About Jesus College/Our community/ People
Dr Liam Saddington

Roles and subjects

Career Development Lecturer in Geography



Academic Background

Liam studied for both his BA in Geography and his MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance at the School of Geography and the Environment in Oxford.

He has taught on the FHS “Geopolitics in the Margins” Option as well as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Nature, Society and Environmental Governance MSc.

He has also taught on numerous Visiting Student schemes in Oxford.

Liam has worked as a Research Assistant on a project entitled “Youth Groups and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation Assembly”. He has twice been a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of the South Pacific.

Undergraduate Teaching

Prelims: Human Geography, Geographical Techniques, Geographical Controversies

FHS: Space, Place and Society, Geographical Thought, Environmental Governance

Postgraduate Teaching

Nature, Society and Environmental Governance MSc

Research Interests

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’s ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship is entitled “Prefiguring the Future: Climate Adaptation and Youth Diplomacy in Tuvalu”. Building on his doctoral research, this project has two focuses. Firstly, on the role that land reclamation plays in climate change adaptation in low-lying atoll states and its broader geopolitics. Secondly, the role of youth and youthful bodies within Tuvaluan climate diplomacy.

Since 2016, Liam has worked with Fiona McConnell on developing ‘Model UNPO’ teaching resources for primary and secondary schools. Supported by a University of Oxford’s Public Engagement with Research Seed Fund Award, they are currently adapting the materials for work with diasporic communities. As part of this project, Liam has been part of the preparatory team organising a weeklong session at the Council of Europe entitled “Unrepresented Diplomats: A Study Session for European Minority Youth on Shrinking Civic Space, Political Participation and Freedom of Association.”


Subject notes for courses taught at Jesus College:

See also School of Geography website.