Coventry University | Tom Lavers

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Tom Lavers

PhD Student

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Research Subject and Interests

  • Flood risk
  • Hydraulic modelling
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Natural flood management

My project title is ‘Working with natural processes (WwNP) for natural flood management (NFM) in the Warwickshire-Avon headwaters’. Since the extensive flooding of 2007, and more recently the 2015-16 winter floods, the importance of adapting to the propensity of climate change through NFM has been increasingly recognised. However, very little is known of the processes and feasibility of this alternative means of meso-scale catchment management. Therefore, this PhD will address this through the following objectives:

  • Identify the opportunities for catchment-wide NFM.
  • Assess current modelling potential in determining the effectiveness of NFM, defining the cost to benefit.
  • Undertake workshops with flood and coastal erosion management (FCERM) stakeholders, farmers/landowners and downstream communities, to comprehend their attitudes towards the science.

The research allows for an unrivalled contribution to both academia in this emerging ethos to land management, and assisting FCERM in finding novel ways of adapting to heightened flood risk.

Supervisory Team:

Professor. Susanne Charlesworth (Director of Studies)
Dr. Frank Warwick
Dr. Jana Fried
Craig Lashford


Tom Lavers is a PhD student at Coventry Universities Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience. Tom has worked in environmental and flood risk management for a local authority, and currently advises the National Flood Forum, Warwickshire County Council and Environment Agency as part of the continuation of the Defra Pathfinder project, enabling communities to be more flood resilient. This applied experience has enabled him to also lecture in the School of Engineering, Environment and Computing on modules associated with physical processes, natural hazard management and surface water drainage.  He also has collaborative publications regarding Natural Flood Management and catchment processes.

Awards and Grants:

£18,000  - Warwickshire County Council research investment into WwNP
Shrewsbury Town Council: Mayor’s award for services to the Environment Undergraduate faculty award, highest achieving student 2014-15

Research breakout image

PhD Student

Building: Ryton Gardens