UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


Mhari Gordon

mhari Gordon

Supervisor: Ilan Kelman and Prof Carina Fearnley
Funding: UCL Warning Research Centre
Email: mhari.gordon.21@ucl.ac.uk

Displaced People’s Experiences of Natural Hazards, Disasters, and Warnings

Natural hazards and disasters are found to affect individuals and communities to different extents, due to social and cultural processes which can marginalise people. Asylum seekers and refugees are generally marginalised in their countries of asylum. Some scholars suggest that their immigration status, compounded with experiences of racism, harassment, and other forms of marginalisation, can act as predefined limitations of how they can prepare, respond, and recover from natural hazards and disasters. This study will explore this in particular to risk communication and warnings. Risk communication and warnings can be highly effective in reducing loss and damage from hazards and disasters. However, they are only as effective as an individual or community’s ability to understand the warnings and take action. It is proposed that this study aims to explore individuals’ experiences of hazards, disasters, and warnings, whilst seeking asylum or with a refugee status.

Public engagement 

  • Communication and Decision Making linked to Vulnerability and Disaster Resilience’ panel at NEEDS Conference 2023 (Enschede, Netherlands), November 2023.
  • Poster display at IRDR Annual Conference 2023 (London, UK), June 2023.
  • ‘Climate, disasters and displacement: Asia-Pacific perspectives’ panellist at the Northern European Emergency and Disaster Studies (NEEDS) Conference 2022 (Copenhagen, Denmark), November 2022.
  • Micro-presentation at the #NoNaturalDisasters Conference (London, UK), September 2022.
  • Poster display at IRDR Annual Conference 2022 (London, UK), June 2022.
  • 3-Minute Thesis Presentation at the UK Shelter Forum co- hosted by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and UCL IRDR (London, UK), May 2022. Watch video:

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://youtu.be/KaLbn-qwwN4?t=1988


Upcoming: Chapter for an edited volume in Reducing Risks: A World Scientific Publishing Co Reference on Preventing and Mitigating Disasters and Dangers, Volume II International Law, Policy, and Governance.

More at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mhari-Gordon


  • MSc in Risk, Distinction, University of Durham, 2018–2019
  • BA in Geography, Upper Second-Class Honours, University of Exeter, 2015–2018

Achievements and awards

  • June 2023: Individual Excellence award from MAPS Faculty Teaching Awards
  • March 2023: Nominated for UCL Education Awards
  • July 2022: Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA) 
  • January 2019: Guest speaker at Durham ARCTIC Event to present desktop-research on the Finnish Arctic Corridor High-Speed Railway and its potential cultural and environmental ramifications.
  • June 2018: “Exceptional Dissertation Award” presented by the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter 

Teaching experience (Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, 2021–2022)

Guest Lecturer

  • November 2021 and February 2023: Guest lecturer on Qualitative Research and the NVivo for MSc and BSc students.

Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, 2022–2023

  • IRDR0041: Qualitative Research Methods

Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, 2021–2022

  • IRDR0018: Global History of Humanitarianism
  • IRDR0021: Social and Geospatial Data Analysis
  • IRDR0020: Climate and Natural Hazard Risks
  • IRDR0041: Qualitative Research Methods
  • IRDR0012: Risk, Disaster and Resilience MSc Independent Project
  • Supervisor for MSc research dissertation


  • March 2023 – Ongoing: Member of IRDR Local Research Ethics Committee
  • February 2023 – Ongoing: Volunteer in Support Services at the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants
  • December 2021 – Ongoing: PhD Student Representative at UCL IRDR
  • February – June 2022: UCL IRDR ChangeMakers project