UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


Research Staff

Our research staff work on specific IRDR research projects



Dr Simon Day

Dr Simon Day

Role: Senior Research Fellow
Email: simon.day@ucl.ac.uk

Maureen Fordham

Professor Maureen Fordham

Role: Professorial Research Associate, Visiting Professor and Director of the IRDR Centre for Gender and Disaster
Email: m.fordham@ucl.ac.uk

Maureen Fordham is the Director of the IRDR Centre for Gender and Disaster. She has been researching disasters since 1988 and is an expert on community-based disaster risk reduction and vulnerability analysis, focusing on the inclusion of a range of marginalised social groups in disaster risk reduction, especially women and girls. She was a founding member of the Gender and Disaster Network in 1997 and is the Coordinator of its website (www.gdnonline.org) and activities. She has been a governmental advisor at all scales from local through national to the global UN level. She was closely involved in negotiations which led to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. She was a facilitator and researcher involved with developing a gender responsive National Resilience Programme for Bangladesh (launched August 2017) together with the Government of Bangladesh, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Women and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

Hui Zhang

Dr Hui Zhang 

Role: Visiting Research Fellow
Email: hui.zhang@ucl.ac.uk

My research interests focus around community disaster resilience and risk communication. I try to find out the influencing factors of resilience in disaster-affected areas of Japan and China, and try to combine qualitative and quantitative methods in the research. 

Roberto Gentile

Dr Roberto Gentile 

Role: Research Fellow in Earthquake Engineering IRDR 
Email: r.gentile@ucl.ac.uk

My research is focused on the seismic assessment of existing structures, with particular reference to reinforced concrete buildings and bridges. Along with numerically-based non-linear static and/or dynamic analyses, I try as much as possible to use “by hand” methods, such as the Displacement-Based Design/Assessment and the Simple Lateral Mechanism Analysis (SLaMA). In this way, I aim to achieve a greater impact with my research, trying to contribute both to the state of the art and practice. Currently I am involved in the INSPIRE project, led by Dr Carmine Galasso, which aims to assess the impact of earthquakes on school infrastructure in Indonesia and investigate the enhancement of the resilience of schools through retrofitting of buildings, and disaster risk reduction education.

Nadia Jackson

Nadia Jackson

Role: GRRIPP Finance and Due Diligence Manager
Email:  nadia.jackson@ucl.ac.uk

Nadia is part of the UCL management team for the GRRIPP project, which aims to support the evolution of gender and intersectionality, resilience and sustainability through establishing a new network of networks. Her role is to develop appropriate systems of financial management at UCL and to support the regional management teams (RMTs) based in South Africa, Peru and Bangladesh to develop their own finance systems to be interoperable with UCL and its financial management reporting. She also supports RMTs in developing due diligence processes appropriate to their region and which satisfy UCL’s requirements.

eija merilainen

Dr Eija Meriläinen

Role: Research Fellow
Email: e.merilainen@ucl.ac.uk

I am interested in disaster governance: how various governmental, private, non-state and non-human actors all shape how exceptions are governed and governed by. My focus is particularly on the impacts of the governance arrangements on marginalized populations. The research draws mostly from the fields of disaster studies and human geography. 

Susane Luedtke

Dr Susanne Luedtke

Role: Senior Clinical Research Fellow
Email: s.luedtke@ucl.ac.uk

Dr. Luedtke is an Infectious Diseases and Control specialist. Her interest lies in Multidrug Resistant Organisms, Antibiotic Stewardship and Infection Control. After obtaining her medical degree at the Humboldt University, Charite Berlin, she completed her Internal Medicine Residency at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical College and Infectious Diseases Fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, USA. She subsequently moved to London, UK for an MSc degree in “Control of Infectious Diseases” at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is currently working as a Senior Clinical Research Fellow in the UCL IRDR Centre for Digital Health in Emergencies, where she is involved in the development and implementation of an antibiotic stewardship smart phone application in Nigeria, as well as a smart phone application to help health personnel in decentralized settings in Africa to follow the uptodate national guidelines when treating multidrug resistant tuberculosis.

Virginie Le Masson

Dr Virginie Le Masson

Role: GRRIPP Global M&E Coordinator and Co-Director, Centre for Gender and Disaster.
Email: v.lemasson@ucl.ac.uk

Dr Virginie Le Masson is a geographer by training, and one of the Co-Directors of the IRDR Centre for Gender and Disaster. Her research looks at gender inequalities and violence-related risks in places affected by environmental changes and disasters. Her recent studies focused on gender-based violence affecting the resilience of women and girls in the Sahel region. Virginie is also a Research Associate with the Overseas Development Institute, a development think tank based in London, where she worked for almost 5 years on resilience-related studies in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. In 2017, she co-edited a book, published by Routledge with Prof. Susan Buckingham on the importance of addressing climate change with attention to gender relations and power relationships. She currently works as the Global Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator for the GRRIPP project, a £4.8 million project funded by UKRI to federate organisations and scholars working on gender equality in the development and humanitarian sectors.

Louisa Acciari

Dr Louisa Acciari

Role: Research Fellow and Co-director of the Centre for Gender and Disaster 
Email: l.acciari@ucl.ac.uk

Dr Louisa Acciari has a Master in Comparative Politics – Latin America (Sciences Po Paris) and a PhD in Gender Studies (LSE). She is one of the Co-Directors of the IRDR Centre for Gender and Disaster. Her research looks at gender in the world of labour through an intersectional and decolonial lens, and in particular, at how marginalised and informal women workers organise to defend their rights. She has been studying and collaborating with the domestic workers’ movement in Brazil and Latin America since 2014, and recently started researching the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the sector. Before joining UCL in August 2020, Louisa worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro for 2 years, and has extensive experience in conducting research, consultancy and training on gender and labour rights with the ILO, the International Domestic Workers’ Federation, Solidarity Centre and the OECD, among others. She currently works as Global Network Coordinator for the GRRIPP project.

Laura Peters Photo

Dr Laura Peters

Role: Research Fellow

Email: laura.peters@ucl.ac.uk

I am an interdisciplinary geographer and peace and conflict scholar interested in complex social and environmental relationships. In my research, I investigate how deeply divided societies build knowledge about, cope with, and act upon contemporary social and environmental changes and challenges, including those related to climate change and disasters. The goal of my research is not just to mitigate risks but also to develop explicit strategies that promote multidimensional social justice, support community health and wellbeing, strengthen social-environmental sustainability, and build durable peace. My research is action-oriented, and I work directly with global policy-makers, international think tanks, and practitioners and beneficiaries of development and humanitarian initiatives. I hold a PhD in Geography (Oregon State University), MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution (American University), and MA in International Development and Cooperation (Korea University).

Patricia Martuscelli Profile Picture

Dr Patrícia Nabuco Martuscelli 

Role: Social Science Research Fellow in Conflict and Migration. 

Email: p.martuscelli@ucl.ac.uk

Dr Patrícia Martuscelli is currently working at the "Resilient Futures for the Rohingya Refugees" and the "Rohingya Journeys of Violence and Resilience in Bangladesh and its Neighbours" projects. She has a MA in International Relations (University of Brasília) and a Ph.D. in Political Science (University of São Paulo). Before joining the IRDR, she was a Visiting Scholar at the Carolina Population Center (UNC-Chapel Hill), the Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development (UZH), and the Zukunftskolleg (University of Konstanz). Her research interests involve asylum and migration politics in Latin America, family reunification of refugees, refugee children, and refugees and COVID-19 in Brazil. Further information and publications: https://sites.google.com/view/patricia-martuscelli . Twitter @Patnabuco.