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Dr Joanna Faure Walker

Dr Joanna Faure Walker

Senior Lecturer

Inst for Risk & Disaster Reduction

Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Joined UCL
15th May 2012

Research summary

The UCL-IRDR promotes doing scientific research that can influence disaster risk reduction practice within academia, industry, NGOs and government. 

Faure Walker's main research interests include earthquake geology and seismic hazard. Her principal publications focus on the importance of fault geometry and rates of motion in understanding fault interactions, fault growth and the dynamic forces controlling these.
 
Joanna's research has provided new insights into regional mechanisms of continental extension, fault growth, the seismic cycle and seismic hazard. She has shown the long-term spatial distribution of deformation along faults within the Italian Apennines by calculating strain-rates using field measurements of slip-vectors from striated faults and offsets of 15kyr Late Pleistocene -Holocene landforms and sediments. By comparing her results with strain-rates calculated using geodesy and historical seismicity over shorter timescales, she has shown that the spatial pattern of earthquake recurrence is controlled by fault evolution, interaction and sub-crustal processes (Faure Walker et al., 2010, 2012, Cowie et al., 2017, Wedmore et al., 2017). Comparing the fault-derived strain-rates with uplift rates and topography, she has shown how brittle deformation at the surface is related to viscous deformation at depth via a power law as predicted by laboratory equations (Cowie et al., 2013, Faure Walker et al., 2010, 2012). Her work developing the “geometry-dependent throw-rate model” has demonstrated the role of local 3D geometry (strike and dip) of faults for local throw-rates (vertical component of slip-rate) and hence strain-rates and moment release across faults (Faure Walker et al., 2009, 2015, Wilkinson et al., 2015, Mildon et al., 2016). This has provided a breakthrough regarding breach fault evolution (Faure Walker et al., 2009). Her work has also shown the importance of including detailed fault geometries for Coulomb Stress Transfer calculations (Mildon et al., 2016, 2017) and slip in individual earthquakes (Iezzi et al., 2018). She has shown that detailed fault throw or slip measurements AND detailed fault geometries are needed for calculating earthquake recurrence intervals and ground shaking intensities, i.e. for seismic hazard calculations (Faure Walker et al., 2018).

Joanna's research into the pre-disaster, emergency and post disaster phases
has focussed on micro insurance (Yore and Faure Walker, 2018), early warning systems (Faure Walker et al., 2014, Naylor et al., 2018) and post disaster housing (Faure Walker and Crawford, 2017, Naylor et al., 2018). Her work highlights the need to place early warning systems and post-disaster shelter in the context of pre-existing vulnerabilities and housing conditions including the financial and construction systems (Faure Walker, 2013, Faure Walker and Crawford, 2017, Naylor et al., 2018). 
 

Teaching summary

Joanna is the IRDR Director of Studies and Programme Director for the IRDR MSc Risk, Disaster and Resilience. She lectures on natural hazards, vulnerability, risk and their integration into decision-making. She is the module tutor for the UCL masters-level courses: “Integrating Science into Risk and Disaster Reduction” and “Natural and Anthropogenic Hazards and Vulnerability”. Joanna has taught on a number of undergraduate, masters and PhD training modules for UCL and Birkbeck, such as active tectonics, geophysical hazards, structural geology, geology for civil engineers, earthquake seismology and earthquake hazard. She has taught geophysical techniques, geological mapping, and risk assessment on fieldtrips in the U.K., Italy, and Greece.

Joanna has experience teaching to a wide range of audiences. In addition to her university teaching, she has taught on professional training courses covering topics such as earthquake hazard, landslide hazard, extreme events, exposure and vulnerability, data availability, and communicating disaster risk reduction. She was the co-chair for the “Educating Future Leaders in Understanding Risk” session at the Third Understanding Risk Forum organised by the World Bank.

Joanna has appeared on national and international television and radio media including BBC News, BBC World News, Sky News, TRT World News, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4 Today programme discussing earthquake hazard and risk in the UK, Italy and Mexico and post disaster recovery.

Education

FHEA, |
University College London
PhD, Earth Science | 2010
University of Cambridge
MSci, Natural Sciences | 2006

Biography

Joanna Faure Walker is an Associate Professor at the Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction. She is the IRDR Director of Studies and Programme Director for the IRDR MSc Risk, Disaster and Resilience. She lectures on natural hazards, vulnerability, risk and their integration into decision-making. Her primary research is centred around studying faults in the Earth’s continental crust and using this to better understand the physical processes controlling earthquake generation, locations and timing. A related line of research integrates physical science research into risk and disaster reduction, including residents’ risk perception and vulnerability and resilience during the transitional phase of recovery.


Teaching 

Joanna is the module tutor for “Integrating Science into Risk and Disaster Reduction”, “Natural and Anthropogenic Hazards and Vulnerability”, and "Catastrophe Risk Modelling".

Joanna has taught on a number of undergraduate, masters and PhD training modules for UCL and Birkbeck, such as active tectonics, geophysical hazards, structural geology, geology for civil engineers, earthquake seismology and earthquake hazard. She has taught geophysical techniques, geological mapping, and risk assessment on fieldtrips in the U.K., Italy, and Greece.

Joanna has experience teaching to a wide range of audiences. In addition to her university teaching, she has taught on professional training courses covering topics such as earthquake hazard, landslide hazard, extreme events, exposure and vulnerability, data availability, and communicating disaster risk reduction. She was the co-chair for the “Educating Future Leaders in Understanding Risk” session at the Third Understanding Risk Forum organised by the World Bank.


Media

Joanna has appeared on national and international television and radio media including BBC News, BBC World News, Sky News, TRT World News, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4 Today programme discussing earthquake hazard and risk in the UK, Italy and Mexico and post disaster recovery.

BBC News 24 August 2016 Italian EQ

BBC World News 24 August 2016 Italian EQ

BBC News 19 September 2017 Mexico EQ

TRT World News 19 September 2017 Mexico EQ

Industry Experience

Before joining the IRDR, Joanna was an analyst in the market-leading catastrophe risk modelling firm, RMS (Risk Management Solutions). RMS produces numerical models that provide a statistical approach to quantifying risk. During her time at RMS, Joanna gained an understanding of how catastrophe models are designed, developed and used both internally by modeling firms, external clients and the insurance industry. Joanna has worked on a number of consultancy projects, including in collaboration with industrial partners.

Education

Faure Walker read Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge and completed a NERC-funded PhD in the UCL Department of Earth Sciences.

Publications