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James Jeffers – Bath Spa University

Personal statement

I am a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography in the School of Sciences. I am a human-environment geographer specialising in natural hazards, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

My current research projects use a historical perspective to develop new knowledge on wildfires in Ireland and floods in the Indian Himalayas. I have also recently completed a project that explored public participation and decision-making disputes in flood risk management in Ireland. This research directly informs my teaching contributions to undergraduate degree programmes in Geography, Global Development and Sustainability, and Environmental Science.

I am one of the co-organisers of the international research lecture series for the Hazard, Risk and Disaster Research Group. I also serve on both the management subcommittee and the centre steering group for the interdisciplinary Research Centre for Environmental Humanities.

Research specialisms 

  • Natural hazards
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Floods
  • Wildfires 
  • Urban climates and hazards 
  • Historical perspectives on hazards and climate 

Research projects


Academic qualifications

  • PhD, Geography - Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
  • MPhil, Geography - Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
  • LLM, Public Law - University of Galway. First class honours
  • LLB, University of Galway. First class honours
  • BA, Geography and Legal Science - University of Galway. First Class Honours.

Professional qualifications

  • Fellow - Higher Education Academy.

Professional memberships

  • Geographical Society of Ireland
  • American Association of Geographers 
  • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

External Roles and Academic Service

  • Article peer reviews for the following journals (2012-2022): Annals of the American Association of Geographers; Applied Geography, Disasters Journal; Environment and Planning A; Environment and Planning C; Environmental Policy and Governance; Geographical Research; Global Environmental Change; International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction; Irish Geography; Journal of Environmental Planning and Management; Land Use Policy; Planning Perspectives; Planning Theory and Practice; Political Geography; Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Engineering Sustainability; Regional Environmental Change; Risk, Hazards and Crisis in Public Policy; Urban Climate.
  • Joint guest editor (with Monalisa Chatterjee) for a special issue of the Journal of Extreme Events on ‘Hazards in Context’ (2016-2017).

Teaching specialisms

I currently contribute to teaching on the following modules:

  • Disaster Risk Reduction (Module leader)
  • Advanced Geographical Fieldwork: Barcelona (Module leader)
  • Geography Dissertation
  • Climate and Society (Module leader)
  • Geographical Research Methods
  • Environment, People and Place
  • Sustainability in Life and Work
  • Interdisciplinary Research Methods for the Environmental Humanities.

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

The changing environment
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Mitchell, J.K, Jeffers, J.M and Brady, M.B (2016) 'The changing environment.' In: Auerbach, P.S, Cushing, T.A and Harris, N.S, eds. Auerbach's wilderness medicine. 7th ed. Elsevier, Philadelphia, PA, pp. 2524-2535. ISBN 9780323359429


The changing environment
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Mitchell, J.K and Jeffers, J.M (2011) 'The changing environment.' In: Auerbach, P, ed. Wilderness medicine. 6th ed. Elsevier/Mosby, Philadelphia, PA, pp. 2134-2144. ISBN 9781437716788


Building constituencies for flood risk management: critical insights from a flood defences dispute in Ireland
article

Jeffers, J.M (2022) 'Building constituencies for flood risk management: critical insights from a flood defences dispute in Ireland.' Risk, Hazards and Crisis in Public Policy, 13 (4). pp. 356-378. ISSN 1944-4079


Particularizing adaptation to non-predominant hazards: a history of wildfires in County Donegal, Ireland from 1903 to 2019
article

Jeffers, J.M (2021) 'Particularizing adaptation to non-predominant hazards: a history of wildfires in County Donegal, Ireland from 1903 to 2019.' International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 58. e102211. ISSN 2212-4209


Barriers to transformation towards participatory adaptation decision-making: lessons from the Cork flood defences dispute
article

Jeffers, J.M (2020) 'Barriers to transformation towards participatory adaptation decision-making: lessons from the Cork flood defences dispute.' Land Use Policy, 90. e104333. ISSN 0264-8377


Saving Cork City? Place attachment and conflicting framings of flood hazards
article

Jeffers, J.M (2019) 'Saving Cork City? Place attachment and conflicting framings of flood hazards.' Geoforum, 103. pp. 26-35. ISSN 0016-7185


Hazards, climates and cultures: reflections on recent scholarship and proposals for further research
article

Jeffers, J.M (2016) 'Hazards, climates and cultures: reflections on recent scholarship and proposals for further research.' Journal of Extreme Events, 3 (2). ISSN 2345-7376


Editorial - Researching hazards: keeping pace with changing contexts
article

Chatterjee, M, Jeffers, J.M and Leichenko, R (2016) 'Editorial - Researching hazards: keeping pace with changing contexts.' Journal of Extreme Events, 3 (2). ISSN 2345-7376


Environmental knowledge and human experience: using a historical analysis of flooding in Ireland to challenge contemporary risk narratives and develop creative policy alternatives
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Jeffers, J.M (2014) 'Environmental knowledge and human experience: using a historical analysis of flooding in Ireland to challenge contemporary risk narratives and develop creative policy alternatives.' Environmental Hazards, 13 (3). pp. 229-247. ISSN 1747-7891


Integrating vulnerability analysis and risk assessment in flood loss mitigation: an evaluation of barriers and challenges based on evidence from Ireland
article

Jeffers, J.M (2013) 'Integrating vulnerability analysis and risk assessment in flood loss mitigation: an evaluation of barriers and challenges based on evidence from Ireland.' Applied Geography, 37. pp. 44-51. ISSN 0143-6228


Double exposures and decision making: adaptation policy and planning in Ireland’s coastal cities during a boom–bust cycle
article

Jeffers, J.M (2013) 'Double exposures and decision making: adaptation policy and planning in Ireland’s coastal cities during a boom–bust cycle.' Environment and Planning A, 45 (6). pp. 1436-1454. ISSN 0308-518X


The Cork City flood of November 2009: lessons for flood risk management and climate change adaptation at the urban scale
article

Jeffers, J.M (2011) 'The Cork City flood of November 2009: lessons for flood risk management and climate change adaptation at the urban scale.' Irish Geography, 44 (1). pp. 61-80. ISSN 0075-0778


The representative and impartial jury in the criminal trial:an achievable reality in Ireland today?
article

Jeffers, J.M (2008) 'The representative and impartial jury in the criminal trial:an achievable reality in Ireland today?' Irish Criminal Law Journal, 18 (2). pp. 34-41. ISSN 0791-539X


Climate change and the law: reducing Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions
article

Jeffers, J.M (2007) 'Climate change and the law: reducing Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions.' Galway Student Law Review, 3. pp. 51-76. ISSN 1393-7448


Dead or alive?: the fate of natural law in Irish constitutional jurisprudence
article

Jeffers, J.M (2003) 'Dead or alive?: the fate of natural law in Irish constitutional jurisprudence.' Galway Student Law Review, 2. pp. 2-16. ISSN 1393-7448


A history of wildfires in Ireland (1850-2020) and its implications for contemporary climate change adaptation
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Jeffers, J.M, Gonzalez, S, Harwood, A and Pulido-Sanchez, P (2022) A history of wildfires in Ireland (1850-2020) and its implications for contemporary climate change adaptation. In: American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, February 25 - March 1 2022, New York, USA [online].


Historical perspectives on wildfires in Ireland and their importance for contemporary adaptation
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Jeffers, J.M (2021) Historical perspectives on wildfires in Ireland and their importance for contemporary adaptation. In: 52nd Annual Conference of Irish Geographers, 18 - 21 May 2021, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland [online].


HiFlo-DAT: Indian Himalayan Flood Database, for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Kullu District
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Johnson, R.M, Edwards, E and Jeffers, J.M (2019) HiFlo-DAT: Indian Himalayan Flood Database, for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Kullu District. In: PAGES' Floods Working Group Workshop - Floods in a Warmer World: Insights from Paleohydrology, 11 - 13 November 2019, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.


HiFlo-DAT: Indian Himalayan Flood Database, for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Kullu District
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Johnson, R.M, Edwards, E, Jeffers, J.M, Kuniyal, J.C, Mishra, H, Pandey, B.W, Phillips, V, Roy, N, Seviour, J, Sharma, D.D, Sharma, P, Sharma, V, Singh, H and Singh, R.B (2019) HiFlo-DAT: Indian Himalayan Flood Database, for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Kullu District. In: British Society for Geomorphology Meeting, 9 - 11 September 2019, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.


Developing historically informed adaptation research: reflections on challenges and opportunities
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Jeffers, J.M (2018) Developing historically informed adaptation research: reflections on challenges and opportunities. In: Climate Change Adaptation and History: An Interdisciplinary Conversation, 11 September 2018, Bielefeld University, Germany.


Complex conflicts in hazards management: insights from the Cork flood defences dispute
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Jeffers, J.M (2018) Complex conflicts in hazards management: insights from the Cork flood defences dispute. In: Conference of Irish Geographers, 10 -12 May 2018, Maynooth University, Ireland.


Public consultation and community opposition in flood risk management: the case of the ‘Save Cork City’ campaign
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Jeffers, J.M (2017) Public consultation and community opposition in flood risk management: the case of the ‘Save Cork City’ campaign. In: UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference, 11 - 13 September 2017, Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland.


Disruptive hazards and climates: making sense of ambiguity
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Jeffers, J.M (2017) Disruptive hazards and climates: making sense of ambiguity. In: Conference of Irish Geographers, 4 - 6 May 2017, University College Cork.


Living with contradictions: messy and ambiguous interpretations of climate change by decision-makers and stakeholders in Ireland’s coastal cities
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Jeffers, J.M (2017) Living with contradictions: messy and ambiguous interpretations of climate change by decision-makers and stakeholders in Ireland’s coastal cities. In: Environment & Sustainability Research Group Seminar Series, 9 March 2017, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.


Complex, contradictory and dynamic framings of hazards and disasters: implications for social science research and theory
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Jeffers, J.M (2016) Complex, contradictory and dynamic framings of hazards and disasters: implications for social science research and theory. In: The 9th MaGrann Symposium: Hazards in Context, 2 March 2016, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA.


A historic perspective on flooding in Ireland’s coastal cities and its implications for current policy and practice
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Jeffers, J.M (2015) A historic perspective on flooding in Ireland’s coastal cities and its implications for current policy and practice. In: International Conference of Historical Geographers, 5-10 July 2015, Royal Geographical Society, London.


Floods, climate change and economic crisis in Ireland’s coastal cities
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Jeffers, J.M (2014) Floods, climate change and economic crisis in Ireland’s coastal cities. In: Environment, Politics and Development Research Group Seminar, 11 November 2014, King's College, London.


Learning from the past to face the risks of the future: developing sustainable approaches to flood hazards management
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Jeffers, J.M (2014) Learning from the past to face the risks of the future: developing sustainable approaches to flood hazards management. In: Conference of Irish Geographers, 8 –10 May 2014, O’Brien Science Centre, University College Dublin.


Not reinventing the wheel! Learning from past theory and practice in climate change adaptation
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Jeffers, J.M (2014) Not reinventing the wheel! Learning from past theory and practice in climate change adaptation. In: Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, 8-12 April 2014, Tampa, Florida.


Climate change adaptation and economic crisis in Ireland’s coastal cities
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Jeffers, J.M (2014) Climate change adaptation and economic crisis in Ireland’s coastal cities. In: Sustainability Research Centre Seminar, 11 August 2014, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.


Learning from the past to prepare for the future: using historic analysis of flood hazards in Ireland to contextualise current events
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Jeffers, J.M (2013) Learning from the past to prepare for the future: using historic analysis of flood hazards in Ireland to contextualise current events. In: Nordic Geographers Meeting, 11–14 June 2013, University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland.


Space, time, place and climate: how perceptions of weather and climate may shape adaptation
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Jeffers, J.M (2013) Space, time, place and climate: how perceptions of weather and climate may shape adaptation. In: Conference of Irish Geographers, 16-18 May 2013, National University of Ireland, Galway.


Managing uncertainty and constructing risk: the limits of contemporary hazards mitigation and climate adaptation policies
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Jeffers, J.M (2012) Managing uncertainty and constructing risk: the limits of contemporary hazards mitigation and climate adaptation policies. In: Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, 24-28 February 2012, New York.


Intersecting crises and double exposures: economic recession and climate change in Ireland
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Jeffers, J.M (2011) Intersecting crises and double exposures: economic recession and climate change in Ireland. In: Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, 12–16 April 2011, Seattle, Washington, US.


Conceptualizing climate hazards: reflections on adaptation, vulnerability and decision-making in coastal cities
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Jeffers, J.M (2010) Conceptualizing climate hazards: reflections on adaptation, vulnerability and decision-making in coastal cities. In: Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, 14-15 April 2010, Washington DC, US.


Ireland in 2009: floods, frosts and financial crisis
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Jeffers, J.M (2010) Ireland in 2009: floods, frosts and financial crisis. In: Department of Geography Seminar, 3 March 2010, Rutgers University, New Jersey, US..


Minding the gap: knowledge, local decision-making and adaptation to climate change in Ireland’s coastal cities
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Jeffers, J.M (2009) Minding the gap: knowledge, local decision-making and adaptation to climate change in Ireland’s coastal cities. In: Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, 22-27 March 2009, Las Vegas, Nevada, US.


Confronting climate: linking knowledge, values and decision-making to vulnerability and adaptation in Ireland's coastal cities
thesis

Jeffers, J.M (2011) Confronting climate: linking knowledge, values and decision-making to vulnerability and adaptation in Ireland's coastal cities. PhD thesis, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.


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