Natasha Dowey

Dr Natasha Dowey BSc, MPhil, PhD, PGCert, FHEA, FGS

Associate Professor in Sustainable Geoscience and Volcanology


Summary

I am an Associate Professor in Sustainable Geoscience and Volcanology, and am course lead on BSc (Hons) Environmental Science and BSc (Hons) Climate, Sustainability and Environmental Management (new for Sept 2024). I specialise in explosive volcanism, and have seven years' industry experience of investigating sedimentary environments and subsurface risk in the energy sector. My research focuses on uncertainty in our analysis and communication of explosive volcanic hazards, and also on sustainability, diversity and inclusion in geoscience. I am Editor of the website 'Geoscience for the Future' and am passionate about promoting the importance of geoscience in a more sustainable society.

 

About

I have a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Earth Science and an MPhil in Earth Sciences (Volcanic Geochemistry) from Aberystwyth University. I gained my PhD in Earth Sciences from the University of Liverpool in 2012, with a thesis focussed on the dynamics of explosive volcanic hazards. After completing my PhD I joined the energy industry, where over seven years I developed expertise in the use of geological analysis and modelling to understand resource risk and uncertainty in sedimentary basins across the world. In 2019 I left industry to take up a Lectureship in Geology at the University of Hull, and completed my Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice in March 2021. I joined the Geography, Environment and Planning team at Sheffield Hallam in 2021, where I now teach across the BSc Geography and BSc / MSc Environmental programmes. Since 2019, I have been developing research that combines my specialism in the study of volcanic hazards with my industry experience in uncertainty analysis. In 2020, I began working across disciplines and institutions to raise awareness of the lack of racial diversity in geoscience subjects and have since led on interventions and action research in this area. I am passionate about bringing sustainable development concepts into geoscience teaching, about decolonisation of geoscience education, and about improving equity and inclusion in geoscience. In 2020 I created the 'Geoscience for the Future' initiative, which showcases a range of geoscience professionals working towards a low-carbon, more sustainable future, and facilitates outreach activities between Geoscientists and schools. I am a proud trustee of the charity Geology for Global Development, and council member of the Geological Society of London. In 2022 I won the Geological Society Coke Medal for contributions to geoscience.

 

Teaching

Department of the Natural and Built Environment

College of Social Sciences and Arts

Geography, Environment and Planning

 

 

I teach across the BSc Environmental Science, BSc Geography, and MSc Environmental Management programmes. I lead the (BSc) Environmental Hazards module and the (MSc) Culture, Uncertainty and Risk in Environmental Systems module. I teach geoscience theoretical concepts and field skills in the modules Planet Earth and Fieldwork and Professional Skills, and supervise dissertations related to Disaster Risk Reduction and volcanology.

 

Research

My volcanological research involves unpicking the dynamics of pyroclastic density currents, which are deadly flows of rock and ash created during explosive volcanic eruptions. I work with external collaborators in the field and the laboratory to understand how these phenomena behave and deposit material. Areas of collaborative work currently include investigating the impact of cohesion on the dynamics of density currents (PhD studentship, Nemi Walding), delving into the complexities of pyroclastic sedimentary fans (British Sedimentological Research Group grant, fieldwork in Santorini), and understanding the influence of topography on fluidised currents (involving construction of new experimental set-up in Sheffield Hallam laboratory).
 
My work in equity, diversity and inclusion has included taking the lead on the 2021 NERC-funded Equator project, a 6-month multi-collaborator national project that involved three interventions to improve equity in postgraduate research in Geography, Earth and Environmental sciences. This work will be disseminated to funding councils, doctoral training programs, and organisations and universities through publications and talks. I am also involved in work on decolonising geoscience education, partnering on a collaborative AHRC-NERC funded "Hidden Histories" project (led from the University of Hull) to reveal colonial stories of geoscience and create inclusive open-access education materials. Alongside these projects, I am part of a research group investigating perceptions of geology (led from Keele University) through a large national survey in order to improve access and participation in this subject, which is critical for a more sustainable future.

Publications

Journal articles

Walding, N., Williams, R., Rowley, P., & Dowey, N. (2023). Cohesional behaviours in pyroclastic material and the implications for deposit architecture. Bulletin of Volcanology, 85 (11). http://doi.org/10.1007/s00445-023-01682-9

Fernando, B., Giles, S., Jackson, C., Lawrence, A., Raji, M., Williams, R., ... Dowey, N. (2023). Strategies for making geoscience PhD recruitment more equitable. Nature Geoscience, 16 (8), 658-660. http://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-023-01241-z

Raji, M., Dowey, N., & Williams, R. (2022). Widening participation: lessons from the Equator Research School. Geoscientist Magazine, 32 (4), 34-37. https://geoscientist.online/sections/unearthed/widening-participation-lessons-from-the-equator-research-school/

Dowey, N., & Williams, R. (2022). Simultaneous fall and flow during pyroclastic eruptions: a novel proximal hybrid facies. Geology. http://doi.org/10.1130/G50169.1

Rogers, S.L., Lau, L., Dowey, N., Sheikh, H., & Williams, R. (2022). Geology uprooted! Decolonising the curriculum for geologists. Geoscience Communication, 5 (3), 189-204. http://doi.org/10.5194/gc-5-189-2022

Lawrence, A., & Dowey, N. (2021). Six simple steps towards making GEES fieldwork more accessible and inclusive. Area. http://doi.org/10.1111/area.12747

Basilio, H. (2021). New View of Expanding Perspectives in the Geosciences. Eos, 102. http://doi.org/10.1029/2021eo162455

Dowey, N., Barclay, J., Fernando, B., Giles, S., Houghton, J., Jackson, C., ... Williams, R. (2021). A UK perspective on tackling the geoscience racial diversity crisis in the Global North. Nature Geoscience. http://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-021-00737-w

Dowey, N., & Yallup, C. (2019). Addressing uncertainty during early stage frontier exploration: bringing regional context to basin modelling. First Break, 37 (5), 75-79. http://doi.org/10.3997/1365-2397.n0025

Smith, N.J., & Kokelaar, B.P. (2013). Proximal record of the 273 ka Poris caldera-forming eruption, Las Cañadas, Tenerife. Bulletin of Volcanology, 75 (11). http://doi.org/10.1007/s00445-013-0768-4

Conference papers

Stanton, S., Dowey, N., & Macgregor, D. (2019). The Egyptian Red Sea: overlooked potential in a young rift basin? In PESGB 18th African E&P Conference 2019, 01-02 Oct 2019.

Smith, N.J., Robinson, L.J., & Cowley, L.A. (2014). Analysis of Liquid Resource Play Potential in China. Proceedings of the 2nd Unconventional Resources Technology Conference. http://doi.org/10.15530/urtec-2014-1906965

Reports

Benham, K. (2022). ESG Workshop: A Talent Pipeline. Critical Minerals Association. https://www.criticalmineral.org/_files/ugd/5caeff_bd9bacf412724f01b7b5a43882e1a69b.pdf

Theses / Dissertations

Smith, N. (2012). Near-vent processes of the 273 ka Poris eruption (Tenerife). (Doctoral thesis).

Internet Publications

Dowey, N. (2022). The Equator Project: what did we do, why did we do it, and what did we find? [Blog]. https://geoscienceforthefuture.com/the-equator-project/

Bond, A., Dowey, N., Giles, S., Guyan, K., Jayasinghe, I., Müllenbroich, C., ... Williams, R. (2022). Open letter to Advance HE stating there is no conflict between gender equality and trans inclusion. https://www.tigerinstemm.org/news/letter24062022

Dowey, N. (2021). 5 Reasons why studying Geoscience can save the planet. [Blog]. https://geoscienceforthefuture.com/studying-geoscience-can-save-the-planet/

Dowey, N. (2021). The Equator Research Group Website. [Website]. https://equatorresearchgroup.wordpress.com/

Dowey, N. (2021). The Sustainable Geoscience Award at the University of Hull. [Case Study]. https://www.gfgd.org/higher-education-learning-resources

Bird, A., Caswell, B., Bond, D., Dempsey, E., Dowey, N., Herringshaw, L., ... Williams, R. (2020). The Future of Geoscience. [Magazine Article]. https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/~/media/shared/documents/geoscientist/2020/september%202020/Geo_SEPTEMBER2020-soapbox.pdf?la=en

Dowey, N. (2020). We Need to Talk About Geoscience. [Blog]. https://geoscienceforthefuture.com/we-need-to-talk-about-geoscience/

Dowey, N. (2020). BlackInGeoscience Week. [Blog]. https://geoscienceforthefuture.com/blackingeoscienceweek/

Dowey, N., Beaumont, H., & Roberts, J. (2020). Geoscience for the Future. [Outreach Initiative Website]. https://geoscienceforthefuture.com/

Dowey, N., Beaumont, H., & Roberts, J. (2020). Geoscience for the Future. [Outreach Initiative Website]. https://geoscienceforthefuture.com/

Dowey, N., Beaumont, H., & Roberts, J. (2020). Geoscience for the Future. [Outreach Initiative Website]. https://geoscienceforthefuture.com/

Krippner, J., Hough, S., Bohon, W., Burberry, C., Gallop, S., Watkinds, R., ... Benediktsdóttir, A. (2017). Family or Career? Doing both in the Geosciences. [Blog]. http://inthecompanyofvolcanoes.blogspot.com/2017/07/family-or-career-doing-both-in.html

Krippner, J., Hough, S., Bohon, W., Burberry, C., Gallop, S., Watkinds, R., ... Benediktsdóttir, A. (2017). Family or Career? Doing both in the Geosciences. [Blog]. http://inthecompanyofvolcanoes.blogspot.com/2017/07/family-or-career-doing-both-in.html

Dowey, N. (2016). Geoscience outreach - why it matters and how to get involved. [Blog]. https://blogs.egu.eu/network/geojenga/2016/07/06/geoscience-outreach-why-it-matters-and-how-to-get-involved/

Dowey, N. (2014). 100 Great Geosites: Kynance Cove. [Blog]. https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/GeositesKynance

Dowey, N. (2014). 100 Great Geosites: Cym Idwal and Darwin’s Boulders. [Blog]. https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/GeositesCwmIdwal

The Lab 13 Network, (2014). Dr. Natasha Smith - ScienceGrrl Geoscientist Interview. [Blog]. https://lab13network.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/dr-natasha-smith-sciencegrrl-geoscientist-interview/

Media

Hallam FM, (2023). Turkey-Syria Earthquake Radio Interview for Morning News. [Radio]. Bauer Media Group

GeogPod, (2022). Natasha Dowey - The importance of Geoscience in a more sustainable society”. [Podcast]. Geographical Association

Mitchell, S. (2022). Networks and New Directions with Natasha Dowey. [Podcast]. VolcaKnowledge

Rudravajhala, S. (2021). Feature Report: Highlighting the 'diversity crisis' in Geoscience. [Youtube Video].

Presentations

Dowey, N. (2023). Decolonising UK Earth Science pedagogy-from the hidden histories of our geological institutions to inclusive curricula. Presented at: Goldschmidt, Lyon

Williams, R., Rowley, P., Smith, G., Johnston, T., Johnson, M., & Dowey, N. (2023). Spontaneous unsteadiness in pyroclastic density currents and the impact on volcanic stratigraphy. Presented at: International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior Conference, Rotorua, New Zealand

Johnston, T., Williams, R., Rowley, P., & Dowey, N. (2023). How does grain size distribution impact the mobility and deposition of analogue pyroclastic density currents? Presented at: Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group AGM, London

Rowley, P., Walding, N., Johnston, T., Johnson, M., Dowey, N., & Williams, R. (2022). Channel-edge effects in gas-fluidized pyroclastic density currents. Presented at: Cities on Volcanoes, Crete

Dowey, N., Desforges, L., Pereira, A., & Mahmood, D. (2022). Breaking Barriers: Highlighting and tackling challenges faced by underrepresented students in Geography and Environment at Sheffield Hallam University. Presented at: Framing the Future: Learning, Teaching and Assessment 2022 Conference, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield

Dowey, N., Giles, S., Jackson, C., Williams, R., Fernando, B., Lawrence, A., ... Souch, C. (2022). The Equator Project- seeking to improve access and inclusion for underrepresented students in Geography, Earth and Environmental Science. Presented at: Framing the Future: Learning, Teaching and Assessment 2022 Conference, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield

Giles, S., Rogers, S., Dowey, N., Van Landeghem, K., Bhatia, R., Greene, S., ... King, C. (2022). “You just look at rocks, and have beards”: UK perceptions of geology. Presented at: Earth Science Teachers Association conference

Dowey, N., Giles, S., Jackson, C., Williams, R., Fernando, B., Lawrence, A., ... Souch, C. (2022). The Equator Project: working towards equity in postgraduate Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences research. Presented at: NERC Diversity and Inclusion Knowledge Exchange Virtual Event, 21st November 2022

Dowey, N. (2022). Ensuring a more sustainable and equitable geoscience for the future. Presented at: Energy Transition Conference, London and Virtual

Williams, R., Dowey, N., Lawrence, A., Houghton, J., & Greene, S. (2022). Designing Inclusive Fieldwork. Presented at: University Geoscience UK Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Series Jan 2022, Virtual

Roberts, J., Jackson, C., Bond, C., Anderson, M., Dowey, N., Johnson, G., & Steiner, B. (2022). Sustainable geoscience in UK HE: evidencing transition through the analysis of student-led project topics. Presented at: Tectonic Studies Group Annual Meeting, Online, 2022

Lawrence, A., & Dowey, N. (2021). Mud and Glee at the Crossroads: How can we consider intersectionality more holistically in fieldwork? Presented at: Muddy Glee: Area Classics Revisited Event, 2022

Buckley, B., Goldwood, M., Holmes, N., Dowey, N., & Hawkins, A. (2021). Producing a JEDI impact assessment and checklist for local field visits. Presented at: Transforming Learning conference, Online

Lawrence, A., & Dowey, N. (2021). Six simple steps towards making fieldwork more accessible and inclusive [abstract only]. Presented at: Goldschmidt 2021, Virtual, 2021

Jackson, C., Dowey, N., Barclay, J., Fernando, B., Giles, S., Houghton, J., ... Williams, R. (2021). Race, racism, and barriers to the participation of Black People in the Geological Sciences: How bad is it? Should we do something about it? What can we do about it? [abstract only]. Presented at: Goldschmidt 2021, Virtual, 2021 http://doi.org/10.7185/gold2021.3169

Jones, E., Dowey, N., Williams, R., & Holloway, L. (2021). Lost in Translation? Exploring the journey from press releases to news articles and mainstream media during volcanic crises, and its impact on public perceptions [abstract only]. Presented at: VMSG 2021, Virtual, 2021

Dowey, N., & Williams, R. (2021). New understanding of hybrid pyroclastic processes revealed from proximal deposits [abstract only]. Presented at: VMSG 2021, Virtual, 2021

Johnson, M., Dowey, N., Williams, R., & Rowley, P. (2021). The muesli effect in pyroclastic density currents - what does reverse grading in an ignimbrite mean? [abstract only]. Presented at: VMSG 2021, Virtual, 2021

Dowey, N., & Yallup, C. (2019). Assessing and communicating risk in early stage exploration: embedding regional understanding within basin modelling workflows [abstract only]. Presented at: AAPG Risk and Uncertainty Forum, Aberdeen, 2019

Newton, A., Dowey, N., Barclay, J., Fernando, B., Giles, S., Houghton, J., ... Williams, R. (2019). Recommendations for combatting the diversity crisis in Geography, Earth and Environmental Science research; perspectives from the UK [abstract only]. Presented at: EGU General Assembly, Virtual, 2019

Treloar, M., Dowey, N., & Macgregor, D. (2018). Investigating potential charge mechanisms in the levantine basin using 1D basin modelling [abstract only]. Presented at: Eastern Mediterranean – An emerging major petroleum province, 2018

Dowey, N., & Smyth, H. (2015). Enhancing exploration concepts: A Mexico case study. Presented at: Finding Petroleum, London

Dowey, N., & Smyth, H. (2015). Enhancing exploration concepts: A Mexico case study. Presented at: Finding Petroleum, London

Smith, N.J., & Kokelaar, B.P. (2011). Near-vent settings and processes of the 273 ka Poris eruption (Tenerife). Presented at: Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group AGM, Cambridge, UK

Smith, N.J., Kokelaar, B.P., & Branney, M.J. (2011). Near-vent settings and processes of the 273 ka Poris eruption (Tenerife): Ignimbrite deposition, caldera formation and phreatomagmatism. Presented at: International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics conference, Melbourne, Australia

Posters

Williams, R., & Dowey, N. (2023). Hybrid volcaniclastic deposits: recognising uncertainty in proximal volcanic stratigraphies. Presented at: International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior Conference, Rotorua, New Zealand

Dowey, N., & Williams, R. (2023). Simultaneous fall and flow during pyroclastic eruptions: the implications of a novel proximal hybrid deposit. Presented at: Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group AGM, London

Walding, N., Williams, R., Dowey, N., Rowley, P., Parsons, D., & Bird, A. (2023). Cohesional behaviours in volcanic and analogue material and the consequent implications on deposit architecture. Presented at: Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group AGM, London

Johnston, T., Williams, R., Dowey, N., & Rowley, P. (2022). How does grain size distribution impact the mobility of aerated granular flows? Presented at: Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group Annual Meeting, Virtual, 2022

Walding, N., Williams, R., Dowey, N., Rowley, P., & Parsons, D. (2022). The PDC flow units problem: deposit heterogeneity from varying cohesive behaviour and sediment flux. Presented at: Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group Annual Meeting, Virtual, 2022

Dowey, N., Kokelaar, P., & Brown, R. (2020). Counting currents: correlating flow units to understand how pyroclastic density currents wax and wane in time and space. Presented at: The Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group Annual Meeting , VMSG Plymouth, Plymouth, 2020

Dowey, N., Yallup, C., & Evans, K. (2019). Assessing and communicating risk in early stage exploration: embedding regional understanding within basin modelling workflows. Presented at: Capturing Geoscience in Geomodels Geological Society Conference, London, 2019

Smith, N.J., & Pete, K. (2010). Lithofacies architecture of a proximal ignimbrite: Diego Hernandez wall, Las Cañadas Caldera, Tenerife. Presented at: Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group AGM, Glasgow, UK

Other publications

Williams, R., Lawrence, A., Raji, M., Rogers, S., Dowey, N., Houghton, J., ... Jameson, G. (2023). Decolonising UK Earth Science pedagogy - from the hidden histories of our geological institutions to inclusive curricula. http://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-13760

Dowey, N., Rowley, P., Williams, R., Walding, N., Smith, G., Johnson, M., & Johnston, T. (2023). From flume to field: using analogue modelling to delve into uncertainty in our interpretations of volcanic bedforms and what they tell us about deadly hazards. http://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-9849

Williams, R., Raji, M., Gill, J., Olaka, L., Omuombo, C., Odhiambo, C., ... James, H. (2023). A Roadmap to Strengthen Geoscience Education for Sustainable Development in Kenya. http://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-14209

Dowey, N., Giles, S., Jackson, C., Williams, R., Fernando, B., Lawrence, A., ... Souch, C. (2023). The Equator Project- how to remove barriers, improve access and enhance experience for ethnic minority students in Geography, Earth and Environmental Science postgraduate research. http://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-9648

Dowey, N., & Fenton, M. (2018). Basin Modelling Into White Space- Communicating Unknowns in Exploration Frontiers, Neftex Exploration Insights Magazine, Halliburton. Halliburton

Jennings, J., & Dowey, N. (2018). Bohai Basin: Past success and future potential in China's largest petroleum province. Neftex Exploration Insights Magazine, Halliburton.

Wrobel-Daveau, J.-.C., & Dowey, N. (2017). Using Plate Tectonics Alongside Source to Sink Analysis and Basin Modelling to Investigate Frontier Plays, Western Black Sea, Neftex Exploration Insights Magazine, Halliburton.

Dowey, N., & Smyth, H. (2015). Developing Exploration Concepts in Mexico, Neftex Exploration Insights Magazine, Halliburton.

Other activities

Trustee of Geology for Global Development
Council Member and Fellow, Geological Society of London
Editorial Board, Earth Science, Systems and Society journal
Editor of Geoscience for the Future

 

Postgraduate supervision

PhD supervision in progress:
Nemi Walding: "The PDC Flow Unit Problem: deposit heterogeneity from varying cohesive behaviour and sediment flux"

PhD thesis completions:
Anya Lawrence: "No Strain, No Gain: From Constructing Continental Crust to Building Diversity in the Geosciences"
 
Masters by Research supervision in progress:
Leah Gingell: "How do waxing or waning currents created by PDC’s influence the reverse grading seen within ignimbrite deposits?"

Masters by Research thesis completions:
Thomas Johnston:"How does grain size distribution impact the mobility and deposition of analogue pyroclastic density currents?"

Matthew Johnson: "The muesli effect in pyroclastic density currents - what does reverse grading in an ignimbrite mean?"
Elena Jones: "Lost in Translation? Exploring the journey from press releases to news articles and mainstream media during volcanic crises, and its impact on public perceptions"

 

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