Kris Chan

Kris Chan


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Research interests (short)

Title: Environmental Impacts of Hydroelectric Dams in the Greater Mekong Subregion

Member of the Environment, Politics and Development research group.

Research interests


The GMS is experiencing unprecedented hydropower expansion with more than 100 dams proposed to power Southeast Asia’s ‘tiger-cub’ economies. The demand for electricity and an abundance of freshwater however act to threaten one of the world’s most biologically significant regions. Presently, the environmental impacts of dams in the region remain critically understudied due to a paucity of environmental data, limited funding, and the relative prioritisation of social impacts. With the rate of dam construction increasing – including construction on the previously undammed mainstreams of the lower Mekong and Salween rivers  such information is vital to ensuring decision-makers are fully informed of the environmental risk, enabling better mitigation or avoidance of environmental harm.

Through a multimethodological approach utilising time-series satellite imagery and local ecological knowledge, it is hoped that a more comprehensive understanding of the environmental impacts of large dams in the GMS can be gained. 



Hydropower in the Mekong; Southeast Asian ecology; Environmental Impact Assessments; Hydro-hegemony; Geographical Information Systems; Local knowledge bases


Biographical details

After graduating from Durham with a Geography BSc, Kris completed a Masters' in Conservation at University College London. Following such time, Kris worked as an environmental consultant within the UK before starting his PhD at King's.

Kris has amassed extensive ecological research experience having undertaken a number of ecological research expeditions in the Ecuadorian Amazon, on the Meso-American Barrier reef and regularly conducting environmental surveys in the UK. During his time at university, Kris helped set up and participated in a student-led research expedition in the Philippines. Kris is currently a Fellow of the Linnean Society, Amphibian Officer for Hertfordshire Amphibian & Reptile Group and regularly participates in ecological surveys and conservation activities.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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