My Ph.D. project will look to diversify and develop the detail of potential approaches towards understanding the interactions between social, geographical and physical elements within the dynamic urban landscapes of our world. The overall aim being a contribution to a framework of analysis that accounts for the complex of factors that do combine with physical phenomona and result in a catastrophe or it's avoidance.
My previous research has centred on the historical evolution of flood dynamics in Britain. Using a geo-statistical methodology for 12 cities across the UK, the processes of exposure and vulnerability were illustrated over 2000 years of settlement. The broad findings of this work are discussed in the Natural Hazards journal article, Urban flooding in Britain: An approach to comparing ancient and contemporary flood exposure (2020).
My doctoral training at Bristol, funded in-part by Bristol University and further by the EWS Academic Trust's Exceptional Contribution Award, has developed the theoretical and analytical core of this method for mapping urban flood process further by using a multi-disciplinary approach informed by an agent-based platform combined with the LISFLOOD-FP hydrodynamic model. This has provided scope to discuss the finer responses and interactions of urban populations affected by flood hazards that are assumed under the umbrella terms of vulnerability and risk but not fully understood in their cause and full effect. This thesis has necessitated the incorporation of concepts from multiple domains of research to address the nature of these causes and effects, be they rooted in human or environmental phenomena. The preliminary findings of this work can be read in the Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, Groundbreaking technologies, big data and innovation for disaster risk modelling and reduction special issue article; Testing the impact of direct and indirect flood warnings on population behaviour using an agent-based model (2020).
The final objective of this thesis will be to use the approach outlined to highlight the value of multiple incorporated methodologies in testing hypotheses that merge the boundaries of traditional scholarship. This will be guided through the Sendai and UN SDG frameworks and conceptually rooted in the multiple related conceptual networks of economics, sociology, philosophy and ecology to answer pressing questions that emerge at the burgeoning nexus of socio-environmental interaction in an era of perpetual uncertainty and high stakes.
Ph.D. Supervisors: Prof. Paul Bates & Dr. Jeffrey Neal (University of Bristol School of Geographical Sciences.)
Structured keywords and research groupings
- Cabot Institute City Futures Research
- Cabot Institute Water Research
- Cabot Institute Natural Hazards and Disasters Research