Manasa Sharma

Manasa Sharma


I am a Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholar at the University of East Anglia as part of the Critical Decade programme. My research interests are in Global Change Ecology, Climate Change and Policy. My project combines quantitative climate science and crop science with qualitative social science to help farmers and agricultural policy makers adapt to climate change.

I graduated magna cum laude with a Master’s degree in Biotechnology from M S Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences, Bangalore, India in August 2021. My master’s dissertation was a predictive ecology project that involved building models to simulate the potential impacts of climate change on behavior, flock reassortment, survival of temperature sensitive avian species participating in Mixed Species Flocks in the highly biodiverse Eastern Himalayan forests under different warming scenarios. Focussing on thermal tolerances and climate driven range shifts, I studied how climate change could threaten mountaintop species, cause flock breakdown and potentially act as an escalator to extinction. My research was supported by the Indian Institute of Science. I have previously worked on short research projects in Oral cancer genomics, Viral genomics and Protein Science.

Before starting my PhD at the University of East Anglia, I worked as an Educator and Science Communicator for three years in collaboration with several NGOs and Ed -Tech Startups, where I was researching pedagogical frameworks for Global Citizenship Education, Inquiry and Project Based Learning, Education Policies and STEM education. I also developed climate education modules with learning outcomes aligned to sustainable development goals to be implemented in Indian Schools. In my free time, I read and write poetry and make science-based humorous comics.

Manasa Sharma

PhD title: Windows into Future Climate Change Risk: Informing Adaptation Policy in the Global South

Climate change poses an existential threat to global agricultural systems. Adaptation must be implemented within this decade to avoid widespread collapse of smallholder farms in the Global South.  This interdisciplinary project combines quantitative climate change and crop science with qualitative social science to help farmers and agricultural policymakers adapt to climate change. By studying experienced climate impacts and adaptation interventions within farming communities already at risk in India, adaptation plans will be developed for use in areas where similar or greater levels of risks to farming are projected in the future.  Adaptation plans will draw on insights ranging from crop science to agro-insurance. The approach, although piloted in India, is designed for global scalability.