Geography Scotland History of Geography Cultural Geography
Professor Melissa Leach FBA
About this Fellow
Professor Leach is currently Director of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex. She co-founded and co-directed the ESRC STEPS (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre from 2006 to 2014, with its pioneering pathways approach to innovation, sustainability and development issues.
She was lead author of UN Women’s World Survey on the Role of Women in Economic Development 2014, and of the World Social Science Report 2016 on 'Challenging Inequalities'. She co-founded the Ebola Response Anthropology Platform and was lead social scientist in the UK and WHO Ebola scientific advisory committees during 2014-15.
Professor Leach is a member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-food), the Strategic Coherence of ODA Research (SCOR) Board, the ESRC International Development Advisory Group (EIDEG) and the MRC Global Health Group.
- Director, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex
- Vice-chair, Science Committee of Future Earth, 2012 - 2017
Transformations in contemporary society/space relations; urban and regional development; re-imagining the economy; new forms of politics and citizenship; the idea of Europe; race and multiculturalism
Human evolution: the evolutionary ecology of extinct hominins; the evolution of human behaviour and culture; prehistory and archaeology of early human populations; evolutionary theory in archaeology and anthropology.
The anthropology of India, including popular Hinduism and Hindu nationalism, the caste system, the modern state, globalisation and the middle class; field research mainly in Tamil Nadu.