Ruben Weesie is a PhD researcher at VU Amsterdam, at the Water & Climate Risk and Environmental Policy Analysis groups. His research focuses on qualitative narratives of drought-to-flood events under the PerfectSTORM project. He focuses on how narratives related to drought-to-flood events are shaped, and how they affect anticipations and reactions to these events.

Ruben studied at Utrecht University and has a BSc in Human Geography and a MSc in Sustainable Development. During his studies, he developed a research interest for studying the effects of climate change adaptation projects, specifically water reservoirs and irrigation schemes in Kenya and Ghana. His fieldwork led to several academic publications and policy recommendations, focused on the conflictive and cooperative dynamics that adaptation projects often trigger.

After his studies, he worked as an international development consultant, providing advice on development issues related to (agro-)pastoralism in West Africa for DFID and IWAD Ghana as clients. Before starting his PhD, Ruben worked as a junior lecturer at the University of Amsterdam at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies (IIS).

Selected publications

  • Soeters, S., Weesie, R., & Zoomers, A. (2021). Land-based investments and the inevitability of increased farmer-Fulani pastoralist conflicts in Northern Ghana. In Handbook of Translocal Development and Global Mobilities. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Weesie, R. (2019). Towards Adaptive Commons: A Case Study of Agro-Pastoral Dams in Northern Ghana. Sustainability, 11(2), 319.
  • Weesie, R., & Kronenburg García, A. (2018). From Herding to Farming under Adaptation  Interventions in Southern Kenya: A Critical Perspective. Sustainability, 10(12), 4386.
  • Soeters, S., Weesie, R., & Zoomers, A. (2017). Agricultural Investments and Farmer-Fulani Pastoralist Conflict in West African Drylands: A Northern Ghanaian Case Study. Sustainability, 9(11), 2063.
  • Weesie, R. (2017). Briefing Paper: Making Dams Work in Northern Ghana.


PerfectSTORM has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number ERC-2020-StG 948601


Instituut voor Milieuvraagstukken (IVM) /

Institute for Environmental Studies

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

De Boelelaan 1111, 1081 HV Amsterdam

The Netherlands