Research project

BRAgS - Building Resilient Agricultural Systems: sustainable livelihoods in Mega-Deltas under environmental change

Project overview

The deltas of the global south are the world's rice baskets but they are under environmental stress as a consequence of rising sea levels: 20% of agricultural land will be lost by 2100 in the deltas of south and southeast Asia alone, bringing attendant problems of flooding and saline intrusion. The major drivers of sea-level rise are anthropogenic climate change, land subsidence caused by groundwater and hydrocarbon extraction, and anthropogenic interventions (such as damming) on the rivers that feed deltas. The BRAGS GCRF project is in its final stage having establish a new international and multidisciplinary collaboration between UK and Vietnamese universities, international agencies (UN FAO) and other key end-users (IRRI, IPSARD) that is capable of delivering new insight into the trade-offs between flooding, sediment and nutrient deposition, rice cultivation and associated livelihood strategies in the Vietnamese Mekong delta (VMD). We have developed new modelling tools that can evaluate whether alternative water management and rice cultivation practices allow for sustainable intensification (in terms of yield and socio-economic outcomes for different groups) under environmental changes such as upstream impoundment, land use and climate change, nutrient fluxes in the Mekong delta.


Lead researcher

Professor Steve Darby

Associate Dean Research

Research interests

  • River and coastal flooding - relationships between geomorphology and flooding in rivers and deltas
  • Biogeomorphology - interactions between river processes and life
  • River bank erosion processes
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Other researchers

Professor Guy Poppy CB FMedSci

Professor In Biological Sciences
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Professor Chris Hill

Professorial Fellow-Enterprise
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Professor Craig Hutton

Director Sustainability&Resilience Inst.
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Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

Research outputs

Tristan Berchoux, Craig Hutton, Oliver Hensengerth, Hal Voepel, Van Tri, Pham Vu, Nguyen Nghia Hung, D.R. Parsons & Stephen Darby, 2023, Land Use Policy, 131
Type: article
G.M. Kondolf, R Schmitt, Paul Carling, Marc Goichot, M Arias, S Bizzi, A Castelletti, T Cochrane, Stephen Darby, Matti Kummu & Philip Minderhoud, 2022, Science, 376(6593), 583-585
Type: article
A.J. Cresswell, D.C.W. Sanderson, P.A. Carling & S.E. Darby, 2022, Quaternary Geochronology, 69
Type: article
Craig Hutton, Oliver M Hensengerth, Tristan Berchoux, Van Tri, Thi Tong, Nguyen Hung, Harold Voepel, Stephen Darby, Duong Bui, Thi Bui, Nguyen Huy & D.R Parsons, 2021, Sustainability, 13(10), 5534
Type: article
Gianbattista Bussi, Stephen E. Darby, Paul G. Whitehead, Li Jin, Simon J. Dadson, Hal E. Voepel, Grigorios Vasilopoulos, Christopher R. Hackney, Craig Hutton, Tristan Berchoux, Daniel R. Parsons & Andrew Nicholas, 2021, Science of the Total Environment, 755(Part 1)
Type: article