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Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience

Current Research Projects

The Water Hub

The Water Hub is a new collaborative initiative between Durham University, Durham County Council, the Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water. The aim is to engage with Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the North East of England to identify and develop innovative, practical solutions to challenges in the region’s water sector.

Read more here.

Community-based Earthquake Disaster Risk Reduction in China (CEDRRiC)

January 2016 - January 2019

Earthquakes are a major threat to lives, livelihoods, and economic development in China. Of the 2-2.5 million deaths in earthquakes worldwide since 1900, at least 650,000 have occurred in China. Read more here.

Action on Natural Disasters (AND)

Action on Natural Disasters is a new Doctoral Training Initiative (DTI) that focuses on interdisciplinary research into the causes, consequences, and mitigation of natural disasters.

Read more here.

Land Insecurity and Poverty in Africa

The primary challenge is reversing low agricultural productivity and poor economic performance driven by land insecurity in Africa. We want to break the stranglehold of poor land productivity, insecure land tenure, and underdeveloped value chains, which trap communities in a vicious cycle of persistent poverty. Read more here.

Mapping flood extent in Nepal for the 2017 Monsoon

Rainfall generated flooding is a significant annual problem in the Himalaya, especially in the latter stages of monsoon season. To reduce the impacts on communities we normally apply hydrological and hydraulic simulation models and analysis to test a range of mitigation scenarios. For these tools to work, we need detailed datasets on the flood flows, floodplain topography and the inundated extent within the floodplain areas. Read more here.


Prof Harriet Bulkeley (Department of Geography) and Prof Louise Bracken (IHRR Executive Director) have been awarded 7.8 million Euro from Horizon 2020 to lead a multi-partner project funded to understand how innovations with nature-based solutions can unlock the potential for sustainable urban development. Read more here.

Health Interventions in Volcanic Eruptions (HIVE)

Claire Horwell, Earth Sciences (2015 - 2019)

HIVE is a research consortium that is building a new, and urgently required, evidence base on the effectiveness and suitability of different forms of respiratory protection for general population use during volcanic crises. The early results of the laboratory work have been used by NGOs and communities in Indonesia, in decision making on mask procurement during the eruption of Agung volcano.

HIVE website

Coastal Behaviour and Rates of Activity (COBRA)

Nick Rosser, Geography (2002 - 2019)

Exploring the relationship between cliff rock falls and their association with marine and weather conditions using advanced monitoring and modelling techniques.

COBRA website


Sim Reaney, Geography (2009 - 2018)

A national demonstration test catchment for monitoring the River Eden to reduce risks of diffuse pollution from agriculture.

EdenDTC website

Durham Climate Change Network

A network of researchers throughout Durham University working on multiple facets of climate change research.

Durham Climate Change Network website