Natural Hazards and Catastrophes

Addressing impacts of climatic and geological hazards on human civilization

Natural hazards are seen as an important threat to our society and is at the core of our research here in the Institute for the Environment. Our staff have a record of involvement in international projects concerned with hazards posed to human society through rapid climatic and sea-level change and seismic events. For example, Professor Suzanne A G Leroy is leading an international focus group on "Hazards and humans" for the TERPRO commission of INQUA.

Climatic Catastrophes

Professor Suzanne A G Leroy is involved in a variety of projects concerned with understanding the role of past environmental change in major (catastrophic) events in human civilisation. She has played key roles in the following projects:

  • ICSU Dark Nature - Rapid natural change and human responses
  • IGCP490 - The role of Holocene environmental catastrophes in human history
  • Black Sea (IGCP 521) A cross-disciplinary and cross-regional investigation of the entire Black Sea-Mediterranean “Corridor”, in order to evaluate an influence of sea level change and coastline migration on human adaptation in in this important region during last 30,000 years.
  • Caspian Sea (IGCP 481) CASPAGE: Dating Caspian sea-level change

Earthquake Hazards

Professor Suzanne A G Leroy conducts research on several projects concerned with human responses to earthquakes including:

  • the EU (RELIEF) project
  • a NATO project on earthquake limnology in Turkey.
  • A British Academy a grant awarded to her to work on the impact of earthquakes on agriculture during the Early Byzantine times as seen from laminites from the Dead Sea

Mass Extinctions

Dr Stephen Kershaw is working on Sedimentology and palaeobiology of mass extinction events (presently the two largest: Late Ordovician, and latest Permian, in central China).

Page last updated: Friday 25 May 2012