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Dr Katie Oven

VC Senior Fellow

Department: Geography and Environmental Sciences

I am a human geographer researching social vulnerability and resilience to disasters, with a particular focus on earthquakes and landslides. My research cross-cuts social, political and development geography, with theoretical work grounded in empirical research in South and Central Asia (Nepal, Northern India and Kazakhstan).

Recent research as part of the NERC/ESRC-funded ‘Earthquakes without Frontiers’ project has explored:

  • the politics and practice of disaster risk management at the national and local ‘community’ level in Nepal with Dr Samantha Jones (Northumbria)
  • economic development, livelihoods and resilience in developing rural Asia with Prof. Jonathan Rigg (Bristol)
  • the concept of disaster resilience in the post-Soviet Second World, drawing on research in Kazakhstan with Prof. Greg Bankoff (Hull)

Informed by critical physical geography, I also work closely with natural science colleagues to rethink how we do hazard and risk research. As part of this, I am currently a Co-Investigator on a NERC/DFID-funded Science for Humanitarian Emergencies and Resilience (SHEAR) project, focusing on post-earthquake reconstruction in Nepal in the context of wider social, political and economic change. This project brings together natural and social scientists in Nepal and the UK, NGOs People In Need (PIN) and NSET-Nepal, and the National Reconstruction Authority, Government of Nepal.

Prior to joining Northumbria University in September 2019, I was Assistant Professor (Research) in the Department of Geography at Durham University.

Katie Oven


Geography PhD June 30 2010

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • From nomadic communitarianism to civil socialism, Bankoff, G., Oven, K. 2 Oct 2019, In: Journal of Civil Society
  • Global Mapping of Citizen Science Projects for Disaster Risk Reduction, Hicks, A., Barclay, J., Chilvers, J., Armijos, M., Oven, K., Simmons, P., Haklay, M. 18 Sep 2019, In: Frontiers in Earth Science
  • Simple rules to minimise exposure to coseismic landslide hazard, Milledge, D., Densmore, A., Bellugi, D., Rosser, N., Watt, J., Li, G., Oven, K. 17 Apr 2019, In: Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
  • What happened to the Second World? Earthquakes and postsocialism in Kazakhstan, Bankoff, G., Oven, K. 6 Oct 2019, In: Disasters
  • Adaptation to extreme weather events in complex health and social care systems, Curtis, S., Oven, K., Wistow, J., Dunn, C., Dominelli, L. 1 Feb 2018, In: Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space
  • Satellite-based emergency mapping using optical imagery: experience and reflections from the 2015 Nepal earthquakes, Williams, J., Rosser, N., Kincey, M., Benjamin, J., Oven, K., Densmore, A., Milledge, D., Robinson, T., Jordan, C., Dijkstra, T. 16 Jan 2018, In: Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
  • Use of scenario ensembles for deriving seismic risk, Robinson, T., Rosser, N., Densmore, A., Oven, K., Shrestha, S., Guragain, R. 9 Oct 2018, In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • Impact of extreme weather events and climate change for health and social care systems, Curtis, S., Fair, A., Wistow, J., Val, D., Oven, K. 5 Dec 2017, In: Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source
  • A comparison of the governance landscape of earthquake risk reduction in Nepal and the Indian State of Bihar, Jones, S., Oven, K., Wisner, B. 1 Mar 2016, In: International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Between a rock and a hard place, Rigg, J., Oven, K., Basyal, G., Lamichhane, R. 1 Nov 2016, In: Geoforum

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

  • The social production of vulnerability to disasters
  • Disaster risk governance


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