Transregional Collaborative Research Grants


Why do people at the margins often experience a disproportionate burden of environmental stresses in climate- vulnerable locations? How do the local, regional, or national policies respond to those inequalities? This project approaches these questions from a transdisciplinary and transregional perspective comparing Rakhine ethnic minorities in the south central coastal Bangladesh and low-caste scheduled Munda tribe in the South 24 Parganas district in the Indian state of West Bengal. The aim of this transregional research is to create a critical foundation for the collective understanding of the multidimensional aspects of the social vulnerability of minorities across the upper Bay of Bengal region.

Principal Investigators

Atikul Islam

Professor, Khulna University, Bangladesh

Dr. Islam has 17 years of research experience in the field of environmental management including water resources management, community-based adaptation to climate change, disaster risk reduction, environmental pollution, and public health. Dr. Islam has completed BSc in environmental science from Khulna University (Bangladesh), an MSc in Water Resources Development from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Bangladesh), and Dr. Eng. in Systems Design and Engineering from Yamaguchi University (Japan). He has also worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of New South Wales (Australia) and the University of Zagreb (Croatia). Through his research career, Dr. Islam gained critical skills and experience on community-based adaptation to climate change and disaster risk reduction, and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for disaster management. In addition, he has the experience to understand the complex physical science related to environmental change. He published 34 peer-reviewed journal articles and presented research findings in international conferences across the world. In addition, he is also very active in international research collaboration focusing on climate change adaptation and disaster management. Currently, Dr. Islam is serving as a professor in the Environmental Science Discipline at Khulna University in Bangladesh, which is one of the leading universities in the country conducting research related to climate change impacts in southern Bangladesh.

Saleh Ahmed

Assistant Professor, Boise State University

Dr. Saleh Ahmed is serving as an assistant professor in the School of Public Service at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho (USA). He is a core faculty member in the Global Studies, and Environmental Studies program. As an interdisciplinary environmental social scientist, Dr. Ahmed’s research focuses on human dimensions of global environmental change. His projects include work on climate justice, equitable resilience, and inclusive adaptation. Some of his recent works have appeared in Local Environment, Sustainability Science, Asian Affairs, and Journal of Land Use Science. Most of his works are collaborative with the substantial involvement of undergraduate and graduate students. In addition to his academic and intellectual contributions, Dr. Ahmed is also very active in public service scholarship and community outreach. He is a member of several professional organizations, such as the International Studies Association, the American Institute of Bangladesh Studies, and the American Association of Geographers. Dr. Ahmed has an interdisciplinary PhD from the University of Arizona (USA) with a minor in Global Change and Certificate in Science Communication. He has also master’s degrees in sociology from the Utah State University (USA), Spatial Planning from the Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), Regional Science from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany), and a bachelor’s in Urban and Rural Planning from Khulna University (Bangladesh). Dr. Ahmed is originally from coastal Bangladesh, and his first-hand experiences with various natural hazards inspired him to understand social vulnerability, inclusive adaptation, and equitable resilience focusing on that region.

Nisha Bellinger

Associate Professor of Political Science, Boise State University

Nisha Bellinger is an associate professor of political science in the School of Public Service at Boise State University. She completed her PhD in political science from the University of Missouri in 2012 and has MA and BA degrees from India. She studies political-economic themes in a global context and has regional expertise in India as well. In particular, her research explores the causes and consequences of human well-being outcomes with a focus on developing countries and she uses quantitative as well as qualitative methodology in her research. She is the author of the book Governing Human Well-Being: Domestic and International Determinants (Palgrave Macmillan 2018) and her research appears in journals such as the European Political Science Review, International Political Science Review, and Journal of Politics, among others. She will serve as one of the Co-PIs in this project.