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Meet Our Postgraduate Teaching Staff


Programme Director: Dr Lauren Martin


Staff Research and Teaching

Dr Mildren Ajebon 

Contributions to PGT courses: Understanding Risk 

Prof Andrew Baldwin 

Research Interests: race and racism, climate change, Antrhopocene, migratino, international politics

Book: The Other of Climate Change: Racial Futurism, Migration, Humanism 

Contributions to PGT courses: Research and Vocational Dissertation Modules, Using Geographical Skills and Techniques 

Dr Isabella Bovolo 

Research Interests: flood hazards and risk, tropical hydro-climatology; hydrology; climate and climate change; ecosystems; community best-practice; coupled human and natural systems 

Contributions to PGT courses: Hydro-Meteorological Hazards; Climate, Risk & Society 

Dr Matt Brain 

I am a geomorphologist interested in strength controls on Earth-surface systems, particularly in coastal environments and in steep topographic settings. My main area of research uses novel geotechnical laboratory testing to help to understand how soil and rock strength and behaviour changes through time in response to changes in pressure and environmental conditions. This information can be used to improve our ability to forecast surface change and associated geomorphic hazards. 

Contributions to PGT courses: Risk, Science & Communication 

Dr Matthieu Cartigny 

I am a physical geographer studying earth surface processes, particularly sediment transport processes on the ocean floor. I mainly use submarine technologies to directly observe sediment transport processes on the seafloor, but I also use physical and numerical models to help me interpret ocean floor observations. My aim is to understand how submarine landslide and turbidity currents shape the seascape, just like rivers shape the landscape.

Contributions to PGT courses: Risk, Science & Communication 

Dr Nick Cox

I call myself a statistically-minded geographer, having used statistical methods since my earliest serious encounters with geography. I work mostly with environmental data, secondarily with social science data. My interests include statistical graphics, exploratory data analysis, generalised linear models, distributions, transformations and directional data analysis. I am an active Stata user, have both contributed to Stata itself and published many additional Stata programs, and have written widely on the use of Stata, especially in the Stata Journal. I have a strong side-interest in the history of statistics. I have experience of working with data from geomorphology, glaciology, Quaternary science, hydrology, climatology and forestry.  I am also interested in the history and methodology of geography and related sciences.  

Contributions to PGT courses: Hydro-Meteorological Hazards 

Dr Caroline Clason

I am a glaciologist with a focus on mountain glacier and ice sheet hydrology. My research seeks to understand the quantities of meltwater produced by glacier melt, the pathways for meltwater through glacier catchments, and what changing meltwater production means for water security in regions like the Andes. In addition to water quantity, I have a strong interest in environmental quality through assessment of anthropogenic contaminants stored in snow, ice, and glacial sediments, particularly in Arctic and Alpine settings.  

Contributions to PGT courses: Hydro-Meteorological Hazards 

Dr Sarah Knuth

I am a geographical political economist focusing on geographies of climate change and a just low-carbon transition. I investigate various topics related to these challenges, particularly interconnected questions arising around shifting patterns of renewable energy development; climate-related risks to the housing sector, insurability crises and ‘climate-proofing’ strategies; green industrial policy and public ownership models; and evolving forms of climate finance and climate-related financial risk responses. Much of my current research is in the US context, especially in highly exposed locations like California and Florida cities. I am a co-founder of the Urban Climate Finance Network, funded for 2021-2023 by the Urban Studies Foundation. In 2021, I became a founding member of the Climate and Community Project; I have contributed research to policy reports and Congressional briefings on prospects for public power in New York State and at the US federal level and just energy and economic transitions at the state level, among other topics. 

Relevant websites:  

Contributions to PGT courses: Climate, Risk and Society 

Dr Andrés Luque-Ayala 


Research Interests: I am an urban geographer and infrastructures scholar, critically unpacking the role of climate change and digital technologies (together and separately) in the making of contemporary forms or urbanism. My current research agenda revolves around the ways in which digital technologies in cities rework notions of nature (e.g. through ‘smart city’/’smart climate’ agendas, or via the digitization of urban ecological flows such as water or energy)—particularly in response to the challenges posed by climate change and the ‘urban Anthropocene’. My research cuts across global North and South, critically evaluating both risk and potential in mobilising digital technologies as a privileged response to contemporary ecological crisis. My most recent book, Urban Operating Systems: Producing the Computational City, was published by MIT University Press (open access).  

Contributions to PGT courses: Understanding Risk 

Dr Lauren Martin

Research Interests: I am a political geographer focusing on border and migration controls, with an emphasis on place-based and community-led research. From 2020-2024, I have been PI on the GLiTCH project, funded by the ESRC. With a team, we have been exploring cash assistance and digital connectivity in refugee governance in the UK, Greece, Jordan and Lebanon. As part of this project, I am working Refugee Futures, an organisation in Stockton-on-Tees that connects recently arrived asylum-seekers and settled refugees to community activities, volunteering and employment. 

Contributions to PGT courses: Programme Director, Social Dimensions of Risk and Resilience 

Prof Glen McGregor

Research Interests: Broadly my research area is climatology but with a principal focus on the exploration of the relationship between atmospheric circulation and surface environmental processes, and the extent to which weather patterns, air mass types and modes of atmospheric circulation (e.g. El Nino Southern Oscillation, North Atlantic Oscillation) might influence the intra-seasonal to inter-annual variability of health outcomes. I am especially interested in the physical causes and consequences of, and responses to, heatwaves.

Contributions to PGT courses: Understanding Risk and Hydrometeorological Hazards 

Dr Léonie Newhouse

I am a human geographer with an interest in the negotiation of social complexities in places experiencing or recovering from conflict, and those undergoing other moments of dramatic transformation. Much of my research has explored experiences of both internal and international displacement, including what happens when people return after conflict has subsided. I am also deeply interested in humanitarianisms and the variety of interventions aimed at managing human suffering.  

Contributions to PGT courses: Social Dimensions of Risk and Resilience 

Dr Elizabeth Orr

I am a glacial geologist and geomorphologist focused on earth surface processes, natural hazards and the wider evolution of glaciated and mountain landscapes. I am particularly interested in the processes, controls and impacts of erosion. I use a combination of field and laboratory techniques, remote sensing, and numerical modelling is used to investigate these dynamic landscapes. My research is largely motivated by a wish to better understand the geomorphic and environmental impacts of climate change within mountainous regions; a setting which is particularly sensitive to planetary warming.  

Contributions to PGT courses: Risk Frontiers 

Dr Sim Reaney

Contributions to PGT courses: Hydro-Meteorological Hazards 

Prof Nick Rosser

I am a physical geographer with research interests related to landsliding, particularly those which have an impact on people and society. My research combines remote sensing, laboratory testing and numerical analysis to consider how science can better be used to plan and prepare for landslides typically triggered by earthquakes and monsoons. Recently, much of my research has focused on these issues in the Nepal Himalaya, where a series of research projects have been designed to support the government and UN in finding ways to reduce the risks that people face. I try to integrate as much of this work as possible into my teaching on the risk masters. / /

Contributions to PGT courses: Spatial and Temporal Dimensions of Hazards 


Dr Aila Spathopoulou 

I am a political geographer focusing on migration politics, border violence and offshore sea spaces. Since 2015, I have been engaged in in-depth and activist informed research in the Mediterranean, specifically on the Greek Aegean border islands and more recently in Poland and Scotland. From 2020-2022, I was a research associate on the GLiTCH ESRC project, exploring cash assistance and digital connectivity in Greece (Athens and Lesvos). I am currently a Leverhulme Fellow working on my research project titled “Refuge or return: Changing spatio-temporalities of refugee asylum across Europe and the UK”. I am, also, co-coordinator of the Research Area: Mobility: Migrations and Borders at the Feminist Autonomous Centre for research (FAC) in Athens where I am engaged in participatory action methodologies and decolonial intersectional feminist theories.   ;; 

Contributions to PGT courses: Social Dimensions of Risk and Resilience 


Prof Pete Talling

I study a range of natural hazards, especially those that occur offshore. I am leading a series of major international projects to measure submarine sediment flows called turbidity currents for the first time, which break seafloor cable networks that now carry 99% of global data, and thus form the backbone of the internet, cloud data storage and financial markets. These powerful seabed flows also form the largest sediment accumulations, and carve the largest canyons and channels on our planet. I also work on tsunami hazards, from both underwater landslides and major earthquakes. Past project that I led include those studying the Storegga Submarine Landslide off Norway, which is larger than Scotland, and produced a tsunami that ran up to heights of up to 20m around North Sea coastlines. Or the even larger submarine landslide deposit that lies below the Storegga Slide (the Tampen Slide). My ongoing work also includes marine records of volcanic eruptions, most recently including the huge eruption in Tonga in 2022, which severed both telecommunication cables to Tonga during that crisis.  

Contributions to PGT courses: Understanding Risk 


Dr Laura Turnbull 


Contributions to PGT courses: Spatial and Temporal Dimensions of Hazards 


Dr Sophie Williams 


I am interested in sea-level change, particularly over the Common Era. I use proxy and instrumental data to assess contributors to sea level at a local, regional and global scale. To do this, I use sediments from coastal wetlands. I am also interested in their use in hybrid and nature-based solutions and their vulnerability to future sea-level rise.  

Contributions to PGT courses: Climate, Risk and Society