Sophie Erfurth conducts research on common pool resource governance in relation to political instability and hydroclimatic risks. Her academic work seeks to shed light on processes of policy- and decision-making in the water sector through the lens of historical institutionalism. She explores how formal and informal rules, norms, and trust mediate the likelihood of collective action in groundwater user groups. In linking policy to natural processes, her research strives to contribute to coupled systems modelling and analysis of social and hydrological interactions.
Prior to her doctoral studies, she served as policy officer at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Within the framework of the BMZ graduate programme, she worked as a hydrogeologist for Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) in Tunisia providing technical support on groundwater management to the governments of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Sophie holds a BSc in Geography from University College London and an MEM in Water Resources Management from Duke University.