Sarah Johnson

Loughborough University


Global assessment of flood impact on emergency service provision to vulnerable populations under climate change


Dr Dapeng Yu, Dr Robert Wilby & Dr Tom Matthews

PhD Summary

My research project aims to identify vulnerability ‘hotspots’ of global populations in terms of emergency service provision during times of flooding of various magnitude under climate change. This will involve the use of Big Geographical and Climate Data to evaluate geographical differences of vulnerability ‘hotspots’ in terms of Ambulance and Fire & Rescue Service accessibility within regulatory timeframes. The project will also incorporate climate change by a variety of future flood risk maps for the analysis of varying flood event probabilities, emission scenarios, and timeframes. An economic assessment to express actionable risk information in monetary terms will also be conducted. The findings generated from this project can be used by national and international decision-makers to inform their adaptation strategies.

What inspires you?

My interest in the natural world peaked at a young age when I first learned about natural disasters and how nature can evolve into catastrophic events that devastate millions of people worldwide. This inspired my interest in the field lead by my aspiration to make an impact and help vulnerable populations.

Previous Activity

Prior to starting my PhD, I studied an MSci in Physical Geography at Loughborough University. During my third year I undertook a project looking at the impacts of flooding on ambulance-assisted evacuations in Norfolk and Suffolk, and the associated financial impact on the NHS. I then further developed this for my fourth year project in which I investigated the financial burden of EMS-assisted evacuations from hurricane-generated storm surges along the U.S. East Coast.

Why did you choose Docotoral Research?

During my undergraduate studies I discovered a topic that fascinates me, and I really enjoyed the research process, so it was natural to undertake doctoral research for the opportunity to further pursue and develop this research topic

Why did you choose a CENTA Studentship?

Aside from being attracted to the topic of the project, I was most interested in the diverse training and networking opportunities that are provided as part of the CENTA studentship in order to advance skills for a future career in academia or industry.

What are your future plans

Studying here will allow me to develop skills, training, and contacts that I can utilise to continue into a career of research and academia.