Mrs Sarah Bunney

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About me

Sarah recently joined the DRY (Drought Research and You) Project at UWE.  Part of her role is to continue the development of a web-based utility combining digital story telling with catchment-based drought research.  She is also a social researcher on the ENDOWS project conducting semi-structured interviews to understand perceptions of water scarcity.


Sarah completed her PhD within the Centre for Water Systems Research under the supervision of Professor David Butler and Associate Professor Sarah Ward.  With a research focus on emergency management, Sarah explored the impact of system failure within the UK water sector to understand how improved resilience to extreme events can be achieved through effective emergency planning.


Prior to starting a PhD, Sarah worked for the Environment Agency in Flood Risk Management.  As a senior Flood warning Duty Officer, Sarah managed the Area Incident Room during flood events and monitored both fluvial levels and the tides along the Somerset Coast to determine the correct threshold levels in the dissemination of flood warnings.  Sarah was also the technical lead in the development of multi-agency scenario planning and worked in partnership with Local Authority Emergency Managers to design and implement multi-agency flood exercises.  As Chairman of the Regional Public Awareness Group, she was responsible for the development and implementation of a five year strategy to raise awareness of emergency preparedness in local communities at risk of flooding.  This involved working in partnership with Local Authorities and Community Groups and led to the successful development of Flood Warden Schemes within high risk locations.  This approach was presented as an example of 'good practice' at the National Flood Forum Conference in 2003 and Sarah is very proud that these Flood Warden Schemes are still in operation today.

Area of expertise

Sarah's prime research interest is exploring and understanding relationships within complex socio-ecological-technical systems to develop resilience based strategies for extreme events.  She is also interested in hazard and threat perception and how this influences the ability to achieve resilience within communities.


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