UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


UCL IRDR Monthly Seminar Series

07 May 2019, 5:00 pm–6:00 pm

border volcanoes

Border volcanoes: Complexity, interactions and assemblages

This event is free.

Event Information

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Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


25 Gordon Street, Room 500
Gordon Street
United Kingdom

7th May Seminar on Border volcanoes: Complexity, interactions and assemblages

Speaker: Dr Amy Donovan, Lecturer in Geography at the University of Cambridge

Dr Amy Donovan will discuss research results from a project on border volcanoes – and her future plans. She will engage too with recent work on geosociality in the geography literature, arguing for approaches to disaster risk that think across the social and physical sciences. She has recently been thinking about the ways in which material environments and their “liveliness” have impacted and continue to impact culture and politics in a dynamic way that has sometimes been lost in DRR when “hazard” and “vulnerability” are considered as separate entities. Her talk will present some of those (ongoing and incomplete) ruminations.

2018-2019 Seminars (all 5-6pm)
Tues 9th OctDavid Simmons, Willis Towers WatsonReinventing insurance – how insurance can help protect the vulnerable poor and eco-systemsRoberts LT G06
Tues 13th NovTerry Cannon, University of SussexWhat are Critcal Disaster StudiesMalet Place, Rm 103
Tues 4th DecIsla Hurley Brunt, Cabinet OfficeLocal and National Recovery ManagementMalet Place, Rm 103
Tues 8th JanJames Hammond, Birkbeck University of LondonMount Paektu Volcano Geoscientific Project: Science Diplomacy in North KoreaPearson G22
Tues 5th FebBen Whitaker, Founder and Head of Innovation at Masabi; Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence at UCL Transport InstituteResilience for Smart City technologyPearson G22
Tues 12th MartbctbcPearson G22
Tues 7th MayDr Amy Donocan, Lecturer in Geography at the University of CambridgeBorder volcanoes: Complexity, interactions and assemblages25 Gordon Street, Rm 500

About the Speaker

Dr Amy Donovan

Lecturer at University of Cambridge and Girton College

Dr Amy Donocan's research focusses on the human and physical processes around active volcanoes and in other precarious environments. She is particularly interested in how science encounters policy and culture.. She is PI of an ERC project entitled “Geographical imaginations and the (geo)politics of volcanic risk: Cultures, knowledges, actions”, which will be based in Latin America and East Africa, examining local experiences of living in hazardous environments, and the roles that governments and scientific institutions are increasingly playing in “managing” those environments. Amy also works on the role of science in other hazardous contexts, particularly those prone to landslides and earthquakes. While the Sendai Framework for DRR calls for early warning, the social context and their application and the power dynamics are rarely examined, and yet can have potentially devastating impacts if poorly managed.

Amy’s background is very eclectic – her first degrees were in English. She then studied geosciences (including the Geophysical Hazards MSc at UCL!), before taking a PhD in Geography, which looked at science and policy on Montserrat during the eruptions.  

doctor amy donovan

Forthcoming and latest publications:

  • Donovan, A. and Oppenheimer, C. Volcanoes on borders: A scientific and (geo)political management challenge. Bulletin of Volcanology (accepted, in press)
  • Donovan, A., 2019. Critical volcanology? Thinking holistically about risk and uncertainty. Bulletin of Volcanology, v. 81, Donovan, A., 2018. Sublime encounters: Commodifying the experience of the geos. Geo: Geography and Environment, v. 5, p.e00067-e00067.
More about Dr Amy Donovan