Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Geography & Environmental Science Seminar  Seminar

25 November 2021
Via Teams

Event details

Geography & Environmental Science Seminar


Dr Julian Leyland – School of Geography and Environmental Science

Title: The unquenchable thirst for sand: Sand mining driven bank erosion on the Mekong

This talk will outline the insatiable demand for river sand in the Mekong basin, focusing on research based in Cambodia and across the Vietnamese Mekong Delta which shows that intensive sand-mining is leading to an increasing severity and frequency of major episodes of river bank erosion.

Such episodes can lead to a loss of agricultural land and river-side infrastructure, including residential dwellings, and they therefore also pose a serious risk to human life. Here I will report the findings of recent work in which we have explored the extent to which sand mining versus other potential drivers of change is leading to changes in river bank erosion rates.

To do this we employed a combination of remote sensing for direct observation of change and in the VMD region, a numerical simulation approach in which we used a 2D finite-element seepage analysis to predict bank stability in response to combinations of semidiurnal tidal fluctuations acting in concert with seasonal variations in monsoonal flood pulse.

Our results show that severe bed erosion, caused by intense sand mining, is the dominant factor driving increased risk of bank failure, suggesting that management of sand mining is urgently needed to control dangerous bank erosion within the Mekong region.

Dr Emma Roe (Speaker - SoGES) & Dr Sandra Wilks (Speaker - School of Health Sciences) with Paul Hurley (SoGES) and Charlotte Veal (Landscape & Architecture, University of Newcastle)

Title: Routes of infection, routes to safety: integrating viral/human behaviour into a more-than-human infection prevention study of bus users

Public transport passenger numbers have fallen during the Pandemic. There is a need to persuade people out of their cars and to return to bus travel. Our interdisciplinary study has three strands which we will briefly cover. Firstly, we have spoken with bus passengers (from British Somali community), bus cleaners and bus drivers and carried out participant observation as bus-passengers leading us to understand how behaviours and feelings around taking the bus have changed alongside changing Government guidelines about how to stay safe, prevent infection, in spaces where you meet people you don’t know. Secondly, a study of the bus microbiome has increased understanding of levels of pathogenic risk on different bus surfaces and how they interplay with enhanced cleaning regimes of high-touch points during the Pandemic. Thirdly, by combining the science about pathogenic transmission through air and touch-based surfaces with our behaviour study we have created four films that aim to increase confidence about how to lessen pathogenic transmission risk when you take the bus this Winter. We conclude by focusing on the poor comprehension of airborne transmission risks in relation to infection prevention that in part results from cultural contradictions about the relation of cool air to health, with also evidence of dwindling attention to ongoing Covid public health information. We point to a need for continued effort to creatively explore communication around affective forces of air, breathing and airborne viral loads as they are known, or unknown – and the consequent challenge to instil more everyday practices and understanding of air-cleaning to address this route of infection prevention in the long-term.

Speakers Information

Dr Julian Leyland - Associate Professor in Physical Geography, Director of Resources and infrastructure, Director of ES@S facility within Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Southampton

Dr Emma Roe - Associate Professor in Human Geography within Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Southampton

Dr Sandra Wilks - Director of Programmes Health (PGT programmes), Lecturer in Medical Microbiology,Principal Investigator (Microbiology & Health Sciences), Assistant Director of the Environmental Healthcare Unit

Privacy Settings