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Disaster and Risk

Centre for Integrated Research on Risk and Resilience

Notions of community resilience and human activities that contribute to vulnerability must be integrated with the understanding of natural and physical processes in order to reduce risk. The concepts of hazard, vulnerability and risk can be improved through the identification and assessment of risks from natural hazards on global, regional, and local scales, and the development of the capability to forecast hazardous events and their consequences.

Understanding effective decision-making in the context of risk management of natural hazards including those associated with climate change —what is it and how it can be improved—calls for an emphasis on how human decisions and the pragmatic factors that constrain or facilitate such decisions can contribute to hazards becoming disasters or to mitigating disaster impacts. Processes of human adjustment or adaptation can be used to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience. Researchers in the Natural Hazards and Climate Change group focus on reducing risk and losses through the monitoring and implementation of informed risk reduction decisions and through reductions in vulnerability or exposure.


The study area has three focal areas of research and teaching:

  • To improve the characterization of hazards, vulnerability, risk and resilience.
  • To better understand and inform decision-making in complex and changing risk contexts.
  • To reduce disaster risk and loss through knowledge-based actions.


Members of this study area are drawn from the Departments of Geography, Nursing and Midwifery, War Studies and Management.

For more information please contact:

Prof. Mark Pelling 
Centre Director / Senior Lecturer in Geography
Mark’s research interests are in the institutions and social relationships that shape vulnerability and adaptation to natural disasters, including those associated with climate change, and in the ways in which conflicting values and practices of development inform resilience and transformation in the face of environmental change.
More about Mark


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