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ESPA Deltas Working Papers published...

ESPA Deltas have published the first of their Working Papers Series.

UK Partners

University of Southampton

 The University of Southampton are the project lead for the ESPA Deltas Consortium. 

The Faculty of the Enviroment and Engineering at the University of Southampton represents the largest and most diverse engineering and environmental science grouping in the UK. Our expertise looks deep below the Earth's crust, reaches into space and encompasses everything in between. Our research groups are working on a variety of projects that are addressing some of the major issues facing the world, with investment from research councils, government and industry partners. We work on multidisciplinary projects across the University, as well as with other academic and industrial partners.Engineering and the Environment has built strong relationships with industry. We share our knowledge, expertise and facilities with our partners to help them achieve their goals. We offer a wide range of solutions, from consultancy to long-term, leading-edge research projects.

Professor Robert Nicholls is the Lead PI for the consortium.   Robert Nicholls’ research concerns long-term coastal engineering and management, especially the issues of coastal impacts and adaptation to climate change, with an emphasis on sea-level rise. This includes lead authorship of chapters in four reports of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC): Second Assessment Report (1996); the Regional Assessment (1998); the Special Report on Technology Transfer (2000); and the Third Assessment Report (2001). He was also convening lead author (with P.P. Wong (Singapore)) for the “Coastal Systems and Low-Lying Areas” chapter in the IPCC 4th assessment (published 2007). He participated in the DEFRA-funded “Fast Track” assessments as the coastal expert, led the SURVAS Project which reviewed vulnerability of coastal zones around the world from 1999 to 2001, contributed to the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, and is leads the coastal research theme of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research which developed the “Coastal Simulator”.  He contributed to the Foresight study of Flood and Coastal Defence and its update for the Pitt Review and participated in missions to Russia and the USA. He was one of the principle developers of the DIVA (Dynamic Interactive Vulnerability Assessment) which builds on his experience with the Fast Track Assessments. DIVA is being used in various projects such as NERC QUEST-GSI, the AVOID global impacts, and various EU projects. It has provided input into the EU Green and White Papers on Adaptation, the UNFCCC 2007 paper on adaptation costs and the World Bank 2009 assessment of adaptation costs. He has lead two recent OECD papers on climate change, including an active global assessment of flood exposure in large port cities.  He was awarded the Roger Revelle Medal by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission in 2008 



University of Dundee



Lead Andrew Allan



University of Exeter

Climate change and sustainable futures is a cross-departmental research theme at the University of Exeter, engaged in predicting climate change and its effects on ecosystems and human and animal health; developing the technology for mitigating its effects and the study of public attitudes and government policy. The University also has a research partnership with the Met Office, and has collaborated with the Met Office on Seasonal climate forecasting of infectious diseases. Research strengths within geography relate to climate change, sustainability, energy policy, environmental processes and change, and historical and cultural geography. The Climate and society research group specifically focuses on, among others, the environmental and socio-economic impacts of climate change, climate and sustainability policy and geographies of health.

Professor Neil Adger is the UK lead for Work Package 2.  He is a Professor in Geography specialising in the areas of environmental geography, ecological and institutional economics, and global environmental change, including issues of vulnerability, adaptation and resilience in the face of climate change. He worked extensively on issues of sustainability and resilience in the coastal areas and deltas of Vietnam, as summarised in Living with Environmental Change: Social Resilience, Adaptation and Vulnerability in Vietnam, as well as on coastal planning issues in the Caribbean, published as Making Waves: Integrating Coastal Conservation and Development (with K. Brown and E. Tompkins).

Neil is a member of the Resilience Alliance , a global network of leading scientists and social scientists working on theory and practice of resilience of social-ecological systems for sustainability. He served as a Lead Author in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and as a Convening Lead Author for the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change. He presently leads the chapter on human security for the Fifth Assessment Report. He is Editor, along with Katrina Brown and Declan Conway, of the journal Global Environmental Change

Dr Helen Adams is an Associate Research Fellow in Geography. Helen has seven years’ experience working on the impacts of, and adaptation to, climate change at a national and international level, both in policy formation and research. She has worked at the OECD on policy frameworks for adaptation in the water sector, and at the UNFCCC supporting the implementation of the Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change.

Helen’s PhD research focused on the potential impact of environmental change on migration and pulled on ideas of ecosystem services, individual migration decision-making and sense of place. Helen’s current research interests lie in understanding the diverse ways in which environmental change affects wellbeing in the world’s poor and social differentiation in vulnerability to, and capacity to respond to, environmental change.


University of Oxford

The Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford was founded 20 years ago with a mission "to organize and promote interdisciplinary research on the nature, causes and impact of environmental change and to contribute to the development of management strategies for coping with future environmental change", a statement that still embodies the ECI’s ethos of purposeful environmental research and knowledge exchange.  The ECI is distinctive in its intellectual continuum which stretches from scientific enquiry into the processes of environmental change (e.g. in climate science and forest ecology) to the analysis of sustainable solutions (e.g. in reducing energy demand and adapting infrastructure systems) and the promotion of change for the better through Masters level education and knowledge exchange with partners in government, industry and civil society. The ECI’s scientific objectives originate from the challenges confronted by decision-makers, be they individuals, organisations or institutions and whether in the public or private spheres. The ECI has developed an international track record for research in forests and ecosystems, energy demand and climate impacts and adaptation 

Professor Paul Whitehead is the UK Lead of Work Package 4.  He is Professor of Water Science at the School of Geography and the Environment.  His research interests have focused on dynamic behaviour of river, lakes, wetlands and catchments and the interactions between hydrology, water quality and ecology. He has developed the INCA suite of dynamic models which have been applied widely across the world in many countries and in all continents.Dr Fai Fung is a research fellow at Tyndall Centre for Climate Research, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford. His research interests are in water security with a focus on climate change and water resources.  His recent work explores techniques in using inherently uncertain future environmental and socio-economic changes to better inform decision-making for designing more robust systems.  In the ESPA-Deltas project he will be assisting with the coordination of WP4 in developing and implementing a scenario development framework as well as applying the scenarios to a regional water resources model of the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna basin in WP5


National Oceanography Centre


Dr. Judith Wolf is the UK Lead on Work Package 5.  She has worked at the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory (now part of the National Oceanography Centre) for over 30 years. She leads the Shelf Sea Processes sub-group of the Marine Systems Modelling Group. The National Oceanography Centre undertakes integrated ocean research and technology development from the coast to the deep ocean. The Marine Systems Modelling (MSM) group is world-leading in numerical modelling of the global oceans and shelf seas. This includes modelling the ocean circulation and heat transport, marine ecosystems, sea-ice, turbulence, surface waves, sediment transport, tides and storm surges. Judith’s research expertise includes wave, surge and tide modelling, with applications to the modelling of turbulence, sediment transport in shallow water and coastal flooding. She has been involved in projects on coastal impacts of waves (including the effects of future climate change), coupled wave-current modelling in the Irish Sea, Liverpool Bay and the Mediterranean, the analysis of observations in combined waves and currents and tidal energy modelling. She has led the NOC component of various projects including the EPSRC-funded LEACOAST2 project (studying the movement of sediment around the shore-parallel breakwaters at Sea Palling), the EU MARIE project (developing advanced coupled wave and current models), the Joule Centre-funded project on tidal power in the eastern Irish Sea (with Liverpool University) and the Tyndall Centre Coastal Simulator project in which POL made 140-year (1960-2100) simulations of waves on the NW European continental shelf. She is presently leading the NOC contribution to the EU FIELD_AC project on development of pre-operational models for the nearshore zone. Recent work includes tidal energy and wave climate modelling for the UK shelf. In the ESPA Deltas project she will be coordinating WP5 on physical and ecological modelling in collaboration with Dr Munsur Rahman at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. In particular NOC will collaborate on the implementation of the FVCOM model for the BGM Delta, to model tides, surges and hydrography and provide information of suspended sediment and nutrients to the ecological models.


Plymouth Marine Laboratory


Professor Manuel Barrange assists the NOC in Work Package 5



Hadley Centre MET Office

Hadley Centre MET Office