Who we are
IHRR’s values are research-driven excellence, openness and collaboration.
We’ve shown on this website the people based at our headquarters in Durham, but it is not always possible to list everyone we work with. So if you can’t find the details of someone you’re looking for, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Executive Director / Wilson Chair in Hazard and Risk
Professor Louise Bracken
Louise leads international networks of researchers and practitioners around hazard, risk and resilience, and is a founding member of the UK Alliance for Disaster Research (UKADR). Louise works closely with policy and practice around resource management and risk in the UK, Malaysia, India and Nepal. Her research involves transdisciplinary research on water including flood risk management and communication, water resource management more widely and building community resilience. She links her physical science understanding of catchment processes to the management and governance of socio-physical landscapes.
She has been awarded more than £3m in research funding, including awards from the EU on Nature Based Solutions, UK research councils on flood risk management, the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), and other less traditional funders such as the UK Heritage Lottery Fund and Yorventure. Louise has over 1,200 ISI citations and more than 65 publications in a range of top journals covering human geography, anthropology, environmental sciences, hydrology and geomorphology.
Co-Director of IHRR / Lecturer in the Department of English Studies
Dr Marc Botha
Marc is a Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Literature and Theory in the Department of English Studies at Durham University as well as being a Co-Director in IHRR.
In 2012 Marc was appointed Lecturer in English at the University of Pretoria, and was subsequently seconded as a research associate to the Leverhulme Trust Tipping Points project hosted by Durham’s Institute for Hazard Risk and Resilience. Marc was appointed to his current position as Lecturer in the Department of English Studies in 2016, and is also an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa.
Marc's research interrogates the intersection of critical theory, modern and contemporary literature, and interdisciplinary aesthetics. It focuses on elaborating particular concepts – minimum, event, vulnerability, fragility, object, encounter, end – and the ways these concepts travel between histories, places, cultures and media. These concepts are put to work in three separate but interrelated areas: minimalism; fragility and vulnerability studies; and queer ecologies.
Co-Director of IHRR /
Chair in accounting and finance at the Business School
Professor Julian Williams
Julian Williams started at Durham University Business School in January 2014. He has published widely on the topics of financial regulation, risk management and portfolio management. His main interests lie in market microstructure, regulating complex derivative securities and the impact of the liquidity of these instruments on the cost of capital for individuals, companies and governments. Julian’s work has been commented on and referenced in the Financial Times, the Press and Journal and OECD publications.
IHRR Postdoctoral Research Associate
Dr Hanna Ruszczyk, Assistant Professor (Research)
Hanna’s research is concerned with urban risk and resilience governance strategies and frameworks in overlooked regional cities of the global south. She investigates the portfolio of risks different scales of government are concerned with and which they govern for. Exploring how residents manage their portfolio of risk and how residents interact with local authorities is also a key area of Hanna’s research.
Hanna supports IHRR in a range of activities including establishing and strengthening relationships internally and externally, fundraising as well as organising seminars for the postgraduate community of Durham University.
IHRR Administrator and PA to Institute Executive Director
Mrs Julie Dobson
Julie joined IHRR in 2011 as the Institute’s Administrator. Her main responsibilities are managing all administrative work in the Institute and delivering a consistently high level of service by liaising with external and internal stakeholders and ensuring that the budget is effectively managed so that the Institute can achieve its strategic priorities. Julie also produces timely management information for departmental strategic and operational planning and decision making as well as encompassing PA support to the Institute's Executive Director / Wilson Chair, Professor Louise Bracken.
Miss Katie Thurlbeck
Katie joined the Institute in 2013 as a Secretary to support IHRR across several key areas; facilitating the Seminar Series for the Risk Masters students and the PG forums, as well as assisting with other events organised by the Institute. She is responsible for the communications which help the Institute meet its strategic priorities. This includes designing new web pages, updating web content, using social media and proof reading academic publications and Institute reports.