The Risky Cities Project Team
Dr Briony McDonagh (PI)
Risky Cities Project Lead and Professor of Environmental Humanities at the Energy & Environment Institute at the University of Hull
I’m a historical geographer and environmental historian with research interests in the green-blue humanities. I’m particularly interested in histories and cultures of water and flood from the medieval period to the modern day. I’ve also published widely on women’s histories and the historical geographies of property, enclosure and the commons. My book, Elite Women and the Agricultural Landscape 1700-1830 (Routledge, 2017), won Joan Thirsk Memorial Prize and Women’s History Network Book Prize, and I’m a former President of the Geography Section of the British Science Association. I’m really excited to be leading this project and delighted to be working with communities and arts organisations in delivering on our objectives.
Dr Gill Hughes (CI)
Lecturer in Education Studies at the University of Hull
I am a Lecturer in the School of Education in Youth Work and Community Development/Education Studies and convenor for Social Justice research theme. I host a community partnership project – #thehullwewant seeking needs and dreams for the future of Hull. I am also a CI with Sheffield University MAGIC project – a community led approach to managing flood resilience. In addition, Dr Chris Skinner and I have a science and engagement project, relating to flooding in Hull, co-creating an environment forum with members of Hull Young People’s Parliament and the Voice and Influence Team, Hull City Council. I am also a joint co-ordinator for the Wellcome Trust / British Science Association innovative pilot of the ideas fund in Hull.
In Risky Cities I am involved in working with communities and young people to develop relational approaches to engagement and co-production. I am really excited to be part of this innovative and inspiring project exploring water cultures with communities in Hull.
Dr Stewart Mottram (CI)
Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Hull
I am a Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Hull, specialising in interdisciplinary approaches to English seventeenth-century literature, history, and culture. Combining literature with environmental history, my current research focuses on water management in the Humber estuary, and on representations of water and flooding in the writing of the ‘tide of Humber’ poet, Andrew Marvell (1621-78). I’ve been working on the life and literature of Andrew Marvell for several years now. I’m author of Ruin and Reformation in Spenser, Shakespeare, and Marvell (OUP, 2019), and in 2019-20 led an AHRC/XR Stories Creative Industries project combining disciplinary and industry expertise to virtually recreate a 1640s flood of Hull. You can watch our 360 film showing flood damage to Marvell’s Hull: here. I’m delighted to be leading the ‘Fictions of Flooding’ strand for Risky Cities, using research into representations of flooding in historical literature to inspire communities to learn more about flood risks and resilience today.
Dr Sam Ramsden
Research Associate: Flood Resilience in Vulnerable Communities at the Energy & Environment Institute at the University of Hull
My main focus is managing a research project exploring flood resilience for the University of Hull & Living with Water (a partnership between local councils, Yorkshire Water and the Environment Agency). I conducted a survey of over 650 households focusing on their experiences of flooding, and their flood awareness and resilience. The results of this survey have been fed back to communities, the private sector, flood risk management agencies and academia and have featured in a major feature on Channel 4 news.
Dr Amy Skinner (CI)
Senior Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Practice in the School of the Arts at the University of Hull
I am a Senior Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Practice in the School of the Arts at the University of Hull. I began my career as a specialist in Russian and Early Soviet theatre, where I learnt a lot about theatre directing, stage design and puppetry. My book Meyerhold and the Cubists (on connections between theatre and fine art in the 1920s) was long-listed for the Best Publication award at the international Prague Quadrennial of Theatre and Performance Design in 2019. I now mainly work on the relationship between theatre and personal or social change, with a particular interest in engaging families and children with environmental issues. I am a theatre director, puppet-maker and storyteller, and in 2017, I collaborated with The Roaring Girls and playwright Zodwa Nyoni to create a sell-out City of Culture production called Weathered Estates. I am passionate about arts access for everyone!
Professor Tom Coulthard (CI)
Professor of Physical Geography at the Energy & Environment Institute at the University of Hull
Flooding and how people are affected by flooding has been one of my main research interests since the widespread flooding in Hull in Summer of 2007. Following this event, I was asked to chair – and prepare – a report into the impact of the flooding on Hull. This report ended up being one of the first to investigate the flooding that affected many areas on the country that Summer – and our findings have helped shape national flood policy across the UK. What became apparent from this research was how little we understand how flooding affects people in the medium and long term. Aside from physical damage to property and possessions there are large gaps in how the mental and physical health of flood affected people have suffered. Key to this is how prepared or resilient populations are to flooding – including the awareness of the risks and what flooding might mean. These are issues are those we are especially interested in within Risky Cities and I’m looking forward to how the project will tackle these.
Dr Stuart McLelland
Deputy Director of the Energy & Environment Institute at the University of Hull
I’m Deputy Director of the Energy and Environment Institute of the University of Hull, and my research is focused on the physical modelling of rivers and estuaries – particularly understanding how climate change impacts on these environments. Over the past 12 months, I’ve led the development of our new MSc programme on Flood Risk Management to help train future leaders to respond to flood risk. This project is an excellent opportunity to bring a new dimension to flood resilience by using the arts to engage with people and enable them to be more resilient themselves.
Professor Dan Parsons
Director of the Energy & Environment Institute at the University of Hull
As well as leading the University of Hull’s Energy and Environment Institute, I am an active researcher in areas related to fluvial, estuarine, coastal and deep marine sedimentary environments. I’m particularly interested in exploring the responses of these systems to climate and environmental change. I have research interests in anthropogenic disturbances to these systems and determining how society should adapt to mitigate the impacts of change – for example understanding how evolving flood risk on large mega-deltas can impact populations and related regional and global food security – through to understanding the impact of plastics, particularly in coastal and marine environments.
The Energy and Environment Institute (EEI) is a multidisciplinary team of over 100 researchers who conduct impactful research on the global challenges presented by environmental change, anthropogenic impacts and securing a low-carbon energy supply. The EEI also hosts three taught MSc programmes as well as being home to the EPSRC-NERC Aura Centre for Doctoral Training in Offshore Wind and Environment.
Dr Chris Skinner
Research Fellow in Flood Risk & Resilience at the Energy & Environment Institute at the University of Hull
I am a Research Fellow in the Energy and Environment Institute specialising in flood risk and resilience. I completed my PhD ‘Satellite-driven hydrological modelling of an African river basin’ in 2013 under the supervision of Dr Tim Bellerby. I have since worked on research positions for the Dynamic Humber and the NERC-funded Flooding from Intense Rainfall projects.
I specialise in computer modelling of flooding and geomorphology (the study of how landscapes change), particularly using the CAESAR-Lisflood model. My work includes modelling for the Environment Agency and Hull City Council.
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