Read about some of our researchers below:

Helen Baker

Helen Baker

Helen is a Research Fellow at the ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS) at Lancaster University. She is a social historian currently working on a number of projects which explore the benefits of using large corpora in the study of the past. Much of her research examines how marginalised people were perceived in early modern public discourse in England. Her contribution to the Historic Droughts project involves the application of corpus linguistics methods to a large collection of historical news texts in order to illuminate public perceptions of drought.  

Lucy Barker

Lucy is a Drought Monitoring Scientist at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. She has been identifying and characterising droughts (in terms of duration, severity and propagation) in the historical record using standardised drought indicators. This method allows drought characteristics to be compared across space and time and will be applied to the modelled drought reconstructions produced in Historic Droughts. Lucy is also acting as project support for the Historic Droughts project.

Professor Stewart Barr

Stewart is Associate Professor in Geography at the University of Exeter. Within the Department, Stewart undertakes research in the Environment and Sustainability and Spatial Responsibilities Research Groups and he teaches modules at all level of undergraduate study. His research focuses on geographies of sustainable development: sustainable practices; behaviour change theory, policy and practice; community resilience to environmental change; sustainable travel, tourism and mobilities.

Dr John Bloomfield

John is a hydrogeologist with almost 25 years of experience working on groundwater-related issues for the British Geological Survey. He is the Groundwater Systems Analysis and Management Team Leader overseeing a portfolio of projects on topics such as: extreme hydrological events; the impacts of environmental change on groundwater; and, national-scale modelling of groundwater resources. He recently developed the first standardised index of groundwater levels for characterising groundwater droughts and a methodology to regionalise groundwater droughts. 

Chris Counsell

Chris has 20 years’ experience primarily in water resources, hydrology, climate change and flood risk. Chris is currently leading the water resources evidence base that will underpin the second Climate Change Risk Assessment and is also HR Wallingford’s Project Director on the Environment Agency’s Water Supply System Resilience to Extreme Droughts project. Chris was HR Wallingford’s technical lead on the recently completed Defra Abstraction Reform project, which investigated alternative options for reforming the water licensing system in England and Wales. Chris also provides technical expertise to a number of water companies as part of the water resources planning process.

Carmen Dayrell

Carmen is a Senior Research Associate at the ERSC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS), Lancaster University. She is a linguist by background and her research to date has involved applying corpus linguistic methodologies to different aspects of the study of language in use.  Her most recent research projects have used corpus-assisted discourse analysis to examine the interaction between society and the news media in relation to issues such as climate change and urban violence 

Matt Fry

Matt works at the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology on the application of data and informatics in water science. He leads the development of systems for managing CEH data and disseminating it to end users, such as the National River Flow Archive and the CEH Environmental Information Platform, which includes the UK Drought Portal. Matt is a member of the Programme Coordination Team for the NERC UK Droughts and Water Scarcity Programme, responsible for data management across the programme.

Jamie Hannaford

Jamie leads the Hydrological Status and Outlooks Group at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. His expertise is in hydrological data management, monitoring and forecasting, and analysis of past hydrological change. He leads the National Hydrological Monitoring Programme and contributes to the Hydrological Outlook UK. Much of his work focuses on past trends and variability in hydrological extremes (both floods and droughts). In addition to leading Historic Droughts he was PI on a Belmont Forum project “DrIVER” (Drought Impacts and Vulnerability Thresholds in Monitoring and Early Warning Research). Previous projects include the EU FP-6 Project “WATCH”, Water and Global Change, which delivered European-scale analyses of historical droughts using observations and hydrological models.

Professor Ian Holman

Ian is Professor in Integrated Land and Water Management at Cranfield University.  He is an interdisciplinary hydrogeologist and spatial pedologist with expertise in sustainable water resource management.  His research focusses on understanding the effects of interactions between agricultural management, soil properties and weather on soil degradation, crop yields and catchment-scale hydrological response.  He is currently the Cranfield Principal Investigator (PI) on 5 major UK Research Council and European Commission funded research projects relating to water and land resources.  He co-leads the agricultural components of the Historic Droughts project.

Professor Bettina Lange

Bettina is Associate Professor in Law and Regulation at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford. Her main research interests are in the field of environmental regulation, also from a comparative perspective, in particular the implementation of pollution control law in the UK and Germany. Her approach is socio-legal drawing on social theory and qualitative empirical data in order to understand how legal provisions gain meaning. Her research has been funded by the British Academy, NERC, the ESRC, the UK Socio-Legal Studies Association and the John-Fell Fund. She serves on the editorial board of Law and Policy, the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies and the European Journal of Risk Regulation.

Tim Legg

Tim has enjoyed a career in the Met Office ever since graduating from university. He has been involved with long-range forecasting and climatology, as well as having worked within the field of ensemble forecasting research. Currently he is part of the National Climate Information Centre at Exeter, monitoring the UK climate on an ongoing basis and putting current climate events into context. He is working to extend the Met Office historical data series back in time, as well as to look at uncertainties in temperature and rainfall data.


Dr Mark McCarthy

Mark is the scientific manager of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre. The team provides underpinning observational data and analysis of UK climate. The purpose of the group is to help government, public, and commercial customers by providing an authoritative source of UK climatological data products, enable the UK to understand the climatological context of weather and climate events as they happen, and to enable society to better understand and manage risks and opportunities arising from climate variability and change.


Professor Tony McEnery

Tony is a Distinguished Professor of English Language and Linguistics at Lancaster University and director of the ERSC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS). He is a leading scholar in the field of corpus linguistics and particularly interested in exploring the use and manipulation of language in society. His recent research projects have focused on issues of pressing concern such as poverty, religion, immigration, and hate speech. These studies have shown how, once established, discourses become built into the language practices of a community, providing new insights on the interrelation between language and social behaviour.

Simon Parry

Simon is a hydrologist at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. He has a particular research interest in the spatio-temporal evolution and characteristics of hydrological drought in the UK, and in drought termination. He led the development of UK and European drought catalogues and work on the spatio-temporal evolution of pan-European droughts. He has also made significant contributions to assessments of model performance in reproducing characteristics of historical droughts. He is currently contributing to Historic Droughts (on drought in the historical record) and IMPETUS (on drought forecasting) projects, and is continuing research to better define and characterise drought termination.

Dr Rebecca Pearce

Rebecca is a Human Geographer at the University of Exeter where her work covers human-environment interactions and natural resources management. Through her interest in the protection of water resources, Rebecca has developed the Theory of Blind Belief in a Commodified Natural Resource, in which she described the behaviours of householders who are subject to water-wise campaigns during droughts. Rebecca is currently building a collection of historic texts, images and oral histories recorded with people from across the UK, to add to the Drought Inventory. 

Dr Dolores Rey

Dolores is a Research Fellow at Cranfield University. She holds a PhD in Agricultural and Natural Resources Economics from the Technical University of Madrid. Her research interests span climate change and its potential effect on agriculture; assessment of agricultural policy approaches to hydrological extremes; and water trading. For the Historic Droughts project, Dolores is working on the assessment of past droughts impacts on the UK agricultural sector.

Dr Katie Smith

Katie is a drought analyst and modeller at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Specialising in uncertainty in hydrology models, Katie has worked at the catchment as well as global scale. Working within the NERC Drought and Water Scarcity Programme, Katie is developing methods of quantifying and reducing uncertainty in drought research through a multi-modelling cascade approach. This work will contribute to both the Historic Droughts project (on drought reconstruction) and the IMPETUS project (drought forecasting).

Dr Cecilia Svensson

Cecilia is a hydrologist at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, with a background in spatial and temporal characteristics of hydrological extremes. Recently, she has been developing statistical methods for seasonal river flow forecasting within the UK Hydrological Outlooks project. She has also worked on the development of standardised indicators of precipitation and streamflow drought for the UK, and contributed to an investigation of the link between drought indicators and impact occurrence. For the Historic Droughts project, she is investigating statistical relationships between large-scale forcings, such as sea surface temperatures, and regional UK river flows.

Dr Maliko Tanguy

Maliko is a Spatial Analyst at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. In the Historic Droughts project she has been comparing and evaluating different Potential Evapotranspiration (PET) formulations based on temperature with the objective of producing a reconstructed PET time series for study catchments and a PET gridded product for the 20th century to be used as input for hydrological models.


Dr Gina Tsarouchi

Gina’s areas of expertise include large-scale hydrology, land surface modelling and climate change. Prior to joining HR Wallingford, Gina undertook a PhD within the Hydrology group of Imperial College London, researching the hydrological response of watersheds to land-use change and climate change in the Ganges Basin. She is very interested in the assessment of water resource trends and their feedbacks in the atmosphere–surface–groundwater system, under transient climate and land use conditions.