My educational and professional background has followed two main strands: one in the health and social care sector and the other in geosciences and natural hazards.
After a first degree in Human Cybernetics (University of Reading, 1997), I later gained an MA in Social Work (University of Nottingham, 2003). I worked with vulnerable adults in a number of social care services before moving into the regulation of health and social care as an inspector and finally as an analyst focussed on the development, analysis and use of health and social care datasets.
A career break in Latin America awakened an interest in understanding the natural world and especially volcanoes. So alongside my employment I gained a second undergraduate degree in Geosciences (Open University, 2012) and then an MSc in Geophysical Hazards (University College London, 2014). Projects have included reviewing the risk to aviation from Icelandic volcanic risk, and an examination of stress fields around Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano and their use in forecasting explosive episodes. I also spent an internship in Ecuador learning about volcano monitoring and community engagement.
My PhD project
My research begun in October 2014 and reflects my interdisciplinary interests in natural hazards and the people living with them. It is focussed on the island of Dominica in the Lesser Antilles, home to 70,000 people and with the highest density of potentially active volcanic centres in the world. Recognising the uncertainties surrounding future eruptive events, I will gather data on the volcanic hazard as well as apply social scientific methods to better understand the vulnerabilities and resilience of the local community. I will then use the approaches being developed by the STREVA project to integrate these interacting factors into a volcanic risk assessment.