Floods in the Anthropocene: myths, mud, and metals

The School of Geography, University of Lincoln will be hosting a series of seminars throughout 2017/18.

The first of these seminars will be facilitated by the Head of School of Geography/Director of Lincoln Centre for Water & Planetary Health, Prof Mark Macklin and will take place on Wednesday 27th September 2017 between 11.45 and 13:00 in MC0024 (MHT).

Prof Macklin pictured on a field trip to New Zealand.

Prof Macklin pictured on a field trip to New Zealand.

Floods in the Anthropocene: myths, mud, and metals

Coastal, fluvial and pluvial flooding is the world’s most significant and costly natural hazard. Recent flood events have highlighted the significant limitations of current flood risk assessment and forecasting practices because of the short length and restricted geographical coverage of river flow records, and non-stationarity in flood series resulting from climate, catchment land-cover and land-use change. New flood-related ecosystem and human health problems have also appeared resulting from sediment-associated contaminants. The aim of this lecture is to consider some of the emerging environmental and health related problems that river and catchment scientists are likely to be asked to solve in the early 21st century. With particular reference to the UK, three topics will be explored: are recent floods “unprecedented” and are they becoming more frequent; the use of sedimentary archives to extend flood series and improve flood risk assessment; and new flood-related threats to food and water security, animal and human health.

Professor Mark G. Macklin, an award winning physical geographer, is an authority on river systems and global environmental change. He is the Founding Head of the new School of Geography at the University of Lincoln and Founding Director of the Lincoln Centre for Water and Planetary Health. He also holds the Chair of Fluvial Geomorphology at Massey University, New Zealand. Mark’s research focuses on river channel and floodplain responses to climate change, long-term human-river environment interactions, alluvial archaeology, flood-risk assessment, metal mining pollution and its impact on ecosystem and human health, and the hydrological controls of malaria. His research is conducted worldwide with ongoing projects in Australia, Greece, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Sudan, Tanzania, UK and Zambia. Mark is an invited member of the UK’s Office of Nuclear Regulation Climate Change Expert Panel advising the Health and Safety Executive on flooding risk for nuclear sites. He is also member of the NERC Peer Review College and Welsh Government Flood Risk Management Wales Executive Committee.

If you would like to attend the above seminar, or are interested in finding out more information, please contact Fiona Burstow: fburstow@lincoln.ac.uk / 01522 835381


Prof Hanna lectures at European Meteorological Society conference

Our School’s Prof Edward Hanna gave a lecture on the “Linkages between atmospheric circulation and mass partitioning of the Greenland Ice Sheet” at the European Meteorological Society’s annual conference in Dublin on Monday 4th September.

Pictured right on a field trip to Greenland, Prof Hanna presented the initial findings of collaborative research that is being carried out in connection with several US and Belgian partners. The project is led by Prof. Marco Tedesco at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory/University of Columbia and NASA.

Prof Edward Hanna on a field visit to the Greenland Ice Sheet, 2012

Prof Edward Hanna on a field visit to the Greenland Ice Sheet, 2012

Edward said of his collaborative research, “The Greenland Ice Sheet is a major contributor to current global sea-level rise and it is therefore important to improve understanding of recent changes in ice-sheet mass balance and of the meteorological causes of these changes. This project is closely related to other research I am leading that is examining variations and trends in high-pressure ‘blocking’ over the ice sheet and possible links with the North Atlantic atmospheric jet stream and extreme weather conditions downstream over the UK.”

School Academic invited to RGS Conference in London

The Royal Geographical Society held their Annual International Conference in London from Tuesday 29 August to Friday 1 September 2017. Dr Adegbola Ojo, was invited to attend as a sessional chair, themed around The Health Millennium Development Goals: Global Strides, Local Meanders and also presented a paper titled, Sustainable Development, Health Disparities and Data – Driven Classification of Geographic Areas.

L-R Dr Anthonia Onyeahialam (Aberystwyth University), Dr Ojo and Mildred Ajebon (Durham University).

Dr Anthonia Onyeahialam (Aberystwyth University), Dr Ojo and Mildred Ajebon (Durham University).

An overview of the session chaired by Dr Ojo:

UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in summary report great strides made globally on the health MDGs. For example, between 2000 and 2015, 37% and 60% decline in malaria incidence and mortality rates respectively has been reported. This is often not the case at many local levels where disease rates contrast amidst elite populations, health behaviours and spaces that are often overlooked. This session thematically explored challenges around the health MDGs, and other cross cutting goals.

The session focused on issues such as:

  • Deviations and contrary reports to progress reported globally on the health MDGs – malaria, HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis, maternal and child health; poverty, hunger; wellbeing.
  • MDGs as a global commodity
  • Local interpretations and perceptions about the health MDGs
  • Hidden and often overlooked local risks, behaviours, space and place and the emergence of spatially constructed diseases
  • Health MDGs, biosecurity and border concerns
  • The role of transnational health care provision, delivery and education including medical missions in the knowledge gaps created between the local and global scale
  • Insights using local, national and global primary and secondary data sources that contradict or complement findings from multiple scales including analytical methods

 You can find out more about the conference here.