Academic Profile

Liam Saddington is an ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Liam completed his DPhil in Geography and the Environment at the School in 2021, with his thesis "Rising Seas and Sinking Island: The Geopolitics of Climate Change in Tuvalu and Kiribati".

Liam first entered the department to read for a BA in Geography in 2013, before completing his MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance in 2017. In 2018 and 2019, Liam was a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of the South Pacific.

Current Research

Liam is a political and environmental geographer whose research focuses on the geopolitics of climate change concerning small island states and rising sea levels. His work explores how the relationship between territory and statehood is being reimagined in low-lying atolls in light of rising sea levels. It examines how space and time shape understandings of climate change and the implications for critical geopolitics, adaptation, and diplomacy.

Liam is interested in how different forms of knowledge are mobilised in controversies over the futures of atoll states. Specifically, he is interested in how vertical geopolitics and geographies of the ocean intersect in the construction of atoll states as "sinking islands" and resistance to this term. His research focuses on the small island states of Tuvalu and Kiribati in the South Pacific.


Liam also holds a Career Development Lectureship at Jesus College. He teaches across a range of human and environmental geography papers as well as supervising undergraduate dissertations. In Hilary 2021, Liam was the Lecturer for the Geopolitics in the Margins option.

Selected Publications

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Book Reviews

Conference Papers

  • Saddington, L.R. (2020) Large oceanic or small island state? Seychelles' Island Imaginaries and the Blue Economy. Global Island Studies Webinar, International Small Islands Studies Association.
  • Saddington, L.R. (2019) Migrating with Dignity or Resilient Kiribati? Contested Narratives of Adaptation in Kiribati. Postgraduate and Early Career Research Development Workshop on Critical Climate Change Research, Centre for Climate Justice, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow.
  • Saddington, L.R. (2018) Migration in the Pacific World. Climate Change: Migrating with Dignity? Pacific Worlds in Global History, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  • Saddington, L.R. (2018) Small Island Imaginaries, Climate Change and Geopolitics: An Examination of Seychelles and Kiribati, International Conference on Sustainable Alternatives to Poverty Reduction and Ecological Justice, University of the South Pacific, Fiji.