AHRC research grant success for the Department of Geography & Planning

Dr Neil Macdonald and colleagues have been awarded an AHRC grant worth £1.1m to undertake research into the cultural memory of extreme weather events in the UK.

 The research will use historical records and oral histories to investigate how people have been affected by and responded to climate variability and extreme weather events since the start of the eighteenth century. The work will consider how key events become ingrained into the cultural fabric of communities and how they influence historical and cultural change across the UK. A series of case studies from around the UK will be considered, including: North, West and Southwest Wales, The East Anglia coast and Northwest Scotland, the Central England region, and Southwest England.

The project which is supported through the AHRC’s Care for the Future emerging research theme, and is led by Professor Georgina Endfield, (University of Nottingham), with co- applicants Dr Neil Macdonald (University of Liverpool), Dr Sarah Davies and Dr Cerys Jones, (University of Aberystwyth) and Dr Simon Naylor (University of Glasgow).

The work will be completed in conjunction with partner organisations the Royal Geographical Society (with the IBG), the Met Office’s ACRE initiative (Atmospheric Circulation Reconstructions over the Earth) and English Heritage.

Dr Macdonald “We are delighted by this award; the research will allow the team to examine the degree to which environmental and cultural context influences societal behaviour in responding to extreme events, and the capacity to adapt to extreme weather. This will provide valuable information on how risk, vulnerability, mitigation and technology have changed through time, from the start of the eighteenth century to present in shaping approaches to increasing resilience to extreme events.”

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