Rupert Stuart-Smith is awarded Alfred Steers dissertation prize

26 May 2020

Rupert Stuart-Smith has been awarded the Alfred Steers Dissertation Prize by the Royal Geographical Society (with with the Institute of British Geographers).

Rupert's dissertation models the impact of climate change on Palcaraju glacier in the Cordillera Blanca mountains of Peru. The retreat of this glacier has led to the formation of Lake Palcacocha, which now threatens to burst on the city of Huaraz and is the subject of an ongoing court case in which a local farmer is attempting to hold RWE (the German energy company) legally responsible for part of the costs of protecting the city against this devastating flood, based on their contribution to climate change.

Rupert's research, as well as his subsequent work on the glacier, has demonstrated that climate change has caused the retreat of this glacier, with potential implications for the legal responsibility of major emitters of greenhouse gases.

Since completing his dissertation, Rupert has developed his research in the Peruvian Andes into a journal article (presently in review) with Prof. Gerard Roe from the University of Washington, and Myles Allen & Sihan Li (ECI, Oxford). Rupert’s current research focuses on methodological developments in climate change attribution science and considers how scientific evidence can be mobilised most effectively in legal and policy contexts.

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Find out more about the Alfred Steers Dissertation Prize

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