My educational and professional background has followed two main strands: one in the health and social care sector and the other in geosciences and natural hazards. After a BSc in Human Cybernetics (University of Reading 1997), I worked in social care settings before gaining an MA in social work (University of Nottingham 2003). Continuing in that sector, I worked directly with vulnerable adults before moving into regulation of health and social care including work as an analyst on the development and use of associated datasets. However, a career break in Latin America awakened an old interest in the natural world and especially volcanoes. So alongside my employment I gained a second BSc in Geosciences (Open University 2012) and an MSc in Geophysical Hazards (UCL 2014).
My broad research interests are in the area of natural hazards and disaster risk reduction. I am particularly interested in volcanoes and in how science can be better applied and integrated with other disciplines including social sciences to reduce the loss of life and livelihoods from eruptive events. My PhD project at the University of East Anglia began in October 2014 and reflects my interdisciplinary interests, focussed on the island of Dominica in the Lesser Antilles, home to 70,000 people and with the highest density of potentially active volcanic centres in the world. Recognising the uncertainties surrounding future eruptive events, I will gather data on the volcanic hazard as well as apply social scientific methods to better understand the vulnerabilities and resilience of the local community. I will then use the approaches being developed by the STREVA project to integrate these interacting factors into a volcanic risk assessment. My PhD is funded by the National Environmental Research Council (NERC) via the ENVEast Doctoral Training Partnership.