Project partners

Project partners

Institute of Hazard Risk and Resilience

Durham University has a long-standing engagement with research into landsliding in the Himalayas, and Nepal. This was primarily through the International Landslide Centre, and the Institute of Hazard Risk and Resilience (IHRR). Durham’s research focus has been 3-fold: (1) the assessment of the impacts of landslides; (2) field monitoring of unstable slopes, with a focus on pre-failure deformation; and, (3) geotechnical testing of rainfall and EQ-triggered landsliding in low stress conditions. These strands of research have been used to: identify countries most vulnerable to landsliding, from which Nepal emerges as a clear focus; to identify the controls on landslide timing and failure style; and, to direct the development of new models to inform risk mitigation. Research at Durham has been supported by industry, government, RCUK, and NGOs, working both on fundamental blue-skies research, and in response to landslide disasters. Researchers at Durham are regularly contacted on advice for management of landslide hazard and risk.

Website: www.dur.ac.uk/ihrr

National Society for Earthquake Technology

NSET was founded in 1993 with the vision of “Earthquake Safe Communities in Nepal by 2020”, and are a world leading authority on earthquake risk management.  NSET aims to foster the advancement of science and practice of earthquake engineering and technology for mitigating risk and to further the objectives of the International Association for Earthquake Engineering as applicable to Nepal. NSET has been awarded numerous prizes for their pioneering work. NSET is currently a Partner in the EwF Project, and is developing an expertise on landsliding after recognition of the gap in practical and actionable landslide knowledge in the Himalaya.

Website: www.nset.org.np/


Nick Rosser

Nick is a geomorphologist with research interests in landslide mechanisms and monitoring. His research extends new theoretical models which underpin the most recent developments in the understanding the mechanics of slope failure, from the laboratory to the field. From a risk management perspective, this concerns broadly the critical elements of when, where and how slopes fail. A particular focus of his work is on those landslides that impact on the everyday lives of mountain communities in the Himalaya. This involves conducting fundamental research on the factors that generate hazardous landslides, but also research into methods for reducing risk, such as community based early warning systems working alongside Nepali researchers and agencies tasked with managing landslide risk. Nick has conducted field-based research in Pakistan, Bhutan and Nepal, focussing upon both earthquake and monsoon triggered landslides, and their consequences. After the 2015 Nepal earthquakes, Nick led a NERC-Urgency project focussed upon monitoring the evolution of hillslopes that were partially damaged during the earthquakes. Amongst other projects, Nick now leads the Earthquake-Triggered Landslides in Nepal project, working with DFID-Nepal and the National Society for Earthquake Technology (Kathmandu).

Email: n.j.rosser@durham.ac.uk

Katie Oven

Katie is a Geographer working at the interface between physical and social science. Her interests include disasters and development in the Global South, in particular, the social production of vulnerability and resilience to natural hazards. Katie is engaged in applied research and works closely with a number of government and non-government partners within the UK and internationally. Her research is structured around two key themes: 1. Understanding the vulnerability and resilience of communities to geophysical hazards; and, 2. Inter/multi/trans-disciplinary approaches to disaster risk reduction. Katie’s doctoral research investigated the vulnerability and resilience of rural communities to landslides and debris flows in the Nepal Himalaya. The study examined local perceptions and understandings of mass movement hazards and the factors giving rise to the occupation of landslide prone areas. Katie has since examined the existing capacity and resilience at the local level and the potential contribution of outside science in community based DRR. This has been undertaken as part of the NERC/ESRC-funded ‘Earthquakes without Frontiers Project’, which brought together natural and social scientists, policy makers, and practitioners with the aim of building societal resilience to earthquakes and associated secondary hazards.

Email: k.j.oven@durham.ac.uk

Jack Williams

Jack is a post-doctoral research associate within the Department of Geography, researching landsliding in Nepal and the nature and evolution of rockfall. His PhD focussed upon the use of near-constant 3D (TLS) monitoring in order to better understand rockfalls, including their failure mechanisms, their spatial and temporal distribution, the presence of pre-failure deformation and detachments, and the controls upon failure. Following the 2015 Nepal earthquakes, Jack worked as part of a team that sought to map the distribution of landslides as rapidly as possible in order to inform the disaster response effort. In the months that followed, Jack worked as a research associate on the Durham/BGS NERC-Urgency project, installing apparatus to monitor damaged slopes after the earthquake. His interest in landsliding in Nepal stems from a three month internship at the National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET) – Nepal. A part of this, Jack gathered data for his undergraduate dissertation entitled “Landslide-inducing rainfall characteristics and their use in early warning systems, as captured by TRMM and rain-gauge data”.

Email: j.g.williams@durham.ac.uk

Mark Kincey

Mark is a teaching fellow in physical geography and GIS in the Department of Geography. His PhD focused on quantifying the impacts of historic metal mining on geomorphic change within the North Pennine uplands, UK. This research brought together Mark’s background in landscape archaeology and geomatics with his associated interests in upland geomorphology and sediment budgets. During the PhD, Mark worked on several related projects, including examining the impacts of storm events on sediment and heavy metal transfer in Cumbria and the use of geomatics and geophysical survey techniques for monitoring upland peat erosion in the Pennines. As a post-doctoral research associate, Mark has been involved in erosion monitoring along the River Thames in Central London and DFID-funded projects analysing pre-and post-earthquake landslide rates within impacted catchments of the Nepal Himalaya.

Email: m.e.kincey@durham.ac.uk

Tom Robinson

Tom is a research fellow (2017-2020) studying earthquake and landslide hazards in mountainous environments, focussing on modelling immediate and long-term impacts of earthquakes on the built and natural environment. His current research has two main points of focus: 1) using multi-scenario analysis to assess earthquake risk to residential buildings and population; 2) modelling earthquake-triggered landsliding and its subsequent evolution and risk to built infrastructure. This research involves assessing the vulnerability of buildings and infrastructure on a national-scale, as well as statistical analysis of the conditions that drive landslide processes during and after earthquakes. The research aims to better identify the spatial variability in earthquake risk at national scale and to allow better incorporation of initial and long-term landslide hazard into earthquake risk planning.

Email: tom.robinson@durham.ac.uk

Dammar Pujara Singh

Dammar is a GIS Professional with more than 15 years experience in spatial analysis and mapping. Dammar completed a Master’s Degree in Geography with a year GIS training from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal. After this, he spent five years as a Research/GIS Assistant at Central Department of Geography at Tribhuvan. Following a number of GIS-related jobs, Dammar joined NSET as a GIS expert for the Building Code Implementation Program in Nepal (BCIPN), preparing different thematic maps and managing GIS databases for several municipalities. Along with Ram, his role now focusses on the preparation of a landslide inventory for this project and on the ground monitoring of specific landslide demonstration sites.

Email: dpujara@nset.org.np

Ram Shrestha

Ram completed his degree in Geography at Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal. He has a keen interest in GIS and has since worked as a Geomatics specialist at NSET. His recent work focussed on GIS database management and map production for NSET’s Baliyo Ghar reconstruction technical assistance programme, funded by USAID. Along with Dammar, his role now focusses on the preparation of a landslide inventory for this project and on the ground monitoring of specific landslide demonstration sites.

Email: ramshrestha@nset.org.np

SujanSujan Raj Adhikari

Sujan is a geologist working for the National Society for Earthquake Technology with more than ten years of local and international experience in the geoengineering and geoenvironmental fields. He started his career working on road sector and hydropower projects, where he spent most of his time borehole logging, geological mapping, and assessing environmental impacts in addition to landslide mitigation work. After joining NSET, Sujan has mostly engaged in disaster risk reduction activities with a focus on natural hazard and risk. This includes earthquake risk assessment, urban and community based disaster risk reduction, and supporting municipalities and village development committees of Nepal. Sujan has previously worked with Durham University in setting up post-earthquake landslide monitoring in regions of Nepal that were badly damaged by the 2015 earthquakes. Sujan is the NSET representative on the project’s executive committee.

Email: sadhikari@nset.org.np

 GopiGopi Krishna Basyal

Gopi is a PhD student in the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience at Durham University. He comes from a professional background working in earthquake risk reduction in Nepal. Gopi works with the National Society for Earthquake Technology, with a focus on multi-hazard mapping, risk assessment, and community-based disaster risk reduction initiatives, where his projects attempt to partner academic research and government agencies to address the needs of local people. Gopi has previously worked with Durham University on the NERC-ESRC funded Earthquakes without Frontiers project, and has been involved in setting up post-earthquake landslide monitoring in regions of Nepal that were badly damaged by the 2015 earthquakes. During his PhD research, Gopi will explore the development of effective and sustainable communication strategies for people at risk to landslides in mountainous countries. This ranges from effective strategies for knowledge sharing, to responding to early warnings, to aligning the latest science on earthquake risk with community understandings and responses.

Email: gbasyal@nset.org.np