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Ayesha Siddiqi PhD

Associate Professor in Human Geography

Ayesha is a postcolonial geographer whose research examines how disaster risks are produced and lived on the margins of the postcolony.


Prior to joining the department in January 2020, Ayesha was based at the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway University of London. She has an interdisciplinary background and has done considerable work on the interface of academia and policy, most recently for the UK’s Houses of Parliament.


  • Jan 2020 – : University Lecturer, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
  • May – Dec 2019: Senior Lecturer, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway University of London
  • Feb 2016 – May 2019: Lecturer, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway University of London
  • Mar 2015 – Jan 2016: Lecturer, Department of Social and Policy Sciences, University of Bath


  • PhD in War Studies and Geography, King’s College London
  • MA in Poverty and Development, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex
  • BSc in Economics, Lahore University of Management Sciences

Awards and grants


Ayesha’s research uses hazard-based disasters, floods, typhoons, landslides to interrogate political relations and power dynamics on the margins of the postcolonial state. Her work has broadly focused on the following themes:

  1. Social contracts, particularly using disasters to better understand the state-citizen relationship in the postcolony. In particular, exploring transformations through new political spaces that emerge in the aftermath of disasters.
  2. The lived experience of disasters in areas affected by conflict and insurgency. In postcolonial contexts where the state-citizen relationship is mediated through a range of different processes and actors, this work seeks to shed new light on the way disasters are lived and constructed.
  3. Postcolonial epistemologies and worldviews on disasters. This work is increasing engaging in dialogue with ‘Western’ science perspectives as well.


[Publications will load automatically from the University’s publications database…]


  • Part IB Development Theories, Policies and Practices
  • Part II Geographies of Postcolonialism and Decoloniality

External activities

Media coverage

Policy impact

Public exhibitions

  • Sept – Oct 2023: “Furia de los Rio: Sharing experiences” at Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Lima. This is an exhibition of 9 individual stories co-produced by residents and community artists in pen and ink on the temporality of living through floods in the north coast of Peru.
  • July – August 2019: “My Congo, My Story” at The Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre. This is an exhibition of 10 individual stories produced and illustrated by residents displaced from the Democratic Republic of Congo to South Africa due to environmental destruction and violence.