Lisa holds a Ph.D. in development studies from the Tyndall Centre for climate change research from the University of East Anglia (2004), an M.Sc. in environment and development (also from UEA) and a B.Sc. in environmental science (Brown University).

Lisa worked at SEI from 2008 until November 2013 with SEI-Asia and SEI-US. She led SEI-US work on adaptation to climate change.

Lisa has carried out research in Latin America (Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua), Africa (Botswana, Ethiopia) and Southeast and South Asia. She has also spent many years intensely involved in the UNFCCC negotiations as a team leader for the Earth Negotiations Bulletin.

Lisa is also associate editor of Climate and Development, published by SEI and Taylor & Francis.

Lisa is a Lead Author of Working Group II Chapter 21 (Regional Context) of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (published in 2014). She was Lead Author of Chapter 2 (Determinants of risks: exposure and vulnerability) of the IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (published in early 2012).