Research and expertise

I am an interdisciplinary researcher, currently working towards my PhD in disaster risk reduction, looking at landslide and debris flows in northwest China. Taking a critical realist perspective, I combine remote sensing, geomorphology and social science methods to explore the changing human-environment system and the linkages between geohazards, risk perception, culture and knowledge.

Current research projects

  • PhD funded by CENTA Studentship Award ( from Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Doctoral Training Partnership and supported by a CASE studentship with British Geological Survey and by the Global Geological Risk Platform of the British Geological Survey NC-ODA grant NE/R000069/1: Geoscience for Sustainable Futures.
  • My supervisors are Dr Tom Dijkstra & Dr Ksenia Chmutina (Loughborough University), Dr Colm Jordan (British Geological Survey), Professor Xingmin Meng (Lanzhou University).

Recently completed research projects

  • DFID rural WASH results project in South Asia (phase I) – working as a research associate with Plan International, WaterAid, Unilever and WSUP on a £25 million sanitation, hygiene and water programme from 2017-18.

Recent publications

  • Kayaga, S., Fisher, J., Goodall, S., Kanyesigye, C., Kaggwa, R., Nambiro, M., Kitakufe, R., Otema, J.B., Mafunguro, R. & Ahabwe, G. (2020) Enhancing livelihoods of the urban poor through productive uses of utility-supplied water services – Evidence from Kampala, Uganda, Cities, 102 (July 2020), 102721, ISSN: 0264-2751. DOI: 10.1016/j.cities.2020.102721.
  • Nafsika, D., Monia, D. P., Al-Shuwaili, M., Goodall, S. & Marlow, E. (2019) Overcoming fears: a pathway to publishing for early career researchers. Disaster Prev. Manag. 29(3), 340–351 DOI: 10.1108/DPM-07-2019-0197.


I contribute to the learning and teaching activities across the School, including:


  • Civil Engineering for Developing Countries


  • MSF training course in Emergency Water, Sanitation and Hygiene


I completed my BSc degree in Natural Science at Durham University (2002-5), developed an interest in water and the environment and went on to study for a Masters at Cranfield University (2008-9) in Water Management.

After working in Niger for several years managing rural integrated water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects, my research career began at Oxford University, working on new models for sustainable water systems in Kenya with the REACH project, before moving to WEDC, Loughborough in 2017 to work on the South Asia WASH Results Programme with WaterAid and Plan International.

I also have experience as a student support worker, a recycling promoter and in emergency response providing water and sanitation for refugees on the Greek islands in 2015 and after Hurricane Maria in the Caribbean in 2017.


  • 2019 School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering Award for Doctoral Researcher Excellence for outstanding leadership

External activities

  • I chaired for ABCE Research Hub Committee from 2017-2019 and still contribute to the committee’s efforts to support an excellent environment for all doctoral researchers and research staff

Key collaborators

My research activities are conducted with a range of academic and stakeholder partners, including:

  • British Geological Survey
  • Lanzhou University, China