Tahia Devisscher joined SEI Oxford as a Research Fellow in 2008. Since April 2016 she works with SEI as a SEI Affiliated Researcher from Vancouver, Canada. Her main focus is on social‐ecological system dynamics, adaptive governance, and ecosystem-based adaptation.
Tahia has ten years of experience working at the interface of environment, climate change, and development. In recent projects, such as Fractal, TransRisk and EcoAdapt, Tahia is applying inter-disciplinary approaches to integrate qualitative and quantitative data to support adaptation decisions and low-carbon transitions in the context of forest landscapes and urban environments. Tahia is also working with partners in the development of weADAPT.org, a global knowledge platform designed to promote collaboration and learning on climate adaptation. She has also coordinated, facilitated and engaged in trainings, co-exploration workshops and the development of toolkits for participatory vulnerability analysis, adaptation planning and climate risk communication in different regions of the world; see for example projects such as NCAP, ACCCA, C3D+ and Mediation.
Before joining SEI, Tahia worked for various organizations including the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, World Vision and The Nature Conservancy. She was Lead Author of two chapters for the Global Environment Outlook 5 (GEO-5), Science Writer for the UNEP Year Book in 2011 and 2009, and Researcher for the UNDP Bolivia Human Development Report in 2008.
Tahia holds a PhD from the University of Oxford. For her dissertation she assessed wildfire dynamics in southern Amazonia using a social-ecological systems approach. She analysed interactions between climate change and different development trajectories, and assessed alternative management strategies and associated impacts. Methods included probabilistic spatial modelling, remote sensing, fuzzy cognitive mapping, ethnographic fieldwork and statistical analysis. Tahia holds a two-year MSc (Hons) in Environmental Science, Policy and Management from the University of Manchester, IIIEE-Lund University and Central European University. She was awarded the Development Cooperation Prize by the Belgian Government for her Master thesis research on the sustainability of palm oil production in Borneo, Malaysia. She obtained the BSc (Hons) in Environment and Development from the University of Zamorano, Honduras.