Coastal Seminar Series 2017 – Dr. Siddharth Narayan

Dr. Siddharth Narayan will be giving a talk as part of the coastal seminar series at the University of Southampton entitled:

Natural Solutions for Flood Risk Reduction: Do They Work?



There is increasing attention these days around natural and nature-based measures for reducing coastal risk, especially in the immediate aftermath of extreme events like a hurricane or typhoon. Natural or nature-based measures in this context refer to risk reduction measures that incorporate natural features such as dunes, coastal wetlands or reefs to varying degrees. The interest in understanding whether, where and how such measures can be effective, extends from governing and financial bodies such as the EC, the US Army Corps of Engineers and the World Bank, to the private flood risk insurance sector. Translating this interest into practical, applicable natural and nature-based measures, however requires a multi-pronged effort involving engineering and ecological research, changes in conservation and coastal engineering practice, and the development of approaches and tools to finance these projects. In this talk, I will explore the recent work we have been doing at the University of California, to address some of these aspects, in partnership with various public and private sector institutions. I will discuss some of the challenges we face in this multi-disciplinary approach and outline some key research and practice questions that need to be addressed in the near future, to ultimately understand how to better align the goals of risk reduction and conservation.



Siddharth Narayan is a coastal engineer, currently doing postdoctoral research at the University of California Santa Cruz. His research interests focus on developing tools and approaches to understand the interactions between natural and human coastal systems, to help develop sustainable measures for coastal adaptation. At present, he works with a team of coastal engineers, ecologists to assess the role and value of ecosystems for coastal protection. Sid did his PhD here in Southampton, with Prof. Robert Nicholls and Dr. Derek Clarke, on the EU-funded THESEUS project, during which he developed a conceptual model to describe the coastal floodplain as a set of spatially distributed natural and human elements. The model allowed multiple users to build a shared, qualitative understanding of how different elements were linked to, and influenced, one another. Before that Sid was an Erasmus Mundus masters student in coastal engineering and spent time in Norway, Netherlands, and here in Southampton. Sid is from Chennai in South India, where he did his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.

When: 4pm Fri 09 June 2017

Where: Bldg. 07 / 3021 (L/R D)