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Staff Profile

Dr Olalekan Adekola

Senior Lecturer

Olalekan Adekola profile image.

My interest lies at the intersection of geography, environmental science and developmental studies and encompasses many areas in the study of human-environment interactions.

My PhD in Geography from the University of Leeds integrated methods from social network analysis, neo-institutionalism and ecosystem services valuation. I hold an MSc in Environmental Sciences from Wageningen University, The Netherlands and a B.Tech in Geography from the Federal University of Technology, Yola, Nigeria. Having educational training exposure in three countries has really enriched my teaching and research. Prior to joining York St John University, I have taught at universities in Nigeria and United Kingdom and have been a recipient of some fellowships including The Netherlands Fellowship (NFP) and the Commonwealth Academic Fellowship (CSFP).


As a geographer, I adopt an interdisciplinary teaching approach that helps to develop meaningful links between different fields in ways that intrigue and motivate students, pushing us towards more powerful thinking in which we make comparisons, bridge disciplines, span eras, and encourage the application of knowledge. Integrating knowledge generated through my research into teaching help students to think outside the box and become better critical and independent thinkers.

I lead the second year module 'Sustainability: Global Environmental Challenges'. I contribute to other modules including Critical Thinking and Academic Skills in Geography, Geography Fieldwork Studies, Research Projects and Dissertation.

I hold a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).


I am interested in innovative interdisciplinary co-produced research positioned at the intersection of geography, environmental science and development studies. I use interdisciplinary perspectives to understand and proffer solutions to environmental challenges by feeding findings and outputs of academic research into policy. Specifically, I am interested in research that concern ecosystem service valuation, climate change governance, flood risk management, environment and natural resource politics. I am also interested in internationalisation and employability issues in higher education.

Ongoing research projects and grants

  • Co-investigator, "Embracing social learning in the management of ecosystem services in Chonguene District, Gaza Province, Mozambique". Funded by The Rising from the Depths network.
  • October 2021 to October 2022: Co-investigator, "Suitcase Stories: Exploring Climate Adaptation through Participatory Storytelling with Young People". Funded by The Natural Environment Research Council.

Completed projects and grants

  • Supporting Young People to Become International Creative Talents: Educational Enterprise Collaborations between Shanghai and Liverpool. Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Co-Investigator.
  • Promoting climate-resilient aquaculture through shared space for co-designing adaptation measures. Funded by Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng). Principal investigator.
  • Sustainable ship breaking process for cleaner environment and better wellbeing. Funded by Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng). Co-Investigator.

Recent publications

Selected recent peer reviewed articles

  • Everett, G; Adekola, O; and Lamond, J, (2021). Developing a blue-green infrastructure (BGI) community engagement framework template. Urban Design International, pp.1-17.
  • Cheng, M; Adekola, O; Albia, J; and Cai, S. (2021). Employability in higher education: a review of key stakeholders' perspectives. Higher Education Evaluation and Development.
  • Chan, F; Yang, L; Scheffran, J; Mitchell, G; Adekola, O; Griffiths, J; Chen, Y; Li, G; Lu, X; Qi, Y; Li, L; Zheng, H; McDonald, A. (2021). Urban flood risks and emerging challenges in a Chinese delta: the case of the Pearl River Delta. Environmental Science and Policy. 122, 101-115.
  • Adekola, O; and Lamond, J. (2021). Exploring system thinking as a pathway to improve the use of knowledge in building resilience to climate-related hazards. In Martins, N; Santos, P; Lizarralde, G; Egbelakin, T; Rose, J and Mendes, J. Investing in Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience. Elsevier.
  • Rizvi, M.J; Islam, M.R; Adekola, O; and Margaret, O.N. (2020). A sustainable shipbreaking approach for cleaner environment and better wellbeing. Journal of Cleaner Production, 270, 122522.
  • Adekola, O; Lamond, J; Adelekan, I; and Eze, B. (2020). Evaluating Flood Adaptation Governance in the city of Calabar, Nigeria. Climate and Development. 12(9), 840-853.
  • Ayeni, A; Ogunsesan, A; and Adekola, O. (2019). Provisioning ecosystem services provided by the Hadejia Nguru Wetlands, Nigeria–current status and future priorities. Scientific African, 5, e00124.
  • Cheng, M; Adekola, O; Pringle Barnes, G; and Tian, L. (2019). The Perceived Impact of Intercultural Awareness on Peer Interaction: Study of a UK University. In: Pritchard, R; O'Hara, M; Milsom, C; Williams, J; and Matei, L (eds.) The Three Cs of Higher Education Competition, Collaboration and Complementarity. Hungary, CEU Press, 169-184.
  • Lamond, J; Adekola, O; Adelekan, I; Eze, B. and Ujoh, F. (2019). Information for adaptation and response to flooding, multi-stakeholder perspectives in Nigeria. Climate, 7(4), 46.
  • Cheng, M; Friesen, A; and Adekola, O. (2019). Using emotion regulation to cope with challenges: a study of Chinese students in the United Kingdom. Cambridge Journal of Education, 49, 133-145.

Non-peer reviewed publications (excluding degree projects)

  • Lamond, J; Adekola, O; Adelekan, I; Bhattacharya-Mis, N; Eze, B; and Ujoh, F. (Forthcoming). Adaptation of Urban Infrastructure to Enhance Climate Resilience in Nigeria. London: ICF International.
  • Oliveira, S; Burch, J; Hutchison, K; Adekola, O; Jaradat, S; and Jones, M. (2017). Making modular stack up: modern methods of construction in social housing
  • Chan, F; Loh, C; MacDonald, A; Mitchell, G; and Adekola, O. (2010). Rich delta, costly flooding. Civic Exchange, Hong Kong.
  • Adekola, O. (2007). Facilitating information exchange in ecosystem: Development of an interactive database. Unpublished internship report. Wageningen University, Netherlands.
  • Adekola, O. (2004). Poverty Depth Appraisal: A Case Study of Oju LGA of Benue State. 2003. Unpublished Community Development Project Report submitted to National Youth Service Corps, Benue State, Nigeria.

Conference papers and presentations

  • Lamond, J; Adekola, O. (2018). Exploring system thinking as a pathway to improve the use of knowledge in building resilience to climate-related hazards. In 8th International Conference on Building Resilience (ICBR 2018), Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Adekola, O; Everett, G; Lamond, J (2018). A Proposal for a Community Engagement Framework for Co-Developing Blue-Green Infrastructure (BGI) in the Built Environment. In Architecture, Media, Politics Society conference on Health: The Design, Planning and Politics of How and Where We Live, 25-26 January 2018, Bristol, United Kingdom.
  • Terdoo, F; Adekola, O. (2015). Exploring institutional dimension of climate-smart agriculture in Nigeria: Third International Conference on Climate-Smart Agriculture, 16 – 18 March, Montpellier, France.
  • Adekola, O; Terdoo, F. (2015). How smart is Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA)? – Lessons from Northern Nigeria: Third International Conference on Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA), 16 – 18 March, 2015, Montpellier, France.
  • Adekola, O (2011). West African Lakes: importance to dependent communities and threats to ecosystem services. In 14th World Lake Conference, 30th October – 4th November 2011, Austin, Texas, USA.
  • Adekola, O; Morardet, S; Grelot, F; de Groot, R (2007). The value of provisioning services and livelihood dependence on the Ga-Mampa wetland, South Africa. In 8th WaterNet/WARFSA/GWP-SA Symposium, 31 October – 2 November 2007, Lusaka,. Zambia.
  • Adekola, O; Morardet, S; de Groot, R; Grelot F (2008). The economic and livelihood value of provisioning services of the Ga-Mampa wetland, South Africa. In 13th IWRA World Water Congress, 1 Sep – 4 September 2008, Montpellier, France.

Publication for general public

Publication for specialist audience

Professional activities

Community engagement

I am on the Stakeholder Advisory Group for the York Community Woodland project and the City of York Council's 'York Sustainability Group'.

Membership of professional organisations

  • Ecosystem Service Partnership (ESP)
  • International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC)
  • Royal Geographical Society (with Institute of British Geographers) (RGS)