Research students at the Centre for Water, Communities and Resilience (CWCR)

Our current and completed research student members.

Read below the short abstracts of our current research students members.

Current PhD students

Gillian Donaldson-Selby

Gillian completed her Masters in Environment and Development at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) in 2005. She practised as an environmental consultant until 2009 when she moved to the UK to join the James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen.

Gillian registered for a part-time PhD in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management (now known as the School of Architecture and Environment) at UWE Bristol in April 2019. Her area of research is peatland hydrology, and her PhD title is 'Understanding and evaluating peatland degradation and restoration dynamics through hydrological monitoring and modelling'.

Supervisory team: Dr Nevil Quinn (Director of Studies) and Dr Rebekka Artz (James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen).

Elizabeth Harrington

Elizabeth started her tertiary education as a mature student. She studied Political Science and Public Policy at University College Cork (Ireland), with a year of study at the University of California (Berkeley, USA). Elizabeth then completed her Masters in Development Studies in 2006 at the University of Cambridge (UK) and went on to work as a consultant with the EU.

Elizabeth's area of research is where Disability, the tenets of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and Climate Change meet. Incidences of flooding are becoming more commonplace; the UK Committee on Climate Change states this leaves many members of the UK population at risk. The Paris Agreement aims to limit the global temperature rise to below 2C, and ideally 1.5C (above pre-industrial levels); the Committee on Climate Change claims it would be wise to prepare for a 4C temperature rise, a temperature which could potentially cause even more catastrophic and life-threatening events.

As a person with a disability, Elizabeth is particularly keen that the voices of those most at risk of the effects of Climate Change be heard.

Supervisory team: Professor Lindsey McEwen (Director of Studies) and Dr Karen Bell.

Ngo Orubite

Ngo is a PhD research student who is researching 'Coping and adaptive strategies for building community based flood resilience (A case study of the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria)'.

Ngo holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Environmental Management from the University of Port Harcourt (Nigeria) and a Masters degree in Risk, Disaster and Environmental Management from the University of Huddersfield.

Prior to relocating to the UK to study for her Masters degree, Ngo worked with an NGO called ENDIP. She was responsible for inspecting the oil spill clean-up and remuneration of the Ogoni oil spill in Rivers State, Nigeria. She also worked with the Rivers State Education Quality Assurance Agency and was involved in developing a curriculum for environmental studies in primary schools.

Ngo, who is a former member of the NDR, was motivated to conduct research on the region because of her flood experiences. The aim of Ngo’s PhD is to critically evaluate how the flood coping and adaptive strategies of the communities in the NDR of Nigeria can contribute to effective community based flood risk management for improved community resilience.

The NDR is a coastal region that is flood prone because of its low-lying areas. The region has been experiencing seasonal flooding for over 60 years; however, the community members are not willing to migrate. Ngo aims to develop a flood risk management framework for the communities and hopes the output from her research will create an awareness on how the community members of the NDR can better manage the seasonal flooding and be more resilient.

Supervisory team: Professor Lindsey McEwen (Director of Studies) and Professor Jessica Lamond.

Yesaya Sandang

Yesaya is currently undertaking a PhD study (working title: 'Hotels and the responsibility to respect the human right to water: Prospect and challenges in Yogyakarta, Indonesia') under the supervision of Dr Stroma Cole and Dr Evadne Grant (College of Business and Law) at UWE Bristol.

The highlight of his research is to explore the conceptual discussion between the right to water and the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights as it relates specifically to the hotel industry in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

This project aims to provide insight and understanding from a multi-stakeholder perspective concerning the responsibility of hotels in respecting the human rights to water in Yogyakarta. Yesaya's study is funded by the Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP).

Supervisory team: Dr Stroma Cole and Dr Evadne Grant.

Harry West

Harry is a Graduate Tutor within the Department of Geography and Environmental Management (now known as School of Architecture and Environment) whose disciplinary research interests align with CWCR. Harry's tutorship role spans both teaching and research over a five year period.

His PhD aims to explore historic spatio-temporal relationships between atmospheric circulations/teleconnections, rainfall and streamflow's in Great Britain. The research to date has had a focus on the role of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) in influencing regional rainfall, and how local catchment characteristics can enable or limit its similar influence on streamflow. Acknowledging however that the NAOs role as the primary teleconnection affecting British climate can vary in space and time, the project is also exploring the relative influence of other North Atlantic and European atmospheric-oceanic teleconnections.

Supervisory team: Dr Nevil Quinn (Director of Studies), Michael Horswell, Dr Paul White and Dr Jennifer Hill.

Completed PhD students

John Monrose

Thesis title: Permeable pavement systems with low carbon and recycled materials for Caribbean Small Island Developing States.

Stanley Ngene

Thesis title: Application of environmental process engineering for pollutants reduction and energy savings in crude oil production processes.

Navin Rakesh Ramroop

Thesis title: Development of design criteria for novel 3D-printed quadric-surfaced sludge digesters within wastewater infrastructure for Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Owen King

Thesis title: Excavating the post-political: mining, water and public participation in Arizona, USA.

Nicholas Jones

 Thesis title: A participatory modelling approach to developing a numerical sediment dynamics model.

Evelyn Aluta

Thesis title: Participatory water governance in Nigeria: Towards the development of an effective legal framework for rural communities.

Adekunle Ogunnaike

Thesis title: Enhancing homeownership opportunities amongst middle income earners in Nigeria.

Samantha Organ

Thesis title: Motivations of owner-occupiers to perform ‘energy efficient refurbishment’ in the housing stock.

Elizabeth Elliott

Thesis title: A reconstruction of recent coastal lowland and coastal landform evolution from the Holocene sediments of the Somerset Levels.

Thomas Appleby

Thesis title: There isn’t plenty more fish in the sea: A study of the legal drivers for a sustainable UK fishery.

For further information about these research areas, please email Professor Lindsey McEwen (

Visit our postgraduate research study information to apply for a research opportunity or view more opportunities.

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