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Ajay Bhave


I am an interdisciplinary environmental scientist exploring uncertainty, risks, climate change adaptation, and resilience pathways. At Newcastle University, I currently lead these research domains in the Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub. Over the last decade I have demonstrated how scenario analysis and decision making under uncertainty approaches can be customised for developing country contexts, by leveraging the strengths of natural, social and engineering science methods. I am at the forefront of thought-provoking research on exploring, characterising and communicating uncertainty using narrative approaches, and have highlighted how uncertainty in climatic and non-climatic factors affect future water security risks in developing country contexts.
I am interested in exploring how uncertain risks and performance needs of different water-related sectors could be managed in the future. I use knowledge co-production approaches that combine engagement of multi-sector stakeholders with modelling approaches, to analyse the decision contexts that are most important for stakeholders. Such approaches have helped me address issues around credibility, salience, and legitimacy of future climate and risks information, translate research into impact, and build long-term collaborations and relationships.

Trained in environmental sciences, policy and management, I have an interdisciplinary background. For my PhD, ‘Prioritization and evaluation of climate change adaptation options for the water sector’, I received the Jawaharlal Nehru Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. I have previously worked at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science, and the School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds.

Selected Publications
Bhave, A.G., Conway, D., Dessai, S., Dougill, A., Mkwambisi, D. (2022). Stress-testing development pathways under a changing climate: water-energy-food security in the lake Malawi-Shire river system. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 380(2221), 20210134. URL:
Bhave, A.G., et al. (2020) Lake Malawi’s threshold behaviour: A stakeholder-informed model to simulate sensitivity to climate change. Journal of Hydrology, 584, 124671, URL:
Dessai, S., Bhave, A. G., et al. Building narratives to characterise uncertainty in regional climate change through expert elicitation. Environmental Research Letters. 13 074005 URL:
Bhave, A. G., Conway, D., Dessai, S., & Stainforth, D. A. (2018) Water resource planning under future climate and socioeconomic uncertainty in the Cauvery River Basin in Karnataka, India. Water Resources Research, 54: 708-728. URL:
Bhave, A. G., Conway, D., Dessai, S., & Stainforth, D. A. (2016) Barriers and opportunities for robust decision making approaches to support climate change adaptation in the developing world, Climate Risk Management, 14: 1-10. URL:

climate change adaptationdecision making under uncertaintyrisk managementuncertainty

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