Research Visit: James Webber

James has recently returned from a three month research placement in Melbourne, Australia, funded as a part of his WISE CDT studentship. Whilst in Australia, James worked as a Visiting Researcher for the University of Melbourne as part of the Waterway Ecosystem Research Group (WERG), where he undertook a project researching flood management in Melbourne City Centre.

The project responded to interest from the City of Melbourne Council to investigate historic extreme flooding in the city centre and develop management techniques for the future. Research was undertaken using novel flood risk assessment techniques based on the Centre for Water Systems ‘CADDIES’ model and the rapid flood intervention assessment framework James has developed during his PhD. The project was undertaken in partnership with the City of Melbourne Council, Melbourne Water and local consultancies and included work-shopping, developing and assessing the effectiveness of 75 flood management scenarios. Results were disseminated to the City Council, where it’s hoped that outputs will help inform future flood management policy in the city.

Working as part of WERG also provided James the opportunity to support fieldwork and learn from a group of experienced researchers working in water management.

Outside of work James was able to explore Victoria and New South Wales, including visits to Sydney, the Great Ocean Road and Kosciuszko National Park.

“My time in Melbourne was fantastic. The people I worked and lived with in the city were brilliant, supportive and made me feel welcome immediately. It was brilliant to include international research partners within my PhD and I loved living in Melbourne.”

James thanks the generous financial support provided by the WISE CDT and the University of Exeter as well as the enormous support and enthusiasm from WERG during his stay, with special mention to Professor David Butler and Dr Guangtao Fu (Exeter) and Professor Tim Fletcher and Dr Matt Burns (Melbourne).