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Citizens as sensors? Reconceptualising the role of people in modelling and monitoring flood risk

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Personal profile


I am an interdisciplinary geographer interested in the management of water and river catchments, and concepts centred around community participation in environmental decision-making and resilience. 

I have previously lectured at Teesside University, where I designed and delivered the physical geography components of the BSc Geography programme. I have taught across a broad range of topics including fluvial geomorphology and river management, Geographical Information Systems, and Water Management. 

I also have a background in environmental consultancy, having worked for a number of years at Jacobs Engineering at the beginning of my career as a flood risk management specialist. I continue to work closely with water and flood management practitioners to develop my research. 

My doctoral research explored community participation in catchment and river management and flood risk, exploring how people can be better integrated into the practices of flood risk management. I continue these research themes and am currently working on a Defra funded project exploring the reconceptualisation of Sustainable Drainage Systems as agents of urban development. Alongside this work I have also recently published papers on Interbasin Water Transfer, and I continue to develop research in this area. 

A am currently an independent member of the Northumbria Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (NRFCC) where I have a remit for community and resilience activities. I also serve on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Flood Risk Management. 

Research interests

My research sits at the intersection of physical and human geography and is primarily focused on citizen participation in water management, with a particular interest in flooding and flood management. I draw from a broad range of methods from numerical modelling and traditional physical field research to participatory action research. 

In particular I am interested in:

  • The role of people in catchment and river management
  • The development of flood resilience at a community level
  • The development of more inclusive and participatory practices of environmental decision-making and management
  • Sustainability, participation, and power in large-scale water management schemes

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 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Education/Academic qualification

Geography, PhD

11 Jan 201931 Dec 2099

Award Date: 11 Jan 2019


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