Vice Chancellor’s PhD Scholarship student Alessandra Lotteri recently flew to São Miguel Island in the Archipelago of Azores, Portugal, to complete her first fieldwork for data collection. Part of her PhD research looks at volcanic and earthquake risk perception, specifically in the islands of Sao Miguel and Faial.
Alessandra said: “I met wonderful people whose effort made my work very productive and at the same time extremely enjoyable. I travelled up and down the island to interview and collect as many people’s points of view as possible. I also visited the archive to bring home the experiences of the islanders with natural extreme phenomena in the last 150 years, and had the chance to learn about the natural beauty, uses and costumes of people in the Atlantic.”
While in the Azores, Alessandra participated in the 4th VERTIGO Workshop held in Fenais da Luz on São Miguel island. This workshop’s topic was ‘The lifecycle of volcanic ash’ or ‘Everything you always wanted to know about ash but were afraid to ask’. The three-day scientific programme was complemented by a two-day workshop on grant proposal writing.
Alessandra presented her paper Population dynamics: the changing spatial pattern in hazard vulnerability and resilience in the Azores in a poster format. Her work was well received and she established a network of international contacts across a range of disciplines. The long-term benefits of this meeting are important, not only in terms of Alessandra’s PhD, but also for hazard research more generally within Liverpool Hope.
Reflecting on the experience, Alessandra said: “My memories of the fieldwork and workshop are of inspiring and motivating people. I’d recommend everyone visit Azores, it’s an amazing land with four seasons in one day, cool stories and a great warm heart that welcome everyone.”