Dr Katrina Charles

Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow, School of Geography and the Environment


Dr Charles' research focuses on environmental health risks, using interdisciplinary approaches to analyse how we construct our understanding of environmental health risks, and how to communicate those risks to affect change. With her research team, which includes expertise in water quality, health and social sciences, and through partnerships with UNICEF and governments, she is leading work on drinking water quality and climate resilience that will help progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal for safe drinking water quality for all (SDG 6.1).

Her work has been funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), World Health Organization, UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and includes work in Bangladesh, Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Rwanda, and Uganda. Dr Charles undertook her PhD on a risk-based approach to management of decentralised wastewater treatment systems in Sydney's drinking water catchments in Australia. She joined the University of Oxford in 2013 having previously been a lecturer at the University of Surrey.


  • Water security in Africa and South Asia
  • Drinking water quality and the Sustainable Development Goals. Improving monitoring of drinking water quality in low- and middle-income countries, and use of data to create improvements in drinking water quality.
  • Working with scientists, policy makers, and practitioners in Africa and Asia
  • Climate’s contribution to water quality and health risks. The impact of weather and climate change on water and sanitation systems
  • Working with scientists and policy makers, as well as practitioners to build climate resilience

Media experience

Media experience includes recent coverage in The Telegraph.

British Science Association Media Fellowship, 2008, including media training and six weeks as writer with Nature News.

Currently commissioning PR firm TB Cardew and will receive one-on-one media training.