Personal profile


I am a geomorphologist and remote sensing scientist, specialising in low-cost applications for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).  I  developed and manage the MSc in Crisis and Disaster Management at the University of Portsmouth, working with practitioners to develop our SimEx disaster response simulation exercise, which is now one of the largest annual exercises in the world. After gaining a BSc in Geology & Geography at Nottingham University, my career started at Stirling University with PhD research examining the geomorphology of the Sierra Leone diamondfields. I have extensive experience of using geomorphology and remote sensing to map geohazards and natural resources, consulting for BP Minerals International, Rio Tinto, Pioneer Goldfields, Golden Star Resources, NorWest Resources and Adam Smith International, as well as the Environment Agency in the UK and  the overseas development agencies of Britain (DfID), Canada (CIDA), Germany (GTZ) and Japan (JICA). Recently I have been working on projects involving the UK Satellite Applications Catapult: applying remote sensing to deection of illicit gold mining in Collombia and climate change adaptation applications for small island states, in conjunction with the United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR).

Research Interests

My interests focus on low-cost uses of remote sensing for assessing hazards, vulnerability and risk, as well as geoinformatic capacity building in low-income countries and risk perception studies. My research includes industry-funded projects, from mapping of urban flood vulnerability, to satellite remote sensing of oil pollution in the Niger Delta. Recent projects funded by the ESRC and UKSA IPP use satellite remote sensing to detect and monitor illegal gold mining in the rainforests of Colombia. I led a NERC-funded team surveying impacts of Hurricane Maria in Dominica, using satellite data, drone photography and GIS for a forensic geomorphological analysis of destroyed infrastructure and fatality locations. I'm currently the Risk Science theme leader of the UK Space Agency IPP-funded CommonSensing project, using satellite imagery for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction applications in the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of Fiji, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.

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 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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