Team biographies

Mike Wilson

MikeMike Wilson is Professor of Drama at Loughborough University. His research lies in the field of popular and vernacular performance and he has published extensively on Storytelling, Grand-Guignol and Brecht and his collaborators. His work on storytelling has led him to research the interface between storytelling and digital technology and the way in which the internet has enabled the telling and sharing of stories of everyday experience. He has recently been researching the use of storytelling as a framework for public policy development, especially in relation to climate change and environmental challenge.

Dr Antonia Liguori

Antonia LiguoriDr Antonia Liguori joined Loughborough University – School of the Arts, English and Drama as Research Assistant to work with Professor Mike Wilson on DRY Project with a focus on digital storytelling. She has a PhD in History and Computer Science from the University of Bologna and a Masters in Contemporary History from the University of Rome. She is also a journalist and a Web content and SEOmanager. Since January 2006, she has coordinated the Multimedia Department at BAICR Sistema Cultura with the aim of contributing to the enhancement of the Italian cultural heritage through the use of innovative methodologies and the creation of digital environments. Since September 2012, she has coordinated two European Projects about digital storytelling on behalf of the Luigi Sturzo Institute (Italy).

Joanne Garde-Hansen

JoanneJoanne Garde-Hansen is Associate Professor in Culture, Media and Communication, in the Centre for Cultural Policy Studies at the University of Warwick, UK. She directs the MA in Global Media and Communication. Her research and teaching focus upon two strands: media, memory, archives and heritage; and media, gender, emotion and ageing. She has published on (digital) media and memory in a range of books and journal articles. Joanne is co-investigator on the ESRC funded Sustainable Flood Memories project. She is currently working with colleagues in São Paulo, Brazil on the theory and practice of a social technology of media and memory.

Dr Caitlin DeSilvey

Caitlin DeSilveyDr Caitlin DeSilvey is a cultural geographer in the Environment and Sustainability Institute at the University of Exeter. Her research uses visual imagery and narrative to engage people in imagining changing environments and places, and looks to patterns from the past to try to understand what the future might bring. She co-directs the Centre for Environmental Arts and Humanities and is a Public Engagement Champion with the University of Exeter Catalyst Project.

Professor Lindsey McEwen

Lindsey McEwenLindsey McEwen combines experience in hydrology, water resources/flood risk management, water education/ science communication and community-based learning. Previous funded projects include:ESRC Flood Memories project (2011- 2013; with Joanne Garde-Hansen) focused on flood memories/local knowledge for increased resilience, with linked ESRC Knowledge Exchange funding, Trialling digital storytelling as a form of adaptive learning, and knowledge exchange for resilience in ‘at risk communities’ (2013/14); NERC FOSTER (Flood Organisation Science and Technology Exchange Research; Co-I; ‘cutting edge’ flood science communication to local authorities); JISC-funded Flood Archive enhancement through storytelling (with Mike Wilson); and AHRC Hydrocitizenship project (2014). Lindsey is experienced at interdisciplinary project management and in working across disciplinary boundaries, particularly water science/social science/arts and humanities interfaces. She led the AHRC Living flood histories network (Learning to Live with Water: Flood histories, Environmental Change, Remembrance and Resilience and was co-investigator on the AHRC Multi-story water project, engaging the public with changing risk and ‘watery sense of place’ through water narratives interwoven with performance theatre. Other information about Lindsey’s recent projects.

Dr Ragab Ragab

Dr Ragab RagabDr Ragab Ragab is a hydrologist and water resources management specialist. Expert in catchment hydrology, impact of land use and climate change, water and food security and drought management. Vice President H of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID). Adviser to various organisations including United Nation Development Programme (UNDP). Lecturer and external examiner to various Universities. Recipient of several International Awards. Evaluator for funding organisations. Member of Editorial Boards. Developed two widely used models, SALTMED for field scale as a tool for integrated management of water, soils, crops and N- fertilisers and Integrated Hydrological Modeling System for catchment/basin scale.

Dr Liz Roberts

Liz RobertsLiz Roberts is a research associate on the Drought Research and You (DRY) project, working with local stakeholders in the project’s river catchment areas to develop narratives for a utility that can be used to inform decision making about drought. She has previous experience working as a human geographer in a project looking at stakeholder co-design of new digital technologies for enhancing rural resilience. Her PhD looked at how geographers work with and think about visual images and methods, using an auto-ethnographic and creative writing approach.

Dr Virginie Keller

Virginie KellerDr Virginie Keller is an environmental modeller specialised in the fate and behaviour of point source chemicals in UK, European and international contexts. She also has experience in hydrological modelling, with particular emphasis on modelling daily and monthly rainfall across the UK for the time period (1890-2012).

Dr Yan Weigang

Yan WeigangDr Yan Weigang is a data scientist and researcher with a background in science and business management. Her current research interest is focused on developing novel concept and tools for the acquisition, management, analysis and synthesis of ecological/environmental data so as to inform decision on environmental issues like sustainability, climate change and biodiversity.

Dr James Blake

James BlakeDr James Blake has 10 years’ experience in numerical catchment hydro-ecological modelling. Previous research has included: identifying environmental impacts of drought on wetlands, quantifying impacts of climate change on wetlands, assessing the feasibility of large scale wetland restoration including drought mitigation and assessment of drought effects on ecosystem services.

Dr Philip Staddon

Philip StaddonDr Philip Staddon is an ecologist by training with over 13 years in environmental change research. He is currently working on the impacts of climate change, including drought, on human health and wellbeing. He has published widely in ecology and climate change including articles in Science and Nature Climate Change.

Dr Martina McGuinness

Martina McGuinessDr Martina McGuinness is a Senior Lecturer in Risk Management and Strategy at the University of Sheffield’s Management School. She carries out research into the governance and strategic management of climate-related risks, and the impact of these risks upon public, private and third sector organisations. She is currently working on an EPSRCfunded project, SESAME, which examines flood risk in the UK SME sector and is also a NERC Policy Placement Fellow with the UK’s Environment Agency.

Dr Colin Booth

Colin BoothDr Colin Booth has been the Associate Head of Department for Research and Scholarship since joining UWE in early 2012 and he is also the Director of the Construction and Property Research Centre. He was previously a Reader in Construction Management, a Reader in Civil Engineering, an Overseas Tutor (Hong Kong), a Senior Lecturer in Civil and Environmental Engineering, a European Research Project Manager and he also held several Post-doctoral Research Fellowship posts.

Dr Mark Everard

Dr Mark EverardDr Mark Everard is associate Professor of Ecosystem Services at UWE, a proponent of ecosystem services since the 1980s with experience in international development and resource management (particularly catchments) spanning academic, NGO, private and public sectors, including research, advisory and policy roles and significant contributions to published and broadcast media.

Dr Andrew Black

Dr Andrew BlackDr Andrew Black is a physical hydrologist with interests in floods, water resources and hydrological monitoring networks.  Most of his career to date has focused on the hydrology and management of Scottish rivers, including secondments into industry and government. Andrew comments: “I’ve been privileged to meet and work with a lot of people who use water as a resource – for irrigation, power generation and for public supplies; this project will be a fascinating opportunity to explore peoples’ attitudes to water shortage.”

Dr Sarah Ayling

Sarah AylingDr Sarah Ayling is a plant physiologist. She has studied the effects of drought and the root environment on plant growth in the UK, USA and Australia. Sarah is experienced in nutrient transport, ion-imaging and water relations. In her spare time, she is actively involved with local conservation groups and environmental education activities.

Dr Timothy Taylor

TimothyDr Tim Taylor is Lecturer in Environmental and Public Health Economics in the European Centre for Environment and Human Health, part of the University of Exeter Medical School. Tim is an expert in the valuation of the impacts of climate change and was involved in the valuation work on the first UK Climate Change Risk Assessment. Tim is currently involved in the EC FP7 funded project BASE, where he is using cost-benefit analysis to assess adaptation strategies for the health sector. Tim has recently published in journals such as Ecological Economics and Public Health.

Dr Adam Corner

Adam CornerDr Adam Corner directs the Talking Climate programme for the Climate Outreach and Information Network (COIN), a charity which specialises in climate change communication. He is also a Research Associate in the School of Psychology at Cardiff University. His research focused on the psychology of climate change communication and he works with a range of academic, policy and civil society stakeholders on projects to engage the public. He writes regularly for the Guardian, New Scientist and other national media.

Dr Jill Thompson

Jill ThompsonDr Jill Thompson is a plant ecologist interested in ecosystems, disturbance, land use history and environmental stress. Her PhD involved plant communities growing on metal contaminated soil in Wales. Most of her research has involved studies into the effect of environmental conditions and hurricane disturbance on the dynamics of tropical forests.

Dr Margarida Sardo

MargaridaDr Margarida Sardo is a Research Fellow in the Science Communication Unit (SCU) and brings to the project specialist skills in science communication and in project evaluation. Her research interests include the routes by which environmental science and research are used and embedded in policy-making, informal learning, science communication impact and evaluation and innovative strategies for public engagement. Margarida’s current role is to develop ideas for collaborative projects with other researchers and academics. Margarida has done research/consultancy work for the Wellcome Trust, the British Academy, DG Environment (EU), the BBSRC and others. She is part of the SCU, which has run large projects such as Talking robots: examining strategies for engaging publics with robotics (funded by the ECRC), Walking with Robots (funded by the EPSRC), etc. Margarida has a first degree in Biology and a PhD in Environmental Toxicology. In 2009 she moved into science communication, from a background in the natural sciences. She teaches occasionally on the MSc modules in Science Communication and supervises students.

Dr Mathew White

MathewDr Mathew White is a social/environmental psychologist at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health in the University of Exeter Medical School. He completed his Phd at the University of Sheffield (2004) on the topic of public understanding of environmental and health related risks and trust in risk communicators. More recently he has been focusing on how people cope when faced with multiple decision options and the potential well-being effects of exposure to natural, especially aquatic, environments.

Dr Ann Grand

Ann GrandDr Ann Grand is a Research Fellow in the Science Communication Unit, UWE, Bristol. Her research focuses on how the practice of open science can support public access to and involvement in the process of science and how public engagement with research can be supported and facilitated through digital technologies.

Dr Ivan Grove

IvanDr Ivan Grove is a Principal Lecturer at Harper Adams University in Shropshire, specialising in agronomy, the science of crop and soils, and in particular crop and soil water interactions and nematode pests.  Recent projects include precision irrigation in horticultural crops (HortLink) and use of anti-transpirants in wheat (HGCA). Current research includes irrigation interactions with soil cultivation, anti-transpirants on oilseed rape, remote sensing for crop stress and several nematology projects.  This project will be a very interesting cross-disciplinary approach to drought management.


Dr Emma Weitkamp

Emma WeitkampDr Emma Weitkamp is a Senior Lecturer in Science Communication at UWE Bristol. Her research focuses on the ways that narratives engage a range of audiences from children to policy makers. Current projects include Butterflies, a narrative journey through chaos theory (funded by the STFC) and Boron Mon Amour, a non-linear documentary (funded through the REACT scheme). She has recently written Cosmic Comics (funded by the STFC) and ScienceComics (funded by the EPSRC).


Dr Patty Ramirez

Dr Patty Ramirez recently joined UWE as a Research Associate in Citizen Science on the Drought Research and You (DRY) project. Patty works with a diverse group of stakeholders on a variety of drought risk science initiatives to promote learning opportunities, and to understand the impacts of drought on plant, crop and tree ecology, as well as water use in homes and gardens. Before joining UWE Patty’s dual-title PhD focused on dung beetle community ecology and ecosystem service provision in the Brazilian Cerrado (savanna). She also has an MSc in Taxonomy and Biodiversity from the Natural History Museum, London (with Imperial College) and a BSc in Ecology at Oxford Brookes, focusing on tropical ecology. Patty has worked with a wide range of voluntary organisations and has particular experience in public engagement projects focusing on children and families.

Dr Sarah Ward

Dr Sarah Ward is a Research Fellow with the European Centre for Environment and Human Health (ECEHH) and a Senior Research Fellow with the Centre for Water Systems (CWS), both at the University of Exeter. In her capacity with the ECEHH Sarah joined the DRY project mid-2016 primarily to collect narratives and develop digital stories for the health domain. In her capacity at the CWS, Sarah works on a range of interdisciplinary projects relating to water systems, resilience and sustainability using socio-technical perspectives, mixed methods and public engagement approaches. Sarah’s PhD focused on socio-technical aspects of rainwater harvesting systems (Exeter) and she has an MRes in Science & Technology Studies (Exeter), an MRes in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (Reading) and a BSc in Geography with Astronomy (Plymouth). Sarah previously worked in industry, with Thames Water Utilities Ltd for five years, where she held GIS and water resources analysis roles, the latter during the 2004-06 drought. She is also a Chartered Water and Environmental Manager, a Chartered Environmentalist, an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and runs RainShare (a social enterprise) in her spare time.


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