Dr Luke ParrySenior Lecturer
Luke is a social scientist interested in identifying pathways towards socially-just and sustainable futures for tropical forest regions, particularly the Amazon. He has been a Senior Lecturer in the Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) since 2017 and was a Lecturer from 2012. He was an ESRC Future Research Leader Fellow from 2014 to early 2017.
His research program makes links between political ecology (particularly of health), food systems, urbanization and climatic change. He uses mainly quantitative approaches and seeks to ask and answer policy-relevant questions. Luke has been working in, and learning about, the ecological, social, health and political dimensions of tropical forests since 2002.
Luke's current research focuses mainly on the relationships between social inequities, health and climate change. For instance, his recent paper in Social Science and Medicine draws on the concept of 'invisibility' to explore systematic biases in current understanding of climate-health risks in Latin America. His empirical research is based around:
(1) Understanding linkages between social vulnerability, climatic shocks, and food and nutritional insecurity. He has recently identified ‘food deserts’ in Amazonian cities and also developed a bottom-up Citizens Network to explore (and strengthen) the political and social dimensions of living with environmental change in remote, road-less areas. He works with the CHICAS statistical group, Lancaster Medical School. His research aims to contribute to improving the adaptive capacity of 'neglected' road-less Amazonian cities to cope with severe climatic events, especially among vulnerable social groups. His team is working on the spatial dimensions of urban food insecurity. This is being developed into an online early warning system for predicting real-time urban vulnerability to food insecurity for improved risk-analysis, whilst also seeking to make information accessible and relevant to marginalized social groups.
(2) Harvesting and consumption of bushmeat and fishes, linking normative perspectives on human health and dignity (in relation to food and nutrition security), local ecological knowledge and conservation of biodiversity and natural ecosystems. This research relates to questions around space and place (contextual-understanding and urban defaunation shadows), trade, livelihoods and migration-decisions by individuals and households. Related, Luke is also an Editor of the journal Conservation Letters.
(3) A new project looking at social vulnerability in semi-arid Caatinga social-ecological system in the North-East of Brazil. Led by Dr Felipe Melo from the Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil.
(4) Collaborative research addressing the causes and social and ecological consequences of environmental change in Amazonia (e.g. caring for nature, peasant livelohoods, deforestation and agricultural land-uses,)
Luke and his PhD students are part of the Political Ecology group in the Lancaster Environment Centre.
Luke’s teaching primarily contributes to LEC’s geography courses and includes:
LEC.333: Geographies of Health: understanding and tackling inequality
LEC 322 Environment, Society and Politics in Amazonia (taught with James Fraser & Jos Barlow) - his sessions focus on population-environment relationships (especially under rural exodus and urbanization) and resilience
LEC342 Issues in Conservation Biology
PhD Supervision Interests
I welcome interest from potential Masters by research or PhD students interested in these or related topics:
Projects taking a quantitative perspective on the political ecologies of health
Developing new tools for assessing local-scale healthcare access and quality in the Global South
Assessing impacts of Amazonian floods and droughts on maternal and infant health
Understanding the vulnerabilities of marginalized peri-urban, flood-prone communities in Amazonia
New approaches for understanding social vulnerability to climatic extremes
Luke is currently Director of Studies, Part 2 Geography (3rd year)
ODYSSEA: Observatory of the Dynamics of Interactions Between Societies and Environment in the Amazon
01/01/2016 → 31/12/2019
Amazonian Cities and Extreme Hydro-Climatic Events: Research to Reduce Vulnerability and Build Resilience
01/01/2015 → 30/09/2016
Predicting urban food insecurity under climate change in Brazilian Amazonia
01/01/2014 → 31/12/2017
- DSI - Health
- Improving global stewardship
- Political Ecology
- Understanding a changing planet