I have had an interest in natural hazards since I was at school. At the University of Southampton I studied Geography and took as many courses as possible related to natural hazards. But it wasn’t enough, so I followed this interest to the University of Bristol and studied the MSc Science of Natural Hazards course there. Whilst on a field trip to Guatemala, I realised that this was my passion and I wanted to be able to help people who are affected by or at risk from natural hazards.
I went on to complete a PhD at the University of Southampton on multiple and cascading natural hazards, specifically looking at the interaction between earthquakes and landslides. After I submitted my PhD, I was lucky to get an opportunity to do a three month internship with the Overseas Development Institute. I am now an Independent Consultant and I have worked on projects for organisations such as the United Nations, the Overseas Development Institute, Practical Action Consulting, and the World Bank within the Climate Change, and Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery teams.
My academic background has been mostly modelling based, in the scientific/technical side of natural hazards. But over the course of my PhD years, through reading around the subject, talking and listening to experts at hazard conferences, and through learning of the current disasters as they evolve, I have realised that my real interest is in the human side of natural hazards.
I have come to realise there is only a limited amount we can do to ‘stop’ these hazards from occurring as they are natural phenomena and part of the way the world works. Instead, what we can concentrate on is the human element. By improving the communication of knowledge from experts to those on the ground, affected by the hazards, we can empower them to become more resilient to hazards.
In 2015 I set up a company to work from as an Independent Consultant. Natural Hazard Consulting provides a range of consulting services worldwide, for companies, governments, government agencies, NGOs, and others on natural hazard-related information. Please visit the website for further details or to enquire about consulting services.
This blog will cover a range of hazards and a range of topics related to disasters. Hopefully it will evolve and incorporate new knowledge and experience as I develop my career in disaster research. In the future, I will be getting guest bloggers to post their opinions or experiences on here. If you would like to have a blog post published on this site, please contact me. I welcome and appreciate questions, comments and opinions. I hope you find this useful and informative.