Dr Andrew Holmes

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About me

I am currently working across three projects at UWE. In the NERC funded, Drought Risk and You (DRY) project, I am working with expert and lay storytellers across the UK, co-producing digital stories of UK drought and water use, to help create an interactive, online resource. In the UKIERI-funded, Resilient Critical Infrastructure against Extreme Weather Events Project, I am working with stakeholders with responsibilities in UK critical infrastructure in order to better understand the vulnerabilities of infrastructure to extreme weather events. The findings from this project will be shared with colleagues in India as part of a knowledge exchange process in 2020. In the ESRC CASCADE-NET Project I am part of a team which creates seminars exploring the changing role of Civil Society in the Extreme Weather Adaptation Cycle.
I have been at UWE since January 2013 when I took up the post of Research Associate on the ESRC Flood Memories project. I followed this project by trialling digital storytelling as a form of adaptive learning and knowledge exchange for resilience in ‘at risk communities’. In 2014 I was a researcher on the DEFRA Community Pathfinder project, piloting different forms of engagement and co-working in order to build community resilience to flood risk.
My research interests include digital storytelling, oral history and community engagement. I believe that engaging people with their extreme weather histories and carrying out collaborative work within communities is the most effective way of building resilience.
My interest in oral history interviewing began when I was working towards my PhD at Cranfield University. I was looking for an effective way to integrate the local knowledge of farmers in rural parts of England, Italy and Romania into an EU crop modelling project called STAMINA, which was looking at climate change and future, rural land-use. In order to access this local knowledge I explored oral history techniques.
Following my PhD, I became a Research Associate at the University of Sussex on the River Ouse Project. This project enabled the local knowledge held within the Upper Ouse catchment to inform the work of the ecologists trying to re-establish flood-friendly grasslands in rural Sussex.
Between 2009 and 2010 I worked as a Policy Advisor for the Water Availability and Quality (WAAQ) department at Defra.

Area of expertise

I specialise in longitudinal engagement with different types flood risk communities – from hilly farming areas to deprived urban settings. Examples of my work include oral history interviewing, digital storytelling creation, film-making and community storytelling workshops. I also enjoy the technical challenges of adapting research practices to meet the demands of interdisciplinary work.





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