I began my studies at Royal Holloway University, where I gained a BSc degree in Geology with Science Communication. During my final year (2004), I attended the Field Methods in Volcanology summer school at the Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes in Hawai’i which activated my fascination in volcanoes. Pursuing a desire to communicate science, I followed my undergraduate studies with an MSc in Science Media Production at Imperial College London. During a four year hiatus from academia, I put my studies into practice working for a communications agency specialising in communication of geological topics. I then moved to UEA to begin my PhD, which was completed in Spring 2012.
Room No: ENV 3.16
Tel No: +44 (0)1603 591338
Risk communication films: Process, product and potential for improving preparedness and behaviour change,
in International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
pp. 138-151Full Text UEA Repository
Adapting to changes in volcanic behaviour: Formal and informal interactions for enhanced risk management at Tungurahua Volcano, Ecuador,
in Global Environmental Change
pp. 217-226Full Text UEA Repository
Trajectories of social vulnerability during the Soufrière Hills volcanic crisis,
in Journal of Applied Volcanology
article no. 10Full Text UEA Repository
An interdisciplinary approach to volcanic risk reduction under conditions of uncertainty: A case study of Tristan da Cunha,
in Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS)
pp. 1871-1887Full Text UEA Repository
Tristan da Cunha: Constraining eruptive behavior using the 40Ar/39Ar dating technique,
pp. 723-726Full Text UEA Repository
Key Research Interests
I have a very interdisciplinary set of research interests including: physical volcanology, volcanic hazard and risk assessment, quantification of uncertainty, environmental and social impacts of volcanic eruptions, assessing vulnerability and resilience, ethnography, geochronology via 40Ar/39Ar dating, and science communication.
My PhD research is entitled, ‘An interdisciplinary approach to volcanic risk reduction under conditions of uncertainty: a case study of Tristan da Cunha’. This study adopted a holistic approach to volcanic risk reduction, integrating methodologies from the social and physical sciences in an analytic-deliberative framework. My research incorporated a new geochronology (40Ar/39Ar) with findings from an expert elicitation to attempt to quantify associated uncertainties. The entire project was developed in partnership with the local population of Tristan da Cunha and Foreign and Commonwealth Office representatives which permitted the use of an ethnographic approach to characterise community vulnerability and resilience. On-island participatory scenario planning was employed as a useful and effective anticipatory tool to building resilience and tailoring risk communication.
The project was funded by a join ESRC/NERC interdisciplinary studentship and the British University Funding Initiative, with 40Ar/39Ar analyses funded by a NERC NIGFSC grant.
Publications and Presentations
Hicks, A., Barclay, J., Mark, D., Loughlin, S. Tristan da Cunha: Constraining eruptive behavior using the 40Ar/39Ar dating technique. Geology, August 2012, v. 40, p. 723-726, first published on June 15, 2012, doi:10.1130/G33059.1
Hicks, A., Barclay, J., Simmons, P., Loughlin, S., Mark, D., Aspinall, W. 2012. An interdisciplinary approach to volcanic risk reduction: a case study of Tristan da Cunha. Presentation: VMSG, Durham.
Hicks, A., Barclay, J., Mark, D., Loughlin, S. 2011. Tristan da Cunha: informing future eruption scenarios using high-precision 40Ar/39Ar dating. Poster: VMSG, Durham
Hicks, A. No place like home. Article: Planet Earth, Autumn 2011
Hicks, A., Barclay, J., Aspinall, W. 2011. Tristan da Cunha: trialling expert elicitation for appraising eruption hazards in an ill-defined volcanic setting. Presentation: Soufriere Hills Volcano 15 Years On, Montserrat
Hicks, A., Barclay, J., Aspinall, W. 2011. Trial and examination of expert elicitation for appraising eruption hazards in an ill-defined volcanic setting. Presentation: Expert Judgement Workshop, TU Delft, Delft.
Hicks, A., Barclay, J., Aspinall, W. 2011. Tristan da Cunha: Trialling expert elicitation in an ill-defined volcanic setting. Poster: VMSG, University of Cambridge
Hicks, A. 2010. An interdisciplinary approach to volcanic risk reduction – a case study on Tristan da Cunha. Poster: Cities on Volcanoes 6. Tenerife, Spain
Hicks, A., Barclay, J., Simmons, P., Loughlin, S., Mark, D. 2010. An interdisciplinary approach to volcanic risk reduction under conditions of uncertainty: a case study on Tristan da Cunha. Abstract printed in Earthwise – Special Publication BGS 175th Anniversary Celebration
Hicks, K.E., Clegg, S.G., Hicks, A.J., Harrison, M., Garaebiti, E. 2009. Effects of elevated pH levels resulting from persistent volcanic degassing of SO2 on Ambrym Island, Vanuatu. Poster: 2009 International Summer School of Volcanology, Dodecanese, Greece.
Clegg, S.G., Hicks, K.E., Coulbeck, A., Harrison, M., Garaebiti, E., Monek, A. 2007. Exposure Risks to Local Populations from Volcanic Gas and Ash Emissions at Consistently Degassing Volcanoes in Vanuatu. Poster: Cities on Volcanoes 5, Shimabara, Japan.
Research Group Membership
I am currently working on a five-year interdisciplinary NERC/ESRC consortium project called ‘Strengthening Resilience in Volcanic Areas’ (STREVA). STREVA is led by UEA, but this £3 million project involves researchers at the University of Bristol, University of Leeds, University of Oxford, Overseas Development Institute and the British Geological Survey. STREVA’s project partners include the Montserrat Volcano Observatory, Instituto Geofisico Escuela Politecnica Nacional de Ecuador, Servicio Colombiano Geological (formerly INGEOMINAS), University of Exeter, Seismic Research Centre at the University of the West Indies, Vhub, VUELCO and Corporación OSSO, amongst many others.
During my PhD, my supervisory team comprised: Dr Jenni Barclay (UEA), Mr Peter Simmons (UEA) and Dr Sue Loughlin (British Geological Survey). I have worked closely with Dr Darren Mark in the Argon Isotope Facility at the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, and have also collaborated with Professor Willy Aspinall, now at the Cabot Institute, University of Bristol. I maintain contact with representatives of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, who sanctioned my research on Tristan da Cunha. My PhD was examined by Dr Irene Lorenzoni (UEA) and Professor Steve Sparks FRS.
- The settlement of Tristan da Cunha in 2009
- Schematic of methodological approach to my research
- 40Ar/39Ar ages and composition variation of dated samples from Tristan da Cunha