Coastal Adaptation and Nature-based Approaches: A Landscape-Scale Perspective

Wednesday 22 November 2017 - 16:00 to 17:00
Other venue (see below for details).
Other Venue: 
Highfield Campus, Building 07/3031 L/R F2
Dr Siddharth Narayan


There is increasing interest these days around natural and nature-based measures for reducing coastal risk in both the public sector (European Commission, US Army Corps of Engineers) and the private sector (insurance and risk financing industry). Natural or nature-based measures in this context refer to risk reduction measures that incorporate natural features such as dunes, coastal wetlands or reefs to varying degrees. Translating this interest into practical, applicable risk management measures, however requires a multi-pronged effort involving engineering and ecological research, changes in conservation and coastal engineering practice, and the development of approaches and tools to finance these projects.

In this seminar I will touch upon the evolution of nature-based approaches within coastal engineering and risk management, discuss some of the work we are currently doing at the University of California to address some of these challenges and explore some of the main challenges and opportunities that nature-based approaches present for coastal engineering practice in general.


Dr. Siddharth Narayan is a coastal engineer, currently doing postdoctoral research at the University of California Santa Cruz. Sid is from Chennai in South India, where he did his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.

His research interests focus on developing tools and approaches to understand the interactions between natural and human coastal systems, to help develop sustainable measures for coastal adaptation. At present, he works with a team of coastal engineers, ecologists to assess the role and value of ecosystems for coastal protection and risk reduction.

Sid did a CoMEM Master’s degree (NTNU – Delft – Soton) and then did his PhD here in Southampton, with Prof. Robert Nicholls and Dr. Derek Clarke. In his PhD he worked within the EU THESEUS project to develop a conceptual model to describe the coastal floodplain as a set of spatially distributed natural and human elements. The model allowed multiple users to build a shared understanding of how different coastal and floodplain elements are linked to, and influence one another, with regard to flood risk propagation.

Seminar category: 
Coastal seminar series