Our research staff work on specific IRDR research projects
Dr Simon Day
Role: Senior Research Fellow
Professor Maureen Fordham
Role: Professorial Research Associate, Visiting Professor and Director of the IRDR Centre for Gender and Disaster
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).
Dr Anwar Musah
Role: Research Fellow
My research interests focus on the application of statistical modelling, geospatial analysis and data science to public health and social sciences (with a regional focus on the Global South). I currently work on the Zika Project in the Centre for Digital Public Health & Emergencies. The project aims to develop models for the spatial prediction of mosquito populations that transmit arboviruses in Brazil. The overarching goal is to integrate these predictions to an early warning system for areas with potential mosquito infestation which, in turn, can be used by Brazilian environmental agents for implementing vector control measures.
Dr Hui Zhang
Role: Visiting Research Fellow
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.
Dr Roberto Gentile
Role: Research Fellow in Earthquake Engineering IRDR
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.
Dr Akhtar Alam
Role: Research Fellow
My research primarily aims to evaluate the components of disaster risk. I attempt to develop hazard, vulnerability and exposure scenarios at varied spatial scale. Furthermore, I am interested to assess the spatio-temporal dynamics of earth surface systems; integrate qualitative and quantitative data for decision making, and understand the interplay of natural and social processes.
Role: GRRIPP Finance and Due Diligence Manager
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.
Dr Eija Meriläinen
Role: Research Fellow
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.
Dr Susanne Luedtke
Role: Senior Clinical Research Fellow
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.
Dr Virginie Le Masson
Role: GRRIPP Global M&E Coordinator and Co-Director, Centre for Gender and Disaster.
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.
Role: Research Assistant - Communications and Social Media Officer, Centre for Digital Public Health in Emergencies
After joining the dPHE team in April, I have taken over some of Caroline Wood’s work in communications and am taking on roles in our Covid-19 related My Lockdown Journal projects. I am focused helping us understand the lifestyle changes brought about due to the pandemic and lockdown and am heavily involved running the online surveys, hosting our #mylockdownjournal competition to find and share positive activities during the lockdown, and leading the focus group for the upcoming journaling App. On top of this, I am hopeful for my MSc thesis on humanitarian volunteering and mental wellbeing to be published at the end of this year.
Dr Louisa Acciari
Role: Research Fellow and Co-director of the Centre for Gender and Disaster
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.