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Spatio-temporal modelling of population and vulnerability to coastal hazards in East Asia

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  • Full or part time
    Prof AJ Tatem
    Dr J Dyke
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The fifth International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded that by the late 21st century it is highly probable that sea levels will rise much higher than current levels, that heavy precipitation events will increase in duration/intensity/frequency over mid-latitudes, and that cyclonic activity frequency and intensity will increase in the Northwest Pacific and North Atlantic. This predicted change will particularly affect East Asia’s delta and coastal population centres. Existing populations have varying risk to coastal hazards and those at risk have differing levels of vulnerability to coastal hazards. Future populations’ risks and vulnerabilities will change in a diverse fashion due to growth and demographic changes and because not all countries will be equally affected by the changes in coastal hazards that come with climate change. Most existing studies utilize a top-down approach to estimate varying vulnerability and risk to coastal hazards across space. This approach masks the within and between county variations in vulnerability which may have differing factors or factors which are of varying importance across space. The results of these studies have also been limited by data resolution, current or past population numbers, and differing techniques which limits comparability. However, finer-scale global datasets of population and demographic information have recently become available which, combined with the increased availability of cloud computing resources, allows for the country specific modelling of vulnerability and risk to coastal hazards using novel and spatially explicit data across longer periods of time, past and future. By creating the best estimate of vulnerability to coastal hazards for each country in a standardized framework, the internal variation in vulnerability will be captured, the vulnerability index will be comparable across countries, and the current and projected relationships between coastal populations and coastal hazards will be better understood.

The research student will join Southampton’s Population, Health and Wellbeing (PHEW) research group (, comprising academic staff Prof David Martin, Prof Graham Moon, Prof Andy Tatem, Dr Samantha Cockings, Dr Nathaniel Lewis, Dr Andrew Power, Dr Alan Smith, Dr Dianna Smith, Dr Eleanor Wilkinson and Dr Jim Wright). Group members hold numerous research awards from funders such as ESRC, ONS, Gates Foundation, World Bank and the health sector.

Funding Notes

Leverhulme Trust “Understanding Maritime Futures” Doctoral Scholarship


Applicants should have obtained a secondary degree, not necessarily in Geography. However, strong background in geostatistical methods, automation of geoprocessing for large datasets, applied knowledge of spatio-temporal methods, and knowledge of populations and demographics is highly recommended. Applicants should at the very least have a working knowledge of R and Python programming.

Closing date 4th February, interviews 2nd March.

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Southampton in Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 32.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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