Dr Luke ParrySenior Lecturer
Luke is a social environmental scientist and is interested in identifying pathways towards socially-just and sustainable urbanization in 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.
Luke's research focuses on pathways towards socially-just and sustainable food systems in tropical forest regions. His research program uses mainly quantitative approaches, asks policy-relevant questions and takes urbanization in Amazonia as its point of departure. He has been working in, and learning about, the ecological, social, health and political dimensions of tropical forests since 2002.
His current research focuses on:
(1) Understanding linkages between social vulnerability, climatic shocks, and food and nutritional insecurity. He has recently identified ‘food deserts’ in Amazonian cities and is also developing 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, facilitating long-term investment in adaptation.
(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.
(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
- LEC330 Conservation and Sustainable Development in the Brazilian Amazon [field-course to the Rio Negro in Amazonas State, with Jos Barlow)
- LEC342 Issues in Conservation Biology
PhD Supervision Interests
I welcome interest from potential 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 (2nd year)
- Co-chair of LEC’s inter-disciplinary PhD panel
ODYSSEA: Observatory of the Dynamics of Interactions Between Societies and Environment in the Amazon
01/01/2016 → 31/12/2020
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
- Improving global stewardship
- Political Ecology
- Understanding a changing planet