Mehebub Sahana


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Personal profile


I joined The University of Manchester as a Research Associate in 2020. In 2022, I was awarded an Early Career Fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust, and I am the Principal Investigator of a three-year research project – ‘Landscape, Environment and the People: Ecological Spoils of the Bengal-divide'.  

My Leverhulme project focuses on interlinked issues of political partition, ecological degradation and environmental sustainability in the Bengal Delta. Theoretically, it seeks to frame implementable frameworks for analysing the social-environmental interface in this region and prepare a problem-solving guideline for achieving transboundary SDGs.

I am a cultural and environmental geographer with an interest in analysing land-use changes with special respect to spaces, politics, and the governance of the living and materialistic world. My present research interests include transboundary river basin management, landscape ecology, socio-ecological resilience, multi-hazard risk assessment, land-use change, rural-urban conversion and the socio-political implications of land-use dynamics.

I am a native of the Bengal Delta in India. Observing first-hand instances and hearing narratives of the dramatic ecological changes that have occurred in the world’s largest tidal delta, first in the aftermath of colonisation and then during the post-independence era in India, drew my interest in cultural and environmental geography. My childhood spent on the banks of the oft-in-spate Damodar River in southern Bengal and accounts of how the local impoverished villagers combated the elements during the course of their daily lives further instilled a desire to study human habitations and adaptations in such hazard susceptible locales, leading me to undertake extensive fieldwork in the Sundarbans, the world's largest continuous mangrove forest, as part of my doctoral research in Geography. My research there crucially delved into how human-environment relationships in this ecologically fragile realm morphed after the advent of colonization, then during the post-partition and independence periods, entwining narratives on the utilisation of land, water and forest resources, the effects of climate change in this region and attendant issues of sustainable development, policies and governance. 

Previously, I worked on two interdisciplinary research projects at the School of Environment, Education & Development, The University of Manchester: 

Peri-cene: that investigates peri-urbanization and climate risk in city-regions around the world (

Climate Just: climate just is an information tool designed to help with the delivery of equitable responses to climate change at the local level (



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 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Jamia Millia Islamia


Award Date: 21 Nov 2018

Master of Geography, University of Lucknow


Award Date: 31 May 2012

Bachelor of Arts, University of Burdwan


Award Date: 31 May 2010

External positions

Lecturer in Remote Sensing and GIS , WWF-India

1 Aug 201830 Sept 2019

GIS Research Assistant, Jawaharlal Nehru University

1 Aug 201330 Nov 2016

Areas of expertise

  • GB Physical geography
  • GA Mathematical geography. Cartography


  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Rural-urban Conversion
  • Remote Sensing
  • Cartography
  • Landscape ecology
  • Land Use Change
  • Socio-Ecological Resilience
  • Transboundary River Basin Management


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