Dr Ioanna Tantanasi

Research Associate, IMPROVER project

BSc (Aegean), MSc (Manchester), PhD (Manchester)



+44 (0)114 222 2666

Room 318

I specialise in knowledge mapping, social network analysis (SNA), stakeholder engagement for participatory decision-making, and environmental governance. In particular, in my current project (IMPROVER) I focus on examining and assessing how resilience and adaptive capacity can be improved.

I started my academic career in Greece (BSc in Oceanography, University of the Aegean), analysing fish parasites that are harmful to human health for my undergraduate thesis. This led to my first co-authored publication in 2012 and served as an excellent introduction to collaborative knowledge production with my peers. After graduation, I worked at the National Centre for Marine Research (NCMR) on the EU FP6 Project SPICOSA, which looked at environmental governance of transboundary waters in Europe. My interest in human geography influenced my decision to complete an MSc in Environmental Governance and PhD in the Department of Geography at The University of Manchester. My doctoral thesis also focused on environmental governance and addressed questions of mapping pathways to climate adaptation and resilience, as well as knowledge transfer and the power relationships between different social groups such as landlords and tenant farmers. Through an exploration of the concepts of adaptive learning I explored how this helped foster more social and ecological resilience within the Peak District National Park (PDNP).

Through my post-doctoral research positions (NERC, NERC-IAA, ESRC-IAA, Copernicus Masters) my research focus has shifted from rural to urban landscapes, which has enabled me to develop my inter-disciplinary collaborations with colleagues in Geography, Planning, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and Digital Sociology. Both projects explored the role of ‘community champions’ in the dissemination of information about hazards, such as flooding and extreme weather conditions, within urban communities suffering from social, economic and climate disadvantage. I found that these champions played a particularly important role in helping build stronger relationships within communities, which improved community disaster resilience.

I am currently working as Research Associate for the European Commission Horizon 2020 funded project ‘IMPROVER: Improved risk evaluation and implementation of resilience concepts to critical infrastructure’. The aim of the study is to explore how information shared via social media can help reduce response and recovery times and raise awareness about the risk of future disasters. The Sheffield team looks specifically at how community representatives and those involved in emergency management can use social media to create early-warning systems that can be activated during such events.

Available online at: http://improverproject.eu/