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Professor in the Department of Geography
Executive Director & Wilson Chair of Hazard and Risk in the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience+44 (0) 191 33 45251


Since 1 March 2023, I have been the Wilson Chair of Hazard and Risk, and the Executive Director of the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience (IHRR), Durham University, where I am also affiliated with the Geography Department.

My research focuses on multi-hazard interrelationships along with single hazard research in landslides, earthquakes, floods and wildfires. Research subthemes include anthropogenic processes, invasive species, time-series analyses, mathematical models, visualization, complexity, confronting models with data, and communicating science.

Previous to coming to Durham University, I received a BA in physics from Reed College (1986), spent two years in the US Peace Corps (1986-1988) as a high-school teacher of chemistry/physics in Niger, West Africa, and three years at Stanford Linear Accelerator (1988-1991) as an accelerator operation and operations engineer. I then received a PhD in geophysics/stratigraphy from Cornell University (1998) working with Terry Jordan and Don Turcotte, after which I was a Fulbright Fellow (1998-1999) studying natural hazards at IANIGLA in Mendoza, Argentina. Most recently (9/2000−2/2023), and the majority of my academic career, I spent a very enjoyable 22.5 years as Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader and then Professor of Natural & Environmental Hazards in the Geography Department, King’s College London.

I was President for four years (2007−2011) of the Natural Hazards Division of the European Geosciences Union (EGU), Programme Committee Chair for the EGU General Assembly (2010-2011) and Programme Co-Chair of the AOGS–EGU Conference Series on New Dimensions for Natural Hazards in Asia (2018−2022).

From 2015-2022, I was PI on 6 research grants (£1.9M to KCL, NERC/EC/FCDO/DFID/ESA) and Co-I on 5 research grants (£2.8M to KCL, NERC/EC/ESRC/GCRF), particularly acting as workpackage or theme leader on multi-hazard interrelationships.

I am also executive editor of Natural Hazards & Earth System Sciences (NHESS) and have authorship on >80 peer-review publications with >10,000 citations (Google Scholar) to my publications.


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