School of Earth and Environment

Dr Meghan Alexander

Research Fellow

Telephone number: +44(0) 113 34 37966
Email address: M.Alexander@leeds.ac.uk
Room: 9.123

Biography

Meghan joined the Sustainability Research Institute as a Research Fellow in July 2016. She is currently involved in an EU Copernicus Climate Change Service project, SECTEUR – ‘Sector Engagement for the Copernicus Climate Change Services (C3S): Translating European User Requirements’. The project aims to understand the different requirements of Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) and derived Climate Impact Indicators, across a number of policy sectors - including agriculture, forestry, coasts, health, transport, insurance and tourism. Meghan will lead the development of an EU-wide online survey and subsequent quantitative analysis, as well as supporting the production of a stakeholder engagement framework. On the basis of this research, the project aims to deliver better-tailored information to support planning and decision-making for climate adaptation and mitigation.

Prior to this, Meghan was employed by the Flood Hazard Research Centre at Middlesex University and researching a range of themes relating to flooding and flood risk management; including perceptions of risk and vulnerability, resilience, adaptation, social vulnerability mapping, flood risk governance and policy. As a postdoctoral researcher, Meghan was involved in the EU-funded project “STAR-FLOOD” (“Strengthening And Redesigning European flood risk practices), which combined public administration and legal methodologies to analyse and evaluate flood risk governance arrangements in selected EU Member States in terms of societal resilience, resource efficiency and legitimacy. Insights from cross-country comparisons informed a number of recommendations and design principles for strengthening flood risk governance at European, national and sub-national scales (http://www.starflood.eu/).

Meghan’s doctoral research examined constructions of flood vulnerability from the perspectives of emergency professionals and the public in two selected UK case studies. Reinvigorating the etic-emic (outsider-insider) distinction previously developed in psychology and anthropology, Meghan's research critically examined the extent to which constructions of vulnerability may be aligned to the etic-emic gradient. Introducing the notion of "insiderness", this research documented the influence of this upon constructions of vulnerability (hazard-centric, social-centric and existential in nature) and patterns of self-declared vulnerability amongst the public at risk of flooding. Insights from this research raised implications for cultivating household resilience, as well as tailoring risk communication and activities in community engagement. In turn, engagement with emergency professionals revealed opportunities for improving area-wide vulnerability assessments through more interactive and malleable forms of mapping; flexible to different place and hazard contexts, as well as professional needs. This was supported by a Doctoral Training Grant, jointly funded through Middlesex University and the EPSRC under the auspices of the Flood Risk Management Research Consortium (FRMRC Phase 2).

Before undertaking her PhD, Meghan was awarded a BSc First Class (Hons) degree in Geography from the University of Wales Aberystwyth, which was accompanied by the Gregynog & James Fairgrieve Prize (Science) for achieving the highest academic achievement within the degree scheme.

Qualifications

  • PhD entitled “Constructions of flood vulnerability across an etic-emic spectrum”, Flood Hazard Research Centre, Middlesex University London. Available from http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/13530/
  • Postgraduate Certificate in social science research methods (Distinction), Middlesex University London
  • BSc (Hons) Geography (First class), University of Wales, Aberystwyth

Memberships/Fellowships

Postgraduate Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers.

Research Interests

Meghan's research experience spans a range of areas, including;

  • Climate services, Climate Impact Indicators and decision-making needs
  • Climate change and natural hazards vulnerability, risk perception, resilience and adaptation
  • Risk governance
  • Flood risk management
  • Knowledge exchange at the scientific-practitioner interface

Publications

Alexander, M., Doorn, N. and Priest, S. (in press) Bridging the legitimacy gap –Translating theory into practical signposts for legitimate flood risk governance. Regional Environmental Change.

Bruno Soares, M., Alexander, M. and Dessai, S. (in press) Sectoral use of climate information in Europe: a synoptic overview. Climate Services.

Fournier, M., Larrue, C., Alexander, M., Hegger, D., Bakker, M., Pettersson, M., Crabbé, A., Mees, H. and Chorynski, A. (2016) Flood risk mitigation in Europe – how far are we from desired forms of adaptive governance? Ecology and Society. 21(4): 49

Alexander, M., Priest, S. and Mees, H. (2016) A framework for evaluating flood risk governance. Environmental Science and Policy. 64. 38-47

Gilissen, H.K., Alexander, M., Matczak, P., Pettersson, M. and Bruzzone, S. (2016) A framework for evaluating the effectiveness of flood emergency management systems in Europe. Ecology and Society. 21(4): 27

Gilissen, H.K., Alexander, M., Beyers, J-C., Chmielewski, P., Matczak, P., Schellenberger, T. and Suykens, C. (2016) Bridges over Troubled Water – Towards an Interdisciplinary Framework for Evaluating the Interconnectedness within Fragmented Domestic Flood Risk Management Systems. Journal of Water Law. 25 (1). 12-26

Mees, H., Crabbe, A., Alexander, M., Bruzzone, S., Kaufmann, M., Levy, L. and Lewandowski, J. (2016) Coproducing flood risk management through citizen involvement –Insights from cross-country comparisons in Europe. Ecology and Society. 21(3): 7

Faulkner, H., Alexander, M. & Leedal, D. (2014) Translating uncertainty in flood risk science. In: Beven, K. And Hall, J. (Eds). Applied uncertainty analysis for flood risk management. World Scientific. ISBN: 978-1-84816-270-9.

Alexander, M., Viavattene, C., Faulkner, H. and Priest, S. (2013) Translating the complexities of flood risk science using KEEPER - A Knowledge exchange exploratory tool for professionals in emergency management. Journal of Flood Risk Management. 7(3).

Official/Research reports

Alexander, M., Bruno Soares, M. and Dessai, S. (2017) Multi-sector requirements of climate information and impact indicators across Europe: Summary report of key findings from the SECTEUR survey. May 2017. Deliverable 2.3 (Part II) for the “SECTEUR” project: Sector Engagement for the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) - Translating European User Requirements. Available on request.

Alexander, M., Bruno Soares, M. and Dessai, S. (2016) Multi-sector requirements of climate information and impact indicators across Europe: Findings from the SECTEUR survey – Part 1. Deliverable 2.3 for the “SECTEUR” project: Sector Engagement for the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) - Translating European User Requirements. Available on request.

Alexander, M., Bruno Soares, M. and Dessai, S. 2016. Ascertaining multi-sector requirements of climate information and impact indicators across Europe: summary of the online multi-lingual survey questions, rationale and dissemination. Deliverable 2.1 for the “SECTEUR” project: Sector Engagement for the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) - Translating European User Requirements. Available on request.

Alexander, M., Priest, S., Micou, A.P., Tapsell, S., Green, C., Parker, D., and Homewood, S. (2016) Analysing and evaluating flood risk governance in England – Enhancing societal resilience through comprehensive and aligned flood risk governance. STAR-FLOOD Consortium. Flood Hazard Research Centre, Middlesex University. Available from http://www.starflood.eu/documents/2016/03/wp3-en-final-webversion.pdf

Ek, K. Pettersson, M., Alexander, M., Beyers, J-C., Pardoe, J., Priest, S., Suykens, C., and van Rijswick, H.F.M.W. (2016) Design principles for resilient, efficient and legitimate flood risk governance; Lessons from cross-country comparisons. STAR-FLOOD deliverable report (Report No. D5.2).

Hegger, D., Driessen, P. and Bakker, M. (eds) (2016) A view on more resilient flood risk governance: key conclusions of the STAR-FLOOD project. STAR-FLOOD deliverable report (Report No. D6.4). Available from http://www.starflood.eu/documents/2016/03/d6-4-final-report-webversion.pdf

Alexander, M., Priest, S. and Mees, H. (2015) Practical guidelines for evaluating flood risk governance. [In] Larrue, C., Hegger, D., Trémorin, J-B (Eds). Researching flood risk governance in Europe: A framework and methodology for assessing flood risk governance. STAR-FLOOD deliverable report (Report No. D2.2.1). Available from http://www.starflood.eu/documents/2016/02/practical-guidelines-evaluating-flood-risk-governance.pdf

Priest, S., Alexander, M., Green, C., Buijze, A. and Van Doorn-Hoekveld, W. (2013) Chapter 5: Evaluation Framework [In] Larrue, C., Hegger, D., Trémorin, J-B (Eds). Researching flood risk governance in Europe: A framework and methodology for assessing flood risk governance. STAR-FLOOD deliverable report (D2.2.1). http://www.starflood.eu/documents/2014/07/d-2-2-1.pdf

Priest, S., Alexander, M., Green, C., Buijze, A. and Van Doorn-Hoekveld, W. (2013) Theoretical background to the evaluation framework. [In] Larrue, C., Hegger, D., Trémorin, J-B (Eds). Researching flood risk governance in Europe: Background theories. STAR-FLOOD deliverable report (D2.2.2). Available from http://www.starflood.eu/documents/2014/01/d2-2-2.pdf

Alexander M., Viavattene C., Faulkner H., Priest S. (2011). A GIS- based flood risk management tool: supporting flood incident management at the local scale. FRMRC report SWP3.2. London: FHRC.

Tapsell, S., McCarthy, S., Faulkner, H. and Alexander, M. (2010) CapHaz-Net: WP4 Social Vulnerability. Submitted to CapHaz-Net: Social capacity building for natural hazards, towards more resilient societies. Available from http://caphaz-net.org/outcomes-results/CapHaz-Net_WP4_Social-Vulnerability2.pdf