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Organised by Sir Brian Hoskins CBE FRS, Professor Steve Mithen FBA and Dr Emily Black. In partnership with the British Academy.
The availability and management of the water supply has been a key driver in human history ever since the time of the first settlement communities of the Neolithic. It continues to be so today, with anthropogenic climate change further exacerbating the existing water crisis on planet earth. This meeting will consider past, present and future relationships between water and society with a particular focus on the Middle East.
The proceedings of this meeting have been published in an issue of Philosophical Transactions A.
Sir Brian Hoskins CBE FRS, University of Reading, UK
Brian Hoskins is a Royal Society Research Professor, Director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College and Professor of Meteorology at the University of Reading. A Cambridge mathematician by training, his research has focussed on the understanding of weather and climate phenomena, and numerical modelling of the atmosphere. He has spent most of his career at Reading where he was head of department for 6 years. 2 years ago he started sharing his time between Reading and his new position at Imperial. Current national roles include membership of the UK Climate Change Committee and the Board of the Met Office. His international positions have included President of the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, and Vice-President of the World Climate Research Programme, and he was very involved in the 2007 IPCC Assessment. He is a member of the scientific academies of the UK, USA and China.
Professor Steven Mithen FBA, School of Human and Environmental Sciences, University of Reading, UKThe domestication of water
Steven Mithen is Professor of Early Prehistory and Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Reading. Having studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and then for a BA (Hons) in Archaeology at Sheffield University and an MSc in Biological Computation at York University, he took his PhD at Cambridge before moving to the University of Reading in 1992. He has been directing archaeological fieldwork in western Scotland since 1987 concerned with Mesolithic settlement and co-directing (with Bill Finlayson) the excavations at the early Neolithic site of WF16 in southern Jordan since 1996. In addition to his interests in early Holocene hunter-gatherers and farmers, he has played a key role in the development of cognitive and computational archaeology. His books include The Prehistory of the Mind (1996), After the Ice (2003) and The Singing Neanderthals (2005), to be followed in November 2010 by To the Islands: An Archaeologist’s Relentless Quest to find the Prehistoric Hunter-gatherers of the Hebrides. Steven is the lead PI of the Leverhulme Trust funded Water, Life & Civilisation project (www.waterlifecivilisation.org). He was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy in 2003.
Dr Emily Black, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, UK Millenial variability in Middle East precipitation: insights from models and observations
Emily Black is a senior research fellow at National Centre for Atmospheric Science – Climate Division (NCAS-Climate), based at the University of Reading. Her research interests include the impact of climate variability and change on society, the climate of Africa and the Middle East, and seasonal forecasting. After completing a D.Phil. in Andean tectonics at the University of Oxford, Emily moved to the University of Reading as a post-doctoral research fellow funded by PROMISE, an EU project that focused on monsoon variability. After working for a further two years as a member of the core team for COAPEC (Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Processes And European Climate), she moved into her current position of project manager for the Leverhulme funded Water, Life and Civilisation project.
WelcomeStephen Cox, Robin Jackson and Brian Hoskins
Dr Rebecca Foote, Khalili Collection, UKWater management in the south Levantine steppe and semi-desert ca.100 B.C. – A.D. 900 (ca 2000–1000 BP), the Nabataean, Roman, Byzantine and early Islamic periods
Rebecca Foote has been an archaeologist in Jordan for the past twenty years, specializing in the early Islamic period (6th-9th centuries AD). Since 1993 she has co-directed excavations at Humayma – a multi-period (Nabataean–Islamic, ca 100 BC–AD 900) rural site located in a large natural surface-water catchment in the Hisma Desert. Foote excavates the home and mosque of the Abbasid dynasty (erected and inhabited for at least 40 years, until overtaking the Islamic caliphate mid 8th century). Her major research objectives address why the Abbasids settled in such an arid area and how their exploitation of the landscape compares both with earlier inhabitants of Humayma and with other contemporary sites in similar arid subregions of the Levant. She was a researcher with WLC at Reading, where she collaborated with colleagues in climatology, hydrology and geology to assess the human evidence for water management in southern Jordan against their data and models.
Dr Stuart Black, School of Human and Environmental Sciences, University of Reading, UKPalaeoclimatic reconstruction in the Levant using proxy data
Dr Stuart Black is aSenior Lecturer in Environmental Radioactivity in the Department of Archaeology, at the University of Reading. His areas of research interest are: Quaternary Climate Change and human interaction, Isotopic Analysis for dating and sourcing materials and Forensic Geoscience. The main aim of Stuart’s research is through the use of isotopic systems to understand the timescales and sourcing of both humans and materials with reference to archaeological, environmental and geological disciplines. Over the past 10 years he has authored and co-authored 60 publications in peer reviewed journals and has funding from Leverhulme Trust, NERC and Industry.
Professor Michael Barton, School of Human Evolution & Social Change, Arizona State University, USA Land-use, water, and mediterranean landscapes: modelling long-term dynamics of complex socioecological systems
C. Michael Barton is Professor of Anthropology, Director of the Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity at Arizona State University, and Visiting Research Professor at the Universitat de València. A Fullbright Senior Fellow, he holds a PhD in archaeology and geosciences from the University of Arizona. Barton's research interests centre around human ecology and the dynamics of Quaternary landscapes; he has ongoing projects in the American Southwest and the Mediterranean, where he heads an international, multidisciplinary team studying the long-term socioecology of prehistoric hunter/gatherers and the beginnings of agriculture. He is active in the development and application of spatial technologies and modelling in archaeology, serving on the GRASS GIS development team and directing the NSF-supported Open Agent-Based Modelling Consortium which promotes computational modeling in the social and natural sciences. Barton's diverse publications span prehistoric technology, land-use and ecology, geoarchaeology, Darwinian theory, prehistoric rock art, and the peopling of the Americas.
Professor Paul Valdes, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, UKPalaeo-climate modelling & comparison with proxy data
Paul Valdes is head of the School of Geographical Sciences, at the University of Bristol. After doing an undergraduate degree in Maths and Physics at University College London (1981), and a D.Phil at Oxford University about the atmosphere of Venus (1984), he moved to a postdoctoral position at Reading, with a research theme of idealised studies of storm tracks and large scale waves in the Earth's present and future atmosphere.
In 1990, he was appointed a lecturer and in 2000 a Professor in Earth System Science. For the past 20 years, the major focus of his work has been modelling natural climate change, especially studying past climate change.
This is aimed at improving our understanding of natural climate change and to test climate.
Professor Sandy Harrison, School of Geographical Sciences, Bristol, UK Past changes in the hydrological cycle: observations, explanations and uncertainties
Sandy Harrison, Professor of Climate Dynamics at Bristol University, is a palaeoclimate diagnostician with a special interest in the role of the land-surface, terrestrial biosphere and hydrological processes on modulating regional climate. She is President of the INQUA Commission on Palaeoclimatology (PALCOMM), Co-leader of the Palaeoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project (PMIP), and on the Scientific Steering Committee of the IGBP core project on Integrated Land Ecosystems and Atmospheric Processes (iLEAPS. She has coordinated several international palaeoclimate data synthesis initiatives including the Global Lake Status Database, BIOME6000, DIRTMAP, SNOWLINE and the Global Palaeofires Working Group.
John AshtonSecuring the future
Professor Eilon Adar, Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel Progressive development of water resources in the Middle East for sustainable water supply in the era of climate change
Professor Adar’s main research activities are associated with quantitative assessment of groundwater flow systems and sources of recharge in complex arid basins with puzzling geology and scarce hydrological information. Adar has developed the novel transient Mixing Cell Model (MCMtr) approach utilizing hydrochemistry and environmental isotopes coupled with a non steady flow model. The MCMsf model system based on quadratic programming has been developed for the definition of groundwater flow patterns in multiple-aquifer flow systems by environmental tracers. The model has been applied in several hydrological basins worldwide, from the Kalahari Desert (Namibia), Jezreel and Bessor basins (Israel), to the Ili basin in Kazakhstan. The MCMtr model has been applied in the Arava aquifer of Jordan and Israel in order to define the transient groundwater flow system and the relative groundwater contribution from Jordanian and Israeli sources.
Among other research activities(1) the role of water reservoirs and shallow groundwater on top-soil salinization in the Jezreel Valley; (2) the effects of forestation over sand-dune terrain on local groundwater reservoirs; (3) the dynamics of flow and pollutant transport in a fractured chalk aquitard (low permeable yet fractured formation) in the vicinity of the Ramat Hovav Industrial Park, Israel; (4) identification and quantification of pollutant sources into ephemeral rivers from various basins with different anthropogenic activities; (5) the effect of industrial effluents on the hydraulic properties of a fractured chalk aquitard; (6) identification of irregular salinization processes in the Coastal Aquifer of Israel; (7) soil and groundwater contamination in the coastal aquifer of Israel (Ramat Hasharon area) by organic industrial pollutants and (8) hydrological aspects of management and policy associated with transboundary water resources in Israel and the Middle East.
Dr Debbie Hemming, Met Office Hadley Centre, UKHow uncertain are climate model projections of water availability across the Middle East?
Deborah is an expert in analysing and communicating climate impacts and risks. She manages the Climate Impacts Analysis (CIA) team which focuses on pulling through the state of the art climate modelling and science to address practical climate mitigation and adaptation requirements. In this role, Deborah provides strategic leadership and management of the work of the team, as well as conducting her own research on climate risk analysis, assessment of uncertainties, ecosystem modelling and regional climate change in the Mediterranean region.
Before joining the Met Office Hadley Centre, Deborah completed a PhD and post-doctoral research in the field of plant sciences, examining the responses of forest ecosystems to environmental stresses. She has experience conducting field, laboratory and modelling studies, has published over 25 peer reviewed papers, and coordinated a Europe-wide study to understand the response of European forests to climate variations. She was also a contributing author to the IPCC Forth Assessment Synthesis Report.
Deborah spent 6 months on secondment from her current job working in the Climate, Energy and Ozone Science and Analysis team of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs where she developed a practical understanding of the requirement on science for climate policy. She was the Met Office lead for a key UK Ministry of Defence project entitled ‘Defence and Security Implications of Climate Change - DSICC’, and is currently leading the Met Office contribution to an EU project ‘Climate Change and Impact Research: The Mediterranean Environment – CIRCE’. She is also a member of the Society for Risk Analysis.
Professor Pinhas Alpert, Department of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences, Tel-Aviv University, IsraelGlobal warming projected water cycle changes over the Mediterranean
Professor Pinhas Alpert took up the position of Head of the Porter School of Environmental Studies in October 2008, following 3 years as Head of the Department of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences at Tel Aviv University. Prof. Alpert is a developer of a novel Factor Separation Method in numerical simulations (Stein/Alpert, JAS 1993), currently being adapted by groups worldwide. A Cambridge University Press Book on this topic will appear towards the end of 2009.He is a co-author of more than 240 articles (170 peer-reviewed; 70 in books), mainly on aspects of mesoscale dynamics & climate.His research focuses on atmospheric dynamics, climate, numerical methods, limited area modelling and climate change. The core atmospheric model built by him in his Ph.D. (1980) was extended and is used in Belgium (LLN) and Finland (UH) for research. Professor Alpert established and heads the ISA-MEIDA & Israel Space Agency Middle East Interactive Data Archive.Professor Alpert was Israel representative to the IPCC TAR WG1.More details on his work can be found at: http://www.tau.ac.il/~pinhas/
Dr Andrew Wade, School of Human and Environmental Sciences, University of Reading, UK Hydrological predictions for the Jordan River
Andrew Wade is Reader in Hydrology in the School of Human and Environmental Sciences at the University of Reading. After a degree in physics, he completed a PhD at the University of Aberdeen based on modelling the influence of catchment processes on the water quality of a major UK river-system. He joined Reading in 1998 and has been responsible for the development of a series of hydrological, water quality and ecological models designed to determine the effects on water resources of climate and land-management change. He is the author of over 50 peer-reviewed papers and has edited two journal special issues on catchment modelling. In addition to his work on past, present and future water security in the Jordan Valley and environs, Dr Wade is also working with colleagues on a European-scale assessment of the freshwater ecological response to climate change and the development of novel water-quality sensors.
Professor Katia Tielböerger, Department of Plant Ecology, University of Tüebingen, GermanyWater for nature- an effective strategy for sustainable water management in the Jordan River basin
Katia Tielbörger studied biology at Munich University. She did her Ph.D. about adaptations of desert plants in Israel (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and then held two Postdoctoral positions at the Technical University of Berlin and Potsdam University, respectively. In 2004, she was appointed as Professor for Plant Ecology at Tübingen University, Germany. Her research interests are 1) integrated water management under global change; 2) response of natural and semi-natural ecosystems to climate change, and 3) biotic interactions. Since 2001, she has coordinated the GLOWA Jordan River project, funded by the German Ministry of Sciences. The project is international and transdisciplinary, it focuses on the development of sustainable water management strategies for the Jordan River region, and it comprises approx. 40 partners from scientific institutions, ministries and NGOs in Germany, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Mr Iyad Dahiyat, Projects Director/Water and Wastewater, Millennium Challenge Account-Jordan, The Prime Ministry, Jordan Water strategies and social responsibility: Jordan's case
Mr Iyad Dahiyat is working as the Projects Director at the Millennium Challenge Account in the Prime Ministry of Jordan leading a team to produce Jordan's proposal for financing of water and wastewater infrastructure development projects to the US Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). Previously, he worked for more than six years in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation managing the commercialization and institutional development projects for the Water Authority of Jordan (WAJ) distribution utilities throughout Jordan. Mr. Dahiyat has an extensive experience in programme and project development and management; infrastructure development planning and feasibility; water sector unbundling, restructuring and regulation; commercialization and privatization of water utilities; design of water and sewerage distribution systems and treatment works. He holds an MSc degree in Water and Environmental Management and a BSc degree in Civil Engineering.
Professor Stephen Nortcliff speaking on behalf of Professor Rob Potter, School of Human and Environmental Sciences, University of Reading, UK Issues of water supply and contemporary urban society: the case of Greater Amman, Jordan
Professor Rob Potter BSc PhD (London) DSc (Reading) AcSS is currently Head of the School of Human and Environmental Sciences and Professor of Human Geography at the University of Reading. His research and teaching interests span development geography and development studies; urban geography; return migration; transnationality and issues of identity. He is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the interdisciplinary journal Progress in Development Studies. He is currently a member of the International Editorial Boards of the journals Third World Quarterly, Journal of Eastern Caribbean Studies, and Blackwell Geography Compass. Rob Potter was conferred as an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2006. In 2007, he was awarded the higher doctorate degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) by the University of Reading, in recognition of his contributions to the fields of Geographies of Development and Urban Geography.
Professor Stephen Nortcliffis Acting Head of School, Director of Enterprise (SHES), Year in Industry co-ordinator. Stephen Nortcliff joined the Department of Soil Science as lecturer in Soil Science in 1978, became a Senior Lecturer in 1991, became Reader in Soil Science in 1994 and was promoted to Professor in 2003 and was been Head of Department from 2000 to 2006. He is Adjunct Professor of Soil Science at Clemson University, USA. From 1984 to 2003 he was Chair of the Technical Committee of the British Standards Institute addressing Soil Quality and has had a substantial involvement in the ISO technical Committee in this area being a co-author of a number of standards. From 2003-5 he was actively involved in the development of the European Commission's Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection, co-chairing the Working Group on Soil Organic Matter and participating as a member of the Steering Committee. He is also involved in the development of a Soil Strategy for England. In recent years he has worked on the potential beneficial impacts on soils of organic amendments including composts, sewage sludge and anaerobic digestates. Since the Autumn of 2002 Stephen has held the position of Secretary General of the International Union of Soil Sciences, which has its headquarters in the Department of Soil Science. In 2009 he is Acting Head of School.
Session 4 Panel Discussion
Book prize event 6 Mar
History of science lecture 7 Mar
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