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Dr Joel Gill



Lecturer in Sustainable Geoscience

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

+44 29225 14510
Main Building, Room Room 2.13, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am an interdisciplinary geoscientist, integrating natural and social science approaches to address issues relating to sustainable development and disaster risk reduction. I often work at the science-policy-practice interface, and take a proactive approach to securing impact from the work I contribute to.

A particular research focus is advancing 'multi-hazard' approaches to disaster risk management, by understanding the interrelationships between natural hazards (e.g., how one hazard triggers another hazard, or changes the likelihood of another hazard occurring) and how these contribute to dynamic risk. 

I have been at the forefront of dialogue, student engagement, and research in sustainable geoscience for the last decade, and play a leading role internationally in championing how geoscientists can help deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I am the lead Editor of a recent book on this theme (Geosciences and the SDGs), and engage in UN forums and processes.










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My research and related activities can be grouped into two interrelated themes:

1. Multi-Hazards and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)

There is a strong two-directional relationship between disaster risk reduction and sustainable development. Disasters disproportionately affect the most marginalised in society, and threaten development progress. Development choices we make today shape the risk faced by individuals and the spaces of tomorrow.

A key step in the characterisation of risk is understanding the multi-hazard landscape of a region (i.e., the relevant single natural hazards and the processes by which they may interrelate to generate combinations or cascades of hazards). To support this, I draw on both natural and social science methodologies, to collect, analyse, and integrate diverse qualitative and quantitative evidence (literature, field observations, interviews, data-generating workshops), and explore multi-hazard scenarios with decision makers.

Sub-Themes of Interest:

  • Multi-hazard frameworks/systems
  • dynamic risk
  • natural hazard interactions
  • anthropogenic impacts on natural hazards
  • urban multi-hazard risk in the Global South.

Current Projects and Roles:

2. Geoscience and Sustainable Development

Understanding of our Earth's resources, systems, and dynamics can help deliver many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). My work in this theme aims to characterise geoscientists’ role in sustainable development and understand the structural transformations required to facilitate positive impact (e.g., reforms to geoscience education, improved approaches to partnership development, strengthened access to and ability to use geoscience data by non-geoscience organisations).

Sub Themes of Interest:

  • Science and the SDGs
  • Education for sustainable development
  • Capacity strengthening
  • Access to and capacity to use geoscience data and expertise
  • Evaluating interdisciplinary research.

Current Projects and Roles:


Undergraduate Teaching

  • I contribute to the World of Dynamic Environments module, using case studies from around the world to introduce Year 1 students to sustainable development. 
  • I contribute to a residential fieldtrip to Cornwall for Year 2 students.
  • I lead the Hazard, Risk, and Resilience module, available to students in Year 3.
  • I supervise environmental geoscience dissertations, with themes including multi-hazard characterisation in the Global South.

Postgraduate Teaching:

  • I lead the Risk Assessment module, forming part of the MSc Environmental Hazards.


  • Lecturer in Sustainable Geoscience, Cardiff University (2022 – present)
  • Senior International Development Geoscientist, British Geological Survey, UK (2021 – 2022)
  • International Development Geoscientist, British Geological Survey, UK (2016 – 2021)
  • PhD Geography (Natural Hazards), King's College London (2016)
  • MSc Engineering Geology, University of Leeds, UK (2010)
  • BA Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge, UK (2008)

Honours and awards

  • Class Teacher Prize. Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics (2016).
  • Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society (2015)
  • Class Teacher Prize. Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics (2014).
  • Best Paper Award (Bronze Medal). Young Scientists’ Session, Integrated Disaster Risk Management (IDRiM) International Conference, University of Northumbria, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (2013)

Professional memberships

  • Member of the European Geosciences Union (2016–)
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2016–)
  • Fellow of the Geological Society of London (2012–)

Academic positions

  • 2015 – 2016: Module Teacher (Natural Hazards), Geography, King’s College London, UK
  • 2012 – 2016: Class Teacher (Disaster Risk Reduction), Geography and Environment, London School of Economics, UK

Committees and reviewing

  • Secretary (Foreign and Exteral Affairs) and Council Member, Geological Society of London
  • External Relations Commitee, Geological Society of London


I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

  • Multi-Hazard Risk Management
  • Geoscience and Sustainable Development

External students:

  • Co-Supervisor for Harriet Thompson (King's College London) - Using quantitative and qualitative methods for multi-hazard impact knowledge in urban poor communities: A case study in Kathmandu, Nepal.