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Assoc Prof Gina Ziervogel


Associate Professor

Room: 4.03.1
Tel: 021-6504796

DPhil (Oxford), Hons (Rhodes), Bsc (UCT)

Academic Profile

Associate Professor Gina Ziervogel is a geographer by training, with 15 years of experience in the field of adaptation and vulnerability to global environmental change. She is a lecturer in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science researching issues related to development in a context of climate change. Through this she has focused on a number of areas including municipal adaptation strategies, institutional barriers and enablers to adaptation, flood governance, water and food security. Gina completed her PhD in Geography at the University of Oxford in 2002 after completing her BSc at the University of Cape Town and her Honours in Environmental Water Management at Rhodes University.

Research Interests

  • Adaptation to climate change 
  • Building adaptive and transformative capacity across scales
  • Southern African development under climate change
  • Urban environmental governance
  • Applied research and engaged scholarship
  • Transdisciplinary research and action

Selected Publications


Ziervogel, G., Cowen, A. & Ziniades, J., 2016. Moving from adaptive to transformative capacity : building foundations for inclusive, thriving and regenerative urban settlements. Sustainability, 8, pp.1–26. (Download article).

Ziervogel, G., Archer van Garderen, E. and Price, P. (2016). Strengthening the science-policy interface through co-production of a climate adaptation plan: leveraging opportunities in Bergrivier municipality, South Africa. Environment and Urbanization.  1-20. (Abstract)

Magnan, A. K., E.L.F. Schipper, M. Burkett, S. Bharwani, I. Burton, S. Eriksen, F. Gemenne, J. Schaar, and G. Ziervogel. (2016). Addressing the Risk of Maladaptation to Climate Change.” Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change. doi:10.1002/wcc.409.

Ziervogel, G., Waddell, J., Smit, W. and Taylor, A. (2016). Flooding in Cape Town’s Informal Settlements: Barriers to Collaborative Urban Risk Governance. South African Geographical Journal 98 (1): 1–20. doi:10.1080/03736245.2014.924867.

Shackleton, S. Ziervogel, G. Sallu, S. Gill, T. and Tschakert, P., (2015) Why is socially-just climate change adaptation in sub-Saharan Africa so challenging? A review of barriers identified from empirical cases. WIREs Climate Change. 6. 321-344. doi: 10.1002/wcc.335

Ziervogel, G., New, M., Archer Van Garderen, E., Midgley, G., Taylor, A., Hamann, R. Stuart-hill, S., Myers, J. and Warburton, M. (2014). Climate change impacts and adaptation in South Africa. WIRES Climate Change. 5. 5. 605-620. doi:10.1002/wcc.295 (Download Article)

Pasquini, L., Ziervogel, G., Cowling, R. M., & Shearing, C. (2014). What enables local governments to mainstream climate change adaptation? Lessons learned from two municipal case studies in the Western Cape, South Africa. Climate and Development, 0(0), 1-11. doi:10.1080/17565529.2014.886994

Pasquini, L., Cowling, R.M. & Ziervogel, G. (2013) Facing the heat: barriers to mainstreaming climate change adaptation in local government in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. Habitat International 40: 225-232.

Wiid, N. and Ziervogel, G. (2012) Adapting to climate change in South Africa: commercial farmers' perception of and response to changing climate. South African Geographical Journal. 94 (2). 152-173.

Frayne, B., Moser, C. and Ziervogel, G. (eds). (2012) Climate change, assets and food security in southern African cities. Routledge. Abingdon, U.K.

Wågsæther, K. and Ziervogel, G. (2011). Bridging the communication gap: An exploration of the climate science-water management interface. Environment. 53. 3. 33-43.

Quinn, C.H., Ziervogel, G., Takama, T., Taylor, A. and Thomalla, F. (2011) Coping with multiple stresses in rural South Africa. Ecology and Society. 16 (3): 2. [online] URL:

Ziervogel, G. and Ericksen, P. (2010). Adapting to climate change to sustain food security. WIRES Climate Change. 1. 525-540.

Ziervogel, G, Shale, M. and Du, M (2010). Climate change adaptation in a developing country context: The case of urban water supply in Cape Town. Climate and Development. 2. 94-110.

Ziervogel, G., Johnston, P., Matthew, M. and Mukheibir, P. (2010) Using climate information for supporting climate change adaptation in water resource management in South Africa. Climatic Change. 103. 3-4. 537-554.

Ziervogel G and Zermoglio F (2009) Climate-change scenarios and the development of adaptation strategies in Africa: challenges and opportunities. Climate Research, 40(2-3): 133-146.

O'Brien K, Quinlan T and Ziervogel G (2009). Vulnerability interventions in the context of multiple stressors: lessons from the Southern Africa Vulnerability Initiative (SAVI).Environmental Science and Policy. 12 (1) 23-32.

Ziervogel, G. and Drimie, S. (2008). The integration of support for HIV/AIDS and livelihood security: District level institutional analysis in southern Africa. Population and Environment. 28. 3-4.

Ziervogel, G., Nyong, A., Osman-Elasha, B. Conde, C., Cortés, S. and Downing, T. (2008) 'Household food security and climate change: comparisons from Nigeria, Sudan, South Africa and Mexico'. In Leary, Conde, Kulkarni, Nyong and Pulhin. Climate Change and Vulnerability. Earthscan.

Ziervogel, G. and Taylor, A. (2008). Feeling Stressed: Integrating Climate Adaptation with Other Priorities in South Africa. Environment. 50, 2. 32-41.

Mukeibir, P. and Ziervogel, G. (2007). Developing a Municipal Adaptation Plan (MAP) for climate change: the city of Cape Town. Environment & Urbanization. 19(1).

Ziervogel, G., Bharwani, S. and Downing, T.E. (2006). Adapting to climate variability: pumpkins, people and policy. Natural Resource Forum. 30 (4). 294-305.

Please see my personal webpage for a list of links to my older publications