Harry Quealy


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Personal profile

Further information

I am currently a third year, SEED-funded PhD researcher in Human Geography at the University of Manchester.

My PhD research draws analytically from work on political ecology, critical agrarian studies, and water infrastructure politics. Broadly, my PhD project attempts to understand the relationship between histories of agrarian change and climate politics in the north-central dry zone of Sri Lanka. I draw on a range of ethnographic, qualitative, and archival research methods that bring together the everyday experiences of marginalised social groups and the broader social, political, and economic dynamics that influence these experiences over time and space. My PhD project aims to challenge the limitations of technomanagerial responses to climate change and encourage new ways of thinking about the possibilities for more just climate changed agrarian futures in Sri Lanka and beyond.

Beyond the bounds of my PhD, my research interests span agrarian studies, water politics, critical development studies and questions of climate and environmental justice. I aim to approach my research in a critically constructive, grounded, and reflexive manner and I am interested in exploring methods and approaches that challenge the power imbalances imbued in research.

My PhD builds upon a research connection with Sri Lanka that began in 2018. I have interned with the UNDP Sri Lanka on a climate resilient integrated water resource management project and conducted my Masters thesis research on climate change adaptation and smallholder vulnerability. From February to October 2023, I will be undertaking a Visiting Research Fellowship at the University of Colombo, while also conducting my PhD fieldwork in Sri Lanka.

I am lucky enough to be undertaking my PhD under the supervision of Dr. Nate Millington, Dr. Alison Browne, and Prof Erik Swyngedouw. I am a member of the Society and Environment Research Group (SERG) and the Agrarian Change and Political Ecology Research Group (within the Global Development Institute). I am also a PGR Rep for the Development Geographies Research Group with the Royal Geographical Society (RGS)

Contact: harry.quealy@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk


Teaching Assistant:
  • Global Urban Futures (third year undergraduate students. Supporting Dr. Nate Millington)
  • Human Geography tutorials (first year undergraduate students)
  • Nature, Society and Social Power (third year undergraduate students. Supporting Prof. Erik Swyngedouw and Dr. Mark Usher)
  • Researching Manchester (first year undergraduate students. Supporting Dr. Pete Ryan and Dr. Martin Dodge)

Research Assistant (2022/2023):

  • Editorial Support for a book project "Aesthetics and the City" (Supporting Dr. Joe Blakey and Dr. Amy Barron)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Arts, Master of International Development Practice, Monash University


Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of International Studies, Deakin University


External positions

University of Colombo

1 Feb 20231 Oct 2023

Areas of expertise

  • G Geography (General)


  • political ecology
  • climate change adaptation
  • water governance
  • nature-society
  • rural development
  • vulnerability
  • imaginative geographies


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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