Over the past few months we have had a number of new staff start at the university and whom have become members of the Centre. So to get to know them we asked them to tell us a little a bit about their background – you can read all about them below!
Dr Georgios Maniatis
I am Greek and was raised in Moshato, a south suburb of Athens close to the Piraeus harbour. I did my 5-year diploma in Environmental Engineering at the Technical University of Chania (Crete) and, after finishing, I moved quite north for my MSc in Freshwater Systems Science (University of Glasgow). PhD started in 2012 (University of Glasgow) and I gradually became the “smart-pebble guy”: my goal was to put micro-sensors in stones and measure the forces they experience in rivers. After finishing my PhD, I worked as Research Associate for the University of Glasgow and then as Senior Hydro-morphologist for the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency. In November (2018), I joined the University of Brighton as Lecturer of Physical Geography taking the opportunity to continue my research on river sediment transport across scales. My primary focus is still on individual pebbles and how the sensors I develop lead to new insights regarding their motion. In parallel, I work on reach-scale projects where I attempt to quantify the effects of river management interventions using advanced sensing techniques (a great excuse to play with drones). The newest problem I work on relates to river classification; I want to quantify the error in applied hydro-morphological scores using Deep Learning techniques.
Dr Laura Evenstar
I grew up loving visiting other countries and took every opportunity to work and travel abroad. After my undergraduate degree in Geology from the University of Leeds, I jumped at the chance to study for a PhD in the University of Aberdeen based on extensive fieldwork in South America. This lead me to one of the loves of my life, the Atacama Desert, the driest and highest desert in the world. My PhD involved deciphering whether the Andean mountain chain formed the Atacama Desert or the other way round and involved extensive study of the sedimentary geology and geomorphology of Northern Chile. After graduate in 2007, I stayed at the University of Aberdeen to research how ancient river systems and lakes interact with salt bodies looking at modern and ancient analogues in Cordillera de la Sal, Chile and Moab, Utah, U.S.A. I then took a long career break to live in remote parts of Scotland and raise small children before returning to academia in 2012 as a post doctoral researcher in the University of Bristol. In Bristol, I worked with BHP, a mining company, to understand long term climate change and uplift in the Atacama Desert effected the formation of weathered deposits of copper. In 2015, I was awarded the Cabot Institute funding to work on geomorphology of Afghanistan looking at the drying up of mega lakes in the Helmand Region since the Pleistocene. In 2019, I moved to the University of Brighton and now work on a variety of research interests from lakes generated by mega landslides, Desert geomorphology, outburst floods, Martian geomorphology, uplift of large mountain belts and formation of volcanoes in places all over the world.
Dr Aggeliki Georgiopoulou
I grew up in Patras, in SW Greece, on the Gulf of Corinth, where earthquakes are a daily occurrence. As a very curious and inquisitive child, fascinated by nature and its forces it made sense that I studied Geology. Through Geology and Jacques Cousteau’s documentaries I discovered Oceanography and I went on to complete a MSc in Oceanography at the University of Southampton and the National Oceanography Centre (then SOC, now NOC). I decided Science was my calling so I also did a PhD in Marine Geology and specifically on underwater landslides and the movement of sediments in the deep sea. I did my first post-doc at the 3DLab of Cardiff University, working as part of CAPROCKS, a consortium with partners from the Hydrocarbon Industry, interested in the sealing capacity and safety of reservoir caprocks. Following that I moved to Dublin, where at first I was a Griffith Research Fellow and then a Lecturer in Sedimentology at University College Dublin. Since then, and continuing today at SET in Brighton, I have developed an extensive range of marine-focused projects, on different aspects of underwater landslides, their timing, their triggers, the factors that make underwater slopes unstable, the frequency, the magnitude and their tsunami generation potential. I also explore the offshore record glacial processes, such as the advance and retreat of the British Irish Ice Sheet. I like to collaborate with people across disciplines, such as deep sea ecologists, geophysicists, climatologists, etc, as the ocean is a complex system that requires cross-disciplinary collaboration. My research takes me on research vessels all over the world to most of the oceans; my study areas are in the North Atlantic (both margins and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge), the Mediterranean Sea, the SW Indian Ocean offshore South Africa and the SW Pacific Ocean, offshore New Zealand. My life goal is to visit and work in all the oceans!