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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Dr Sally Brown BSc MRes PhD

Visiting Senior Research Fellow

Dr Sally Brown's photo

Dr Sally Brown is a visitor within Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering at the University of Southampton. She works at the Environment Agency. Her career has had four distinct phases:

Research: From 2008-2020, Sally was a researcher specialising in coastal change and climate change adaptation. Her research hinged around physical and social interactions in the coastal zone, particularly integrating research across disciplines. Her interests included coastal geomorphology, the impacts of sea-level rise on a range of settings and climate change adaptation at local to global scales, and shoreline management. Sally has published, researched or visited coasts around Europe and Africa coasts, plus Bangladesh, China, Ghana, India, Maldives and Vanuatu. Having supervised five PhD students, in 2022, Sally was awarded the UK Council for Graduate Education's Recognised Research Supervisor status. She was a lead author in the IPCC’s Special Report on the impacts of a 1.5ºC rise in temperature in 2018.

Impact: Throughout her research, Sally has undertaken numerous public engagement, written many blogs and media opportunities. From 2017-2018, she undertook a placement at the National Trust analysing land and properties coastal change and land subject to flood and erosional risk. From 2018-2020, she led on research impact at Bournemouth University working on coastal birds and fish for the REF’s impact case studies.

Teaching: Sally guest lectured in Southampton in coastal morphodynamics and supervised student projects. She led modules in climate change and independent research projects at Bournemouth University plus lectured in other modules. In early 2020, Sally took the lead for teaching at Bournemouth University where she was responsible for exams and assessments, additional learning support, student forums and general leadership. Having taught from Foundation Year to MSc levels, in 2022, she completed her Fellowship requirements of the Higher Education Academy. She is External Examiner for the MSc in Climate Change at the University of East Anglia.

Industry: In 2022, Sally moved to the Environment Agency where she is Principal Scientist in flood risk research. Her goal is to help to deliver the Agency’s Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management strategy in England Wales which includes rivers, surface water and coastal flood modelling, plus incident management.

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Sea-level rise is an important issue. Sally studies how low lying coastlines are prone to flooding, sea-level rise and subsidence.
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Sally presents her work in journal articles and at international conferences, such at the 1.5 degrees conference at the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute in 2016.
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Sally’s work has assessed the impacts of sea-level rise around Europe’s coast. Whilst at a meeting in Copenhagen, she happened to come across some large chunks of Greeenland ice being installed outside of the City Hall to raise awareness of climate change.
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She enjoys visiting the coast, including here in the German Baltic…..
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…and the coast near to Copenhagen on a conference excursion…..
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…in Parque National del Archipielago de Cabrera, Mallorca, where she gave a keynote talk in a sea-level rise workshop….
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…and in Shanghai when she was invited to presenting her research on climate change impact on cities at the launch of the Asian hub of the Urban Climate Change Research Network.
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Sally has visited the Palace of Westminster when she took part in the Royal Society’s Scientist / Parliamentarian Pairing Scheme.
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Sally has interests in how ports adapt to changing weather and climatic conditions
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Sally studies the Maldives where she has been assessing the impacts of sea-level rise and possible adaptation measures
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She is also interested in the wider development and sustainability of small islands
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She is also passionate to learn about how communities adapt to change from erosion and flooding, and the social implications of engineering the coast.
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Sally also studies delta regions, and has published research on subsidence and wetland change in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta.
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Sally supervises students, including 4th year MEng students and their Group Design Project, pictured here at the 2016 Design Show.
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Sally has discussed and demonstrated the merits of coastal engineering to school students, and gets involved in different outreach activities.
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Sally spent six months on a placement at the National Trust looking at coastal change
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Sally was a lead author in the IPCC Special Report into a 1.5 degree C rise in, pictured here in with other lead authors, after a talk in Stockholm
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Sally has undertaken research into sea-level rise in China with a PhD student who visited Southampton
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Sally helped lead a workshop in Vanuatu on geohazards where community members and groups participated

Research interests


Climate change, sea-level rise, coastal geomorphology, cliffs, erosion, flooding, impacts, adaptation, shoreline management, small islands, deltas, ports, insurance.

Where can I find out more?

Sally’s research outputs plus further information can be found on ResearchGate and Google Scholar, plus:

ORCID: 0000-0003-1185-1962
ResearcherID: I-2662-2014
Twitter: _sallybrown77

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Dr Sally Brown
Engineering, University of Southampton, Southampton Boldrewood Innovation Campus, Burgess Road, Southampton, SO16 7QF

Room Number : 178/4037/B1

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