt to climate change. Our contribution is to call on colleagues, campaigners, journalists and public figures to talk about adaptation.

Prof Craig Hutton
Building 44 University of Southampton University Road Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number : 44/2091

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