Kimberley Thomas


Assistant Professor

I am human-environment geographer broadly interested in environmental politics, water governance, human vulnerability to environmental change, and climate justice. I previously worked on marine and coastal systems of Hawaii and British Columbia and currently conduct research in the deltas of Vietnam and Bangladesh.

International Water Politics

Nearly every non-island state sits partially or wholly within a transboundary river basin. My research examines how states negotiate conflicts around shared water resources, including issues of resource distribution, access, and hazards. This project focuses on conflicts between India and Bangladesh over the Ganges River and examines how uneven power dynamics between states affect international water cooperation. This work also draws attention to the relationship between state borders and international waterbodies, demonstrating how borders and international rivers influence each other and with what effects. 

Selected publications:

Thomas, K.A. 2017. The Ganges Water Treaty: 20 years of cooperation, on India's terms. Water Policy. 19(4): 724-740.

Thomas, K.A. 2017. Governing international rivers in the Anthropocene. IN: Clarke-Sather et al. The shifting geopolitics of water in the Anthropocene. Geopolitics. 22(2): 332–359.

Thomas, K.A. 2017. The river-border complex: A border-integrated approach to transboundary water governance. Water International. 42(1); 34-53.

Thomas, K. 2017. The "mundane violence" of international water conflicts. Education About Asia. 22(2): 36-41.

Research Interests

  • International water politics
  • political ecology
  • resource governance
  • vulnerability
  • hazards
  • climate change adaptation
  • Asia

Previous Appointments

  • A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania (2015-2017)


  • PhD Geography, Rutgers University
  • MSc Oceanography, University of Hawaii
  • BSc Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Victoria

Courses Taught

  • GEOG 030: Environment and Society in a Changing World
  • GEOG 497: Capitalism, Labor, and the Environment
  • GEOG 530: The Politics of Water


J. Warren Nystrom Dissertation Award (2016)