UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


Academic & Teaching Staff

Academic staff are permanent staff who teach our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, supervise PhD students, lead research activities, and collectively shape the direction of UCL IRDR

Bayes Ahmed

Dr Bayes Ahmed

Role: Associate Professor in Risk and Disaster Science; Programme Leader – MSc Risk and Disaster Science; Director – UCL Humanitarian Institute 
Email: bayes.ahmed@ucl.ac.uk

Modules taught: IRDR0004 – Data Analysis and Interpretation (MSc), and IRDR0021 – Social and Geospatial Data Analysis (BSc)

My research interests include disaster risk reduction (DRR), conflict and migration, climate change adaptation, community vulnerability assessment, climate mobility, and geospatial data science. I work at the intersection between conflict and disaster with a vision to improve the living standards of displaced people and the stateless population. I am passionate about working with at-risk people and producing applied policy guidelines to mitigate adverse disaster impacts.

My teaching includes topics linked to multi-hazard risk mapping, statistics in social sciences, geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, research methods (quantitative and qualitative), and vulnerability assessment. I lead the UCL-IDMC disaster displacement research hub.

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Professor David Alexander

Role: Professor of Risk and Disaster Reduction 
Email: david.alexander@ucl.ac.uk
Phone: 0203 108 1108

Masters modules taught: IRDR0002 - Fundamentals of Emergency and Crisis Planning and Management;   IRDR003 - Advanced Emergency and Crisis Planning and Management

My research interests include natural hazards, cascading disasters, disability and disaster, earthquake emergencies, emergency planning and crisis management. I head the IRDR cascading disasters research group. I am currently working on a new book on emergency management, and another on popular culture and disaster. My books include "Natural Disasters", "Confronting Catastrophe", "Principles of Emergency Planning and Management", "Recovery from Disaster" (with Ian Davis) and "How to Write an Emergency Plan". I teach emergency planning and management. I am the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, and Vice-President of the Institute of Civil Protection and Emergency Management.  

Sonja Ayeb-Karlsson

Dr Sonja Ayeb-Karlsson

Role: Associate Professor in Policy and Intersectionality; Athena Swan Lead
Email: s.karlsson@ucl.ac.uk

Modules taught: IRDR0039 Humanitarian PolicyIRDR0048 Violence, Intersectionality and Marginalisation 

My research area is broad and interdisciplinary with a particular focus on the interconnections between policy and intersectionality, and their overlaps with violence, human (im)mobility, refugees and migration, climate change, health and mental wellbeing, marginalisation, human trafficking and other societal risks. 

At UCL, I lead the ‘Everyday Disasters and Violences Research Group’. I also direct the mental health work of the ‘Lancet Countdown’ and I sit as an expert member on various research and policy working groups and journal editorial boards. My research is well-cited and has served to improve the policy protection of vulnerable groups in the past. It has also been widely covered by media outlets across the world. 

I am particularly interested in furthering our understanding of societal, psychological and legal entrapment, and the improved legal protection of children, women and marginalised groups from different types of violence. I still accept PhD candidate inquires in these research areas and I am always happy to speak to journalist about my work. 

Estella Carpi

Dr Estella Carpi

Role: Lecturer in Humanitarian Studies; Low-Risk Ethics Committee Member for IRDR; Athena Swan Committee Member; Library and REF Rep
Email: e.carpi@ucl.ac.uk

Modules taught: IRDR0040 Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Conflict and MigrationIRDR0031 Ethnicity, Kinship and Gender.

I am a social anthropologist who loves working in interdisciplinary environments. 

I am primarily interested in how societies respond to human-made crisis and crisis management. I have predominantly worked in/on Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey. My academic work has examined the impacts of humanitarian aid provision on identity and group belonging, the role of the state in humanitarian governance, and the overlapping of welfare and emergency relief. 

In the past, as a postdoctoral researcher, I have worked on South-South humanitarianism (especially faith-inspired forms of assistance) and the urban-humanitarian nexus.

I have been a Safeguarding consultant for Arabic and Portuguese speaking NGOs, and I have provided research consultancies on war-caused displacement and aid programming for UN agencies, NGOs, and the Dutch government.

I have published my work in English, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, French, and Arabic academic journals and media outlets.

Philip Cunliffe

Dr Philip Cunliffe

Role: Associate Professor in International Relations
Email: p.cunliffe@ucl.ac.uk

My academic expertise is focused on questions of sovereignty, international order, military intervention and liberal international conflict management. I also have research interests in critical social theory and International Relations theory. 

I completed my doctorate in War Studies at King’s College London; my thesis examined developing countries' personnel contribution to United Nations peacekeeping operations across 1997 to 2007. In 2008 I was appointed to provide reports on Western Balkan politics for the Economist Intelligence Unit, and I was appointed a fellow of the High Education Academy in 2014. 

I have undertaken a variety of roles in the wider academic community. Across 2006–2010 I was one of the founding editors of the Routledge 'Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding' and across 2014–2020 I served as Editor in Chief of the Routledge journal 'International Peacekeeping'. In 2018 I helped establish the ‘Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding’ working group of the British International Studies Association. I have appeared frequently in broadcast and print media and I am one of the co-hosts of the @bungacast podcast and tweets @thephilippics.   

Lisa Danquah

Dr Lisa Danquah

Role: Lecturer in Global Health, IRDR Fieldwork Safety Officer and Chair of the IRDR Ethics Committee

Modules taught: BSc taught modules (1st year): IRDR0027 Global Health Introduction

I have a specialist interest in the epidemiology and control of Emerging Infectious Diseases (EIDs) and the role and application of digital technologies for early warning and response and disease surveillance and control, focusing on Low and Middle-Income Countries. Particular areas of interest in this area are contact tracing and monitoring during humanitarian emergencies of EID outbreaks and how to understand and improve outbreak preparedness and response strategies and conduct rigorous research in relation to this. My academic background is in public health, epidemiology and demography. I have extensive experience working in global health through managing and implementing field-based epidemiological, mixed methods and implementation research studies in countries in South and Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Caribbean from 2007 until present. These studies have included evaluating a digital contact tracing approach for Ebola Virus Disease in Sierra Leone, epidemiological studies on international eye health/disability-based research, and studies on the epidemiology and control of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) related diseases and evaluating disability-inclusive WASH interventions. Additionally, I have managed and coordinated research studies in other settings, including countries in Central and South America, Asia, the Middle East and South-Eastern Europe, on emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases/improving global health research capacity and assessing digital approaches for event-based surveillance for emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.

Sarah Dryhurst

Dr Sarah Dryhurst

Role: Lecturer in Risk Perception and Communication; Programme leader for MRes Risk and Disaster Reduction; Co-Postgraduate Admissions Tutor
Email: s.dryhurst@ucl.ac.uk

Modules taught: IRDR0002 Emergency Planning and Management; IRDR0015 Integrating Science into Risk and Disaster Reduction; HPSC0160 Warnings for all

Sarah Dryhurst is a psychologist and ecologist.  She researches how people understand and respond to communications of risk and uncertainty across domains, from climate change to earthquakes to COVID, and how misinformation may influence how people think about these issues and act in response to them. Prior to joining IRDR, Sarah was a Research Associate at the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at the University of Cambridge.


Professor Joanna Faure Walker

Role: Professor in Earthquake Geology and Disaster Risk Reduction; IRDR Head of Department
Email:  j.faure-walker@ucl.ac.uk
Phone: 0203 108 1109

Masters modules taught: IRDR0015 - Integrating Science into Disaster Risk ReductionIRDR0001 - Natural and Anthropogenic Hazards and Vulnerability

Earthquake geology and seismic hazard are my main research themes. I study faults in the Earth's continental crust to better understand the physical processes controlling earthquake locations, timing and generation. I am also interested in disaster resilience, especially topics such as risk perception, warning and shelter. I am motivated to tackle scientific problems that have potential to improve quality of life. My teaching encompasses earthquakes and other natural hazards, disaster-related vulnerability and risk, and integrating science into decision-making. I have industry experience working for the catastrophe modelling firm RMS and academic consultancy practice for clients such as the World Bank.

Roberto Gentile

Dr Roberto Gentile 

Role: Lecturer in Crisis and Catastrophe Risk Modelling; Postgraduate Admissions Tutor
Website: www.robertogentile.org
Email: r.gentile@ucl.ac.uk

IRDR modules taught: [MSc] Catastrophe Risk Modelling; [BSc] Humanitarian Engineering and Data Science

My research aims at advancing catastrophe risk modelling using and developing statistical and probabilistic tools. For example, I emphasise on the advancement of physical vulnerability models, multi-hazard vulnerability, time-dependent seismic fragility, lifecycle loss assessments, combination of hazard insurance and structural retrofit, optimal retrofit design under humanitarian constraints (especially in developing countries).

Given my background as an earthquake structural engineer, I am interested in advancing the seismic assessment and design of building and infrastructure, with particular reference to concrete building and bridges. I am interested in a direct loss-based seismic design methodology, aiming at structures that would achieve, rather than be bounded by, a given earthquake loss under the relevant seismic hazard.

Saman Ghaffarian

Dr Saman Ghaffarian

Role: Lecturer in Geospatial Science; Connected Curriculum Lead
Email: s.ghaffarian@ucl.ac.uk

I am a geospatial data scientist. My main research area is to use geospatial data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud computing and socio-economic modelling to assess, mitigate and manage disaster risk. I particularly studied disaster and agricultural damage, recovery, resilience, and vulnerability assessments using big/geospatial data, advanced machine learning methods, agent-based modelling, and multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) models. I processed and employed various remote sensing data such as multi-spectral satellite images, UAV/drone, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), Hyperspectral, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), and ground-based data sets in my research.

“Can AI reduce the risk?” This question leads me to research the use of advanced AI-based technological tools and methods including deep learning, explainable AI, digital twins, Internet of things (IoT), and AI-integrated simulation to address disaster and agricultural risk management.

Lisa Guppy

Dr Lisa Guppy

Role: Lecturer in Global Humanitarian Studies; Global Humanitarian Studies BSc Programme Leader
Email: lisa.guppy@ucl.ac.uk

I have worked across humanitarian, peace and development fields, primarily with United Nations organisations, in Asia, Africa, the Americas and the Middle East. My roles have spanned local to global level and experience in humanitarian responses from the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka to drought in the Horn of Africa and ongoing complex emergency in Afghanistan. Most recently I have worked in the Asia Pacific Region, focusing on the environmental and climate dimensions of disasters, displacement and insecurity.

With the Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, I lecture in humanitarian studies, drawing on more than a decade of delivered training, teaching and other capacity development modalities to humanitarian practitioners, senior government staff, students and others in locations from, amongst others, Kenya, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, India, Thailand, South Africa and globally online.

I have particular interest in protracted and chronic crises and the implementation of nexus solutions in fragile humanitarian settings. I also focus on how more considered water and environmental management can improve resilience and peacebuilding in these places.

Dan Haines

Dr Dan Haines

Role: Lecturer in Disaster and Crisis Response; Programme Leader for Risk, Disaster and Resilience MSc
Email: d.haines@ucl.ac.uk

Modules taught: Global History of Humanitarianism; Emergency planning and Management

Dan is an environmental historian of South Asia, focusing on India, Pakistan and Nepal. He currently works on the politics and culture of natural hazards and is writing a book about the 1935 earthquake at Quetta, Balochistan. He previously wrote about the Indus River system – whether damming it (his first book, Building the Empire, Building the Nation) or sharing its waters between India and Pakistan (his second book, Rivers Divided). He just finished a two-year secondment to the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. He once did science to a glacier by hitting it with an ice pick.

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Myles Harris

Role: Lecturer (Teaching) in Risk, Disaster and Humanitarianism; Interim Programme Leader – MSc Risk and Disaster Science
Email: myles.harris.19@ucl.ac.uk
Website: www.spacehealthresearch.com

I am a Nurse by background, and my clinical experience is mostly as an expedition medic in mountain environments. I previously worked as a senior lecturer of nursing, during which I had a leading role in a national pilot to develop a curriculum for a new UK nursing profession – Nursing Associates. My masters is in education and I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. For my PhD in Risk and Disaster Reduction, I researched how ‘prolonged field care’ can mitigate risks to health in remote environments. This research was in collaboration with the outdoor education and risk consultancy, ‘Remote Area Risk International,’ and the British military, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine.

As an Associate Lecturer (Teaching) in Risk, Disasters, and Humanitarianism, I teach on BSc Global Humanitarian Studies, MSc Risk Disaster and Resilience, MSc Risk and Disaster Science, and MRes Risk and Disaster Reduction. I coordinate UCL Space Risks Research Group, which is a multidisciplinary community of researchers and practitioners who investigate risk in space. Within UCL, I am the Chairperson of UCL Space Domain Heads of Space Themes (HOST), which includes leading UCL’s contribution to the European Space Agency’s Lab Network. Outside of UCL, I have founded a consultancy called Space Health Research, which provides analogue missions that simulate the exploration of space for research and education purposes.

Rozana Himaz

Dr Rozana Himaz

Role: Associate Professor in Humanitarian Economics; Research Committee Chair
Email: r.himaz@ucl.ac.uk

Modules Taught: IRDR0030 Microeconomics for Humanitarian Contexts and IRDR0037 Humanitarian and Aid Economics

I’m a development economist and look at how techniques from economics, machine learning, geophysics and other fields can be merged to produce innovative tools and evidence-based understanding, to reduce disaster risk. Current research interests include (i) impact evaluation of policies and shocks using data from large household surveys, randomised controlled trials and remote sensing (ii) Assessing the evolving impact of shocks on individuals and households and how shocks affect intrahousehold resource allocation (iii) incorporating ‘non-conventional’ aspects such as livelihood loss and mental health changes in catastrophe modelling. I focus mainly on low- and middle-income countries such as Indonesia, Ethiopia, Malawi, India and Sri Lanka. Past work has looked at fiscal austerity and political outcomes. I have consulted for the World Bank and the International Labour Organisation and am lead author for the United Nations Environment Programme Geo-7 (2026) report.

Yulia Ioffe

Dr Yulia Ioffe

Role: Lecturer in Humanitarian Law and Human Rights; Student Liaison Officer
Email: y.ioffe@ucl.ac.uk

Module taught: IRDR0022 Key Concepts and Debates in Humanitarianism

I am an international lawyer. I have worked with a range of international organisations and NGOs on humanitarian policy development and practice, including the International Court of Justice, the UNHCR Representation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UNHCR Regional Representation for Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine, and the Ukrainian Red Cross Society.

My research interests lie within international human rights law, forced migration, and children’s rights. My primary focus is on the rights of children seeking refugee status and other forms of international protection. I am also interested in non-penalisation and non-criminalisation of refugees and other migrants for illegal entry or stay, interpretation of human rights treaties by international bodies, reparation for human rights violations, and impact of international law on refugee protection. At IRDR, I teach international law modules related to humanitarian action and assistance.

Shipra Jain

Dr Shipra Jain

Role: Lecturer of Meteorological Risks; Undergraduate admissions tutor
Email: shipra.jain@ucl.ac.uk

I am an interdisciplinary researcher with several years of experience in atmospheric and climate science. My current research focuses on weather and climate extremes, with a particular emphasis on hydrometeorological extremes across Asia. I investigate the physical mechanisms leading to extreme events and the physical drivers that can aid in the early prediction of these events. I also study the influence of climate variability and change on such events. I have several years of experience working in operational research, where I led and contributed to the development and delivery of climate services tailored to the users’ needs. I am also a scientific steering committee member of World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) and associated with WCRP My Climate Risk and WWRP’s Sub-seasonal to Seasonal Applications for Agriculture and Environment (SAGE) project as WWRP’s co-liaison.

Fatemeh Jalayer

Professor Fatemeh Jalayer

Role: Professor of Geophysical Hazard Risks; Inclusion Lead
Email: f.jalayer@ucl.ac.uk

My research focuses on probabilistic methods and computational tools for risk modelling and disaster risk reduction. I am interested in numerical modelling of cascading phenomena and multi-risk assessment, involving treatment of uncertainties and consideration of time-dependent factors and drivers. I am increasingly interested in risk modelling considering the societal context and the complex interactions between human, nature, and the built environment.

I firmly believe in the importance of addressing cross-cutting issues in research such as ethics, diversity, equality, inclusion, open science, and FAIR data management. I am dedicated to trans-disciplinary knowledge exchange and the practical implications of my research towards rendering a safer, more resilient, and sustainable living environment. 

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Professor Ilan Kelman

Role: Professor of Disasters and Health jointly appointed between IRDR and Institute for Global Health, Graduate Tutor (Research)
Email: i.kelman@ucl.ac.uk
Phone: 02076799329

IRDR Masters modules taught: IRDR0006 - Conflict, Humanitarianism and Disaster Risk Reduction

My main research interests link disaster and health topics through (i) diplomacy, namely disaster diplomacy and health diplomacy; (ii) climate change; and (iii) island and polar locations. Bringing my research into the classroom means coordinating modules on 'Conflict, Humanitarianism, and Disaster Risk Reduction' and 'Climate change and health'. I lecture on migration, sustainability, gender, and disability, connecting practice with theories of vulnerability, resilience, disasters, islandness, Arcticness, and climate change's role. My recent consultancies have been for the international and national agencies as well as the private and non-profit sectors. My work has appeared throughout the media around the world.

Patty Kostkova

Professor Patty Kostkova

Role: Professor in Digital Health and Emergencies; Exam Board Chair - Postgraduate
Email: p.kostkova@ucl.ac.uk
Phone: 02031087081

Masters modules taught: IRDR0004 Data Analysis and Interpretation and IRDR0009 - Digital Health: Epidemics and Emergencies in the Era of Big Data

I am a Professor in digital health investigating serious games and community engagement using mobile technology in Brazil, Nigeria and Nepal; exploring big data for early warning and rapid response to epidemics, and disseminating the best evidence about infection online via iNRIC. My teaching includes digital health in the age of big data. Consultant and advisor to WHO, ECDC and Foundation Merieux, I have won many prizes, including recently, nomination for the Woman of the Year by the Computing Women in IT Excellence Awards. I established the International Conference on Digital Health series and am editor-in-chief of Frontiers in Digital Health journal.

    Stefan Leeffers

    Dr Stefan Leeffers

    Role: Lecturer in Disaster and Crisis Risk Finance; Deputy Ethics Chair and Fieldwork Safety Officer
    Email: s.leeffers@ucl.ac.u

    Modules taught: IRDR0023 - Practice and Analysis of Humanitarian Action and IRDR0037 - Humanitarian and Aid Economics

    As a development economist, I specialise in disaster risk management and governance in low- and middle-income countries. Through my research, I design and conduct impact evaluations to identify innovative strategies that can help reduce the impact of disasters and build resilience. I have conducted fieldwork in Mozambique, Angola, and the Dominican Republic. My teaching includes fundamental economic concepts that enable students to evaluate humanitarian action, make informed recommendations, and contribute to creating effective economic policies in humanitarian aid. I have experience as a consultant in disaster risk finance and impact evaluation at the World Bank. Ultimately, I am driven by a desire to make a real difference in the world and help those most in need.

    Megnaa Mehta

    Dr Megnaa Mehtta

    Role: Lecturer (Teaching) in Social Anthropology; AXA and IOC-UNESCO Research Fellow from 2023-2025; Early Career Researcher Liaison  
    Email: m.mehtta@ucl.ac.uk  
    Twitter: @MMehtta

    IRDR modules taught: Anthropological Theory; Kinship, Gender and Ethnicity

    I am an environmental anthropologist interested in practices and conceptions of the intersecting crises of conservation, climate and overconsumption as these themes intersect with debates in the environmental humanities and political ecology. My research is based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork in the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans, a global conservation hotspot emblematic also of the ongoing climate emergency, located on the borders of India and Bangladesh. My research offers new conceptions of conservation that are not solely concerned with the preservation of biodiversity but instead encompass broader life-projects that interrogate notions of sufficiency, human and nonhuman sovereignty, and account for the importance of kinship and care as well as the disruptive forces that accompany gendered forms of care. 

    My future research, supported by the AXA Research Fund from 2023-2025, will explore women’s intra-household vulnerabilities with migration, climate-induced displacement, and coastal erosion as the backdrop to these shifts, within neighbourhoods and households in the Bay of Bengal delta. 

      Aeron O'Connor

      Dr Aeron O'Connor

      Role: Lecturer (teaching) in Social Anthropology and Humanitarianism (IRDR) and Co-Investigator: Ethnographic Research Laboratory (Anthropology); Environment Lead
      Email: aeron.oconnor@ucl.ac.uk 

      Module taught: ANTH0003 Introduction to Social Anthropology 

      I’m a social anthropologist interested in the cross-generational endurance of social groups, particularly cultural elites. Since 2015 I have worked in Tajikistan, examining the family, urban and intellectual histories of communities who, over the past century, have navigated radical political change and persecution, and been forced to re-settle elsewhere across Central Asia and beyond. I focus on: urban-to-urban migration; how ways of life are transferred to new places in times of uncertainty; how cities endure, and are vulnerable to, political upheaval; and the interface of ecological destruction and socio-political change in cities. I have previously written on the ambiguous relationship between cosmopolitanism and orientalism, as well as on literary exchanges between opposite sides of the Cold War. I am currently also Co-Investigator for a UCL Innovation & Enterprise grant to develop a research laboratory at the Department of Anthropology at UCL. 

      Mark Pelling

      Professor Mark Pelling

      Role: Professor of Risk and Disaster Reduction; Research Impact Lead; Programme Leader - MRes Risk and Disaster Reduction
      Email: mark.pelling@ucl.ac.uk

      My research focuses on social and political aspects of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, mainly in urban contexts and often in Low and Middle Income Countries. Increasingly I am interested in working across global South–North contexts. My work aims at impact and so is designed and implemented in close partnership with research users from community based organisations to humanitarian NGOs and government or intergovernmental organisations.  I have been a Coordinating Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 5th and 6th Assessment Report and its Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation. International service also includes the Development Team of the International Science Council RISK Knowledge Action Network and acting as UK representative on the UNDRR European Science and Technology Advisory Group.

      Gianluca Pescaroli

      Dr Gianluca Pescaroli

      Role: Associate Professor in Business Continuity and Organisational Resilience; Programme Leader, Risk, Disaster and Resilience MSc
      Email: g.pescaroli@ucl.ac.uk

      Masters modules taught: IRDR0017 Business Continuity Management and Organisational Resilience

      My research investigates how to build and improve the ability to maintain operations during disruptive events, how to minimise their impacts and how to increase the resilience of the public and private sectors. This includes learning to understand complex challenges such as cascading risks, critical infrastructure failures, cross-sectoral interdependencies, and compound dynamics. For example, even during an ordinary day an electricity blackout could occur and could compromise the delivery of vital services. My teaching and research address the promotion of business continuity and organisational resilience. My work is impact-oriented, and I publish in both the academic literature and strategic documents such as the UNISDR Guidelines on National Risk Assessment.

        Caroline Russell

        Caroline Russell

        Role: Associate Lecturer (Teaching) in Risk Disasters and Humanitarianism
        Email: ucfbrus@ucl.ac.uk

        I am a human geographer working on novel governance approaches to DRR and climate change adaptation. My past research explored emerging collaborative governance approaches to DRR in Nepal with a focus on the international discourse surrounding collaboration and how this has impacted national institutional reforms.

        I have worked in remote regions across South Asia (Nepal, Bangladesh, and India) as part of international interdisciplinary projects that were aimed at increasing resilience and reducing vulnerability in communities living in hazard prone areas.

        Yasmine Sabri

        Dr Yasmine Sabri

        Role: Lecturer in Humanitarian Logistics; Department Teaching Committee Chair
        Email: Yasmine.sabri@ucl.ac.uk
        Modules taught: [MSc] IRDR0005 Practice and Appraisal of Research, [BSc] IRDR0038 Humanitarian Logistics

        I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in humanitarian logistics and supply chain management at the Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction at University College London (UCL IRDR), and a visiting fellow of the Risk & Resilience Management of Complex Socio-Technical Systems research group in Politecnico di Milano in Italy. I joined UCL from Aston University in Birmingham, where I was a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) for Supply chain management, the director of undergraduate logistics and supply chain management programmes, and the Teaching Excellence Framework lead for the logistics and supply chain management subject area. I am a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CMILT), and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).

        My research investigates responsible supply chain design in high uncertainty environments, I have widely published on humanitarian supply chains, supply chain design, and the resilience of small and medium supplier enterprises (SMEs). I build on several years of professional experience and academic expertise to develop multi-disciplinary industry-academia collaborative research projects that bridge the gap between supply chain theory and practice. For the past eight years, I led and taught modules in supply chain management, research methods, and project management to undergraduate, postgraduate, MBA and PhD students in Sweden, Italy, and the UK. At IRDR, I teach Humanitarian Logistics in the BSc programme, Practice and Appraisal of Research and coordinate the independent research project in the MSc programmes.

        I am accepting PhD candidates interested in the broad topic of humanitarian logistics and supply chain (management, design and resilience), ethical procurement and procurement localisation. Please get in touch if interested.


        Professor Peter Sammonds

        Role: Professor of Geophysics
        Email: p.sammonds@ucl.ac.uk
        Phone: 07795056201

        I work at the interface of natural and social sciences. My research and knowledge exchange is on natural hazard risks, disasters and recovery. I have worked on earthquake mechanics, volcanoes and ice physics in the Arctic. I work on research council, British Academy and Royal Society-funded projects on Increasing Resilience to Environmental Hazards in Border Conflict Zones and Resilience Futures for the Rohingya Refugees. I have advised the UK research councils on the increasing resilience to natural hazards programme; been a member of EEFIT Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation teams, contributing to inter-disciplinary reports on disaster, taken up widely by government for policy advice; and been a Commissioner on the UCL–Lancet Commission on Migration and Health, 2017–18, whose report has been influential. I am currently the Gender and Intersectionality Ambassador for the UKRI network+ GRRIPP project led by the IRDR Centre for Gender and Disaster.

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        Dr Mohammad Shamsudduha (“Shams”)

        Role: Associate Professor in Humanitarian Science; Undergraduate Tutor
        Email: m.shamsudduha@ucl.ac.uk

        Modules taught: IRDR0024 Technology for Humanitarian Action (BSc); IRDR0028 Water Security, Crises and Sustainability (BSc); IRDR0001 Natural and Anthropogenic Hazards and Vulnerability (Master's)

        I am a natural scientist in the field of hydrogeology with a particularly focus on water risks to public health, sustainable development, and climate resilience. Over the past two decades, I conducted extensive field studies in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa and collaborated with researchers from various disciplines including health science, promoting interdisciplinary approaches to investigating complex associations between water quality, climate, and human health outcomes. Thus far in my academic career, I have published over 60 articles in refereed journals including Science and Nature and my current (2023) Google Scholar citation is over 6,000. I am serving as an Associate Editor for the Frontiers in Water (Water and Climate) journal. I was a contributing author on Chapter 4: Water (Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s sixth assessment report. My research findings have helped policymakers and stakeholders make informed decisions about sustainable water resources management strategies to achieve water and food security, good health and wellbeing, and climate resilience in Bangladesh and around the world. Outside of academia, I also work with policy makers, practitioners, donors, national and international agencies, non-government organisations, media, and private sector.

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          Dr Katerina Stavrianaki

          Role: Programme Director, Risk and Disaster Science MSc;  Lecturer in Risk Analysis jointly appointed between IRDR and Dept of Statistical Science.
          Email: k.stavrianaki@ucl.ac.uk

          Masters modules taught: IRDR0010 Risk Analysis for Disaster Science

          My research interests include seismology, statistical seismology, seismic hazard and rock mechanics. I recently completed my PhD at UCL IRDR. My PhD research included the statistical analysis of earthquakes using the Epidemic Type Aftershock Sequence (ETAS) model and more specifically I studied the clustering in earthquake magnitudes. I also study acoustic emissions generated during laboratory deformation of sandstone samples, which can be used as a proxy for natural processes such as earthquakes. The motivation of my research is to improve current forecasting and seismic hazard approaches. I teach statistics and R programming as a research tool to study natural disasters and statistical seismology.

          Ting Sun

          Dr Ting Sun

          Role: Lecturer in Climate and Meteorological Hazard Risks; Departmental Graduate Tutor - Taught 
          Email: ting.sun@ucl.ac.uk  

          I am a climate scholar for cities with multidisciplinary background in hydrology, meteorology and built environment. My research interests include impacts of weather and climate extremes (e.g. heat waves, extreme rainfall, etc.) in cities and urban climate modelling across multiple scales (from neighbourhood to globe) as well their broad linkages with public health and building energy sectors. I hold a NERC Independent Research Fellowship to lead the project entitled “Building Resilient Cities for Heat Waves”. 

          I’m enthusiastic about urban climate modelling–in particular in the role of lead developer of a state-of-the-art urban climate model SUEWS (Surface Urban Energy and Water balance Scheme) and its Python wrapper SuPy (SUEWS in Python) jointly with the micromet team led by Prof. Sue Grimmond at University of Reading. Besides, I am a core member of the UMEP (Urban Multi-scale Environment Predictor) development team. 

          Built upon my multidisciplinary background centred in hydro-climate and multi-scale modelling skills, at UCL IRDR I envision to improve our understanding of and preparedness for climate and meteorological hazards. 

            Punam Yadav

            Dr Punam Yadav 

            Role: Associate Professor in Humanitarian Studies; Co-Director of the IRDR Centre for Gender and Disaster; Exam Board Chair - Undergraduate
            Email: p.yadav@ucl.ac.uk

            Modules taught:   IRDR0016 – Gender, Disaster and Conflict (MSc) and IRDR0041 – Qualitative Research Methods (BSc)

            Dr Punam Yadav is Associate Professor of Humanitarian Studies and Co-director of the Centre for Gender and Disaster at the Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction. As a scholar in the field of Feminist Peace Research and Gender and Disaster, Dr Yadav has made outstanding contributions to scholarship by theorising the process of social change through a gender lens. One of the key contributions of Dr Yadav is that she brings conflict into the conversation of disaster and sees disaster as a continuum. She has served in many prestigious committees, including as a co-chair of the Feminist and Gender Studies Section (FTGS) of the International Studies Association (ISA) between 2020-2023 and General Secretary of the Britain Nepal Academic Council (BNAC) between 2018 and 2022. Dr Yadav has also been serving as an advisory board member for several NGOs and is an editorial board member for two world leading journals. Dr Yadav has recently been elected as a Chair of ISA-UNAI Collaborations Committee (April 2024-March 2026). She has several publications including "Can women benefit from war? Women's agency in conflict and post-conflict contexts", published in the journal of Peace Research; "Do political quotas work?", published in European Journal of Politics and Gender, and her academic monograph Social Transformation in Post-conflict Nepal: A Gender Perspective, published by Routledge in 2016, has also been translated into Chinese