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Conference speakers

Read about who's involved in the UK Wildfire Conference.

Lisa Langer

Lisa Langer, Senior scientist and Research leader, Scion, Christchurch, New Zealand has led Scion's social wildfire research since 2003. Her qualitative research with seven communities affected by wildfires has brought changes in how fire agencies engage and communicate with rural communities in New Zealand. Her research has spanned wildfire risk awareness, community resilience and recovery following wildfires, Indigenous Māori use of fire, effective communication and mitigation measures to reduce the risk of human-caused rural fires. She has extensive experience in working with communities using action research and transdisciplinary approaches to enable community voices to shape research inquiry and drive suitable communication and management. Lisa currently leads a Resilience to Wildfire Challenge project to enhance community resilience in wildfire prone areas. Previously she led the New Zealand component of the Effective Communication fire warnings and preparedness project with the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre. Lisa has presented her research findings at international fire conferences in the US and Europe, as well as to Australian and New Zealand audiences.

Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy's research lays at the intersection of natural hazards, science policy, and the study of expertise. His work currently focuses on Canadian wildfire policy and institutions. He has also written on citizen science (The Rightful Place of Science: Citizen Science, CSPO Press, 2016), fisheries management, and public engagement with science.

Paul Attwell

Paul Attwell is the Team Manager of the Urban Heaths Partnership Core Team. He has worked for the partnership since 2008. The team works on behalf of its partners delivering heathland education, fire risk reduction, monitoring and the Dorset Dogs Project across south east Dorset.  He has worked in Countryside Management and Conservation Farming in Dorset for over 25 years, starting out as a Countryside Ranger in the 1990s.

Stefan Doerr

Stefan H. Doerr is Professor of Physical Geography and leads the Environmental Dynamics Research Group at Swansea University. He has a first-class degree (Diplom in Geography with Geology and Botany) from the Universität Tübingen, Germany. His PhD (Swansea University) focused on the effects of wildfire on soils and hydrology in Portugal (1994-1998). His work focuses on fire impacts, fire severity and risk, including fire effects on the global carbon balance on soils and on water quality, as well as global fire patterns and trends. It involves experimental- and actual wildfires, laboratory simulations and modelling approaches. He has extensive collaborative links with researchers and government organizations in the UK, Europe and overseas, and has held invited Honorary Research Positions at The University of Melbourne (2016), The Australian National University, CSIRO (Australia) and Deakin University, Australia, the US Geological Survey, the US Forest Service and the University of València. Since his PhD in 1998, he has published over 130 international journal publications involving more than 150 co-authors from Europe and overseas. His papers have received >6000 citations, resulting in a Scopus H-index of 39. In 2000, the European Society of Soil Conservation presented him with the Young Scientist Award and in 2003 he was awarded a NERC Advanced Research Fellowship (2003-2008). Since 2008 he has been Editor-in-Chief for the International Journal of Wildland Fire; the only international journal dedicated to all aspects of wildland fire science. In 2011, he received the Philippe Douchaufour Medal by the European Geosciences Union as the youngest recipient in the medal's history. He served as Head of Geography Department from 2012-2015 and currently holds a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship.

Ashleigh Harper

Ashleigh is currently a PhD student at Swansea University working as part of a multidisciplinary Fire Research Team. His primary focuses include investigating the impacts of wild and prescribed fires on the water quality, carbon dynamics and biodiversity of the UK uplands.

Cristina Santin

Cristina Santin is a Sêr Cymru II Fellow and Senior Lecturer at the College of Science of Swansea University (Wales, UK). Her research focuses on the effects of fire on the carbon cycle and water quality, and she is also interested in social perceptions of fire-related issues.

Ciaran Nugent

Ciaran Nugent is a Forestry Inspector with the Forest Service of the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, which is the national Forest Authority for Ireland. He holds a Master's Degree in Forest Engineering from University College Dublin and specialises in forest protection and risk issues such as Deer Management and Fire Management. His approaches have focussed heavily on locally-led partnership solutions to these problems. His main fire management interests are prescribed fire and fire meteorology. He is a designated member of the European Forest Fires Information Group and is a member of the Pau Costa Foundation. Ciaran lives in Tralee with his wife Cathy and children Hugh and Cara, where they enjoy a variety of outdoor recreation and home grown food.

Robert Stacey

Robert Stacey is a Project Officer within the Learning and Development department at Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS). He is a member of the NFRS Wildfire Team and is responsible for assisting in the development and delivery of wildfire training and for designing and implementing a range of local, regional, national and international partnership projects. He has a detailed understanding and experience of the management and delivery of externally co-financed projects, including fire, wildfire and natural disaster projects co- financed by the EU. Robert has a PhD in Human Geography from Swansea University, and a BA (hons) in Geography from the University of Wales Swansea.

Stacey New

Stacey New is a PhD Candidate in her final year in the wildFIRE Lab at the University of Exeter. During her master's she began specialising in wildfire research and now through her PhD research is developing the charcoal reflectance method as a metric with which to assess fire severity.

Mark Grosvenor

Dr Mark Grosvenor is a researcher and laboratory manager for the wildFIRE Lab. His current research involves laboratory based flammability testing of natural fuels alongside analysis of charcoal from wildfires. Mark's background is in reconstructing past environments including using charcoal preserved in ancient sediments as a fire proxy.

Margarita Tsakiridou

In 2014 I graduated from the School of Forestry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, with a specialization in 'Forest Protection and Natural Environment'. After undertaking research on pollen-vegetation relationships and grazing indicators in pollen assemblages in Mediterranean landscapes I joined the Department of Geography at the University of Portsmouth in 2016. Here, for my PhD, I investigate the relationship between wildfire expression and abrupt climatic change in the British Isles, by reconstructing wildfire frequency during previous climatic shifts.

Craig Hope

For 14years I was a watch manager at one of the busiest wildfire stations in South Wales, if not the UK. For the last 10 years I have been heavily involved in the services wildfire project where I have introduced off road vehicles, Ppe, new tactics and prescribed and tactical fire use. I have recently been promoted to Station Manager and I manage the fire crime team who target deliberate fire setting. I am working towards a Master's Degree in wildfire at Swansea University

Andrew Kibble

Andrew is Senior Manager at Public Health England's Centre for Radiation, Chemicals and Environmental Hazards Wales (CRCE Wales) and works in a similar role for Public Health Wales.  CRCE Wales provides expert advice and support to Public Health Wales and Welsh Government on chemical and radiation hazards.  He is also a consultant for the World Health Organisation's Collaborating Centre on Chemical Incidents.

Mike Cantelo

Mike has worked in fire management for the Australian Government for 40 years, he has extensive experience in fire management in Australia and across the globe. He was awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal in 2015. Mike has helped setup burning operations in Australia, South Africa, Chile and Brazil. He sees fire as an important management tool and is keen on seeing it used strategically on a landscape scale for bushfire protection and land management in the fire prone regions around the globe.

Alexander Held

Alex holds MSc in Forest Science from Freiburg University in the Black Forest of Germany. He started as a fire ecologist at the Fire Ecology working group of the Max-Planck Society, got a number of operational qualifications in the US and South Africa. He moved from ecology to fire management and worked with the Global Fire Monitoring Center GFMC, responsible for the burning operations in Germany and capacity building in Africa. Through GFMC, Alex chaired also the UNISDR Sub-Sahara Wildland Fire Network which brought him in 2002 in contact with the South African Working on Fire Program WoF, from its early beginnings till about 2012, when he joined the European Forest Institute EFI. At EFI Alex works on the establishment of the European Forest Risk Facility, where the exchange of expertise and knowledge, mutual assistance and cooperation in Europe is the tool to create more resilient landscapes. He worked in different countries in Africa, across Europe and a little bit in the USA. With the alliance of WoF, GFMC, EFI and others he is driving the use of aerial incendiary for Europe.

Rory Hadden

Dr Rory Hadden is the Rushbrook Senior Lecturer in Fire Investigation at the University of Edinburgh. He has previously held positons at University of Western Ontario and Imperial College London. His research interests include pyrolysis, ignition and flammability of solid fuels and evaluation of fire spread mechanisms of, and emissions from, wildfires. Rory specializes in developing novel experimental measurement and sensing techniques ranging from laboratory to field scale measurements to improve understanding fire phenomena. He has published on topics of ignition, pyrolysis, smouldering, fire retardants and fire modelling. Rory has featured in the BBC FOUR documentary Catching History's Criminals and the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

Cathelijne Stoof

Cathelijne Stoof is a researcher studying the effect of human-caused and natural disturbances on soil and water resources. She combines study of fire impacts with assessment of fire risk, with an increasing focus on temperate regions like Northwest Europe. Currently an assistant professor at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, she was previously at the Soil and Water Lab of Cornell University (USA) and worked in The Netherlands, Portugal and Australia for her PhD on fire effects on soil and hydrology. Her current Marie Curie project focuses on the role of plants in controlling fire impact on soil and water by affecting soil heating and ash. Cathelijne frequently communicates fire science to the general public and recently founded the Wageningen Fire Centre to promote integrated fire science collaboration between researchers and stakeholders on wildland fire challenges in The Netherlands and elsewhere. 

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