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International fieldwork takes PhD student to Malta

Geoff Main Friday 12 May 2017

Geoff Main, a PhD student from the Department of Geography and Environmental Science, has recently returned from his two-month fieldwork season in the Maltese Islands.

Funded through a Vice Chancellor’s PhD Scholarship, Geoff’s research involves investigating and analysing the threat of natural disasters in Malta. In particular, he is seeking to further research hazard vulnerability and resilience in the islands.

Talking about his experience, Geoff said: “It was fantastic to have the opportunity to spend a prolonged period of time in the field, getting really immersed in conducting my research, as well as immersing myself in the Maltese culture.

“I’ve been passionate about looking at the interaction between natural hazards and society for the past few years, and I’m grateful to the department and university for enabling me to pursue my research further in such a stunning location.”

Using a variety of physical and human geography methods, Geoff’s research can more accurately evaluate the islands’ hazard exposure, and evidence-based policies and practices of disaster risk reduction can be proposed.

His fieldwork season involved travelling all over the island of Malta, talking with practitioners, scientists, academics, non-governmental organisations and locals, conducting site surveys, alongside extensive work in the various archival collections housed at the University of Malta and at the National Archives. He was also fortunate enough to join students from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and Harokopio University of Athens on their Geohazards and Disaster Risk Reduction field course in early April, learning more about landslide hazards and georisks in Valletta, Mdina and Kalkara. 

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