PhD Studentships A comparative analysis of tropical cyclone resilience in the Caribbean

Supervisor(s): Dr Emma Tompkins and Dr Jadu Dash

Using five case study islands in the Caribbean, island resilience to tropical cyclones (i.e. the ability to return to pre-hazard levels of economic growth and societal function) will be tested quantitatively to clarify the key variables driving resilience. Four of the islands will be selected on the basis that they experience the same levels of average annual exposure to tropical cyclones, and similar topography, but with varying levels of income, settlement patterns and governance structures, as well as land uses. There will be one outlier that has responded well to past tropical cyclones. An a priori assessment suggests that the islands might be: Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Cuba and the outlier will be the Cayman Islands.

The project will involve the collection of disaster data, remote sensing imagery over the last 40 years, land use maps, and visits to the islands to collect ground truth data, collect policy information on the changes in strategies that have been adopted in the last 40 years, local perceptions of areas at risk from disaster, and actions households take to mitigate disaster risk.

Candidates must have a first or strong upper second class degree in Geography, Environmental Science or a closely related subject. In addition, an MSc in an associated subject would be advantageous. In addition, the student will have a good background experience in remote sensing and a willingness to work in the social sciences.

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