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Dr Liz Holcombe

Biography

Liz obtained an MSci (First class) in Geographical Sciences at the University of Bristol in 2000. Between 2002 and 2006 she completed a PhD entitled 'Modelling Landslide Risk on Highway Cut Slopes in Developing Countries'. As part of Liz's PhD research she carried out fieldwork in Saint Lucia, West Indies, with her supervisor Professor Malcolm Anderson. In response to a request for assistance from the Government of Saint Lucia, they initiated an innovative method for reducing landslide hazard in unplanned urban communities by improving surface water drainage (MoSSaiC, Management of Slope Stability in Communities). The success of the pilot project in 2004 led to the Government of Saint Lucia, and subsequently UNDP, USAID and The World Bank, funding several further community-based hazard reduction projects in the region.

Liz was appointed as a Research Associate in the School of Geographical Sciences in 2005. In 2007 she was awarded the Trevithick Prize by the Institution of Civil Engineers for a paper she co-authored on the MoSSaiC methodology. She has presented invited papers at international conferences in Europe, the United States and the Far East, and is the author of numerous research papers and book chapters in the field of landslide risk reduction. In 2012 she was appointed as a Lecturer in the Department of Civil Engineering.

Liz has continued to provide technical support to government teams (engineers and development personnel) and community residents in assessing local landslide processes, and designing and constructing surface water management solutions. She has gained extensive overseas experience and has been engaged as Consultant Landslide Risk Management Specialist by The World Bank since 2011. Liz has co-authored a book: Community-based Landslide Risk Reduction: Managing Disaster in Small Steps, which was published by The World Bank in 2013. The book is freely available and is targeted towards Disaster Risk Management practitioners, project managers and policy makers in developing countries.