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Professor David Chester to present inaugural lecture

David Chester Tuesday 2 February 2016

Professor of Environmental Sciences and Head of Geography David Chester will give his inaugural lecture in the Senate Room on Wednesday 10th February at 5pm. 

Entitled 'What happened then matters now', the lecture will reconstruct the impacts of historic volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. 

Professor Chester has been involved in disaster research for four decades, and the study of historic earthquakes and volcanic eruptions has been a focus of interest for more than 20 years. 

A principal methodological outcome of United Nations' International Decade of Natural Disaster Reduction (1990-2000) and the subsequent International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, has been a greater focus on human vulnerability/resilience and the unique character/culture of specific places, rather than merely the nature of the extreme events that cause losses. 

Historical reconstructions of historical events are important for two reasons. First, many even recent historic disasters were not fully recorded within the academic literature at the time and so it has proved difficult to know their impacts. 

Secondly, the ways in which societies and authorities respond are important considerations in future emergency planning. 

In this presentation, reference will be made to: the impacts of eighteenth century earthquakes in Portugal; the 1906 and 1944 eruptions of Vesuvius in Italy and a number of historic eruptions of Etna in Sicily, in order to illustrate the ways in which historical sources may be used to reconstruct the impact of historic disasters.

If you would like to attend the free public lecture, please email to confirm attendance. 

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