Impact Translation Fellows

iCASP’s cohort of Impact Translation Fellows (ITFs) work on projects, often as project managers, to ensure project outputs are delivered and achieve the desired impact. ITFs are one of the programme’s greatest assets as they are people with specialized skills which can be deployed across several projects. They can be a valuable resource for partners who need advice or guidance from someone with a particular skill set.

Janet Richardson

Janet is one of the longer term Impact Translation Fellows employed for iCASP. She’ll be involved in projects and linking non-academics and academics.

Janet has a background in Earth Sciences, especially in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), geomorphology, hydrology and sedimentology. Her PhD on landscape evolution of ancient river systems in South Africa involved investigating erosion rates, source to sink analysis and morphometric characterisation of drainage basins using GIS.  She has also worked on characterising mixed bedrock alluvial rivers in Wales.

Janet spent a year in industry as an environmental consultant (primarily in geomorphology) where she gained experience of assessing water company drought plans including geomorphological and hydrological assessments, Strategic Environmental Assessments and Habitat Regulation Assessments.

And if you ever want to know anything about life in Liverpool, ask Janet as she’s a real fan of the City!

Ben Rabb

Ben is an Impact Translation Fellow in the iCASP team. He brings experience from the last 7 years working ‘at the coalface’ of delivering climate services; engaging with business, governments and development agencies to translate the latest science into useful information for decision making.

Ben has a PhD in climate and land use impacts on groundwater flooding risk from Cardiff University, an MSc in Environmental Risks from Brunel University and a BSc in Psychology from the University of Nottingham.

A new arrival in Yorkshire and keen cyclist, he is looking forward to exploring the county by bike and working with its rich variety of stakeholders to make best use of the expertise on our doorstep.


Marie Ferré

As well as her role as Impact Evaluator for the iCASP programme, Marie has also acted as one of the ITFs on the Optimal Peatland Restoration project. She has been managing the production of a guide to different peatland valuation methods and the best way to use them.

Marie has an interdisciplinary background in agriculture and environmental economics. She recently completed her doctorate at the ETH-Zurich during which she used methods from experimental and behavioural economics to study how policy-makers might be able, using a financial incentive scheme, to affect management practices on drained peatlands in Switzerland and promote soil preservation.



Pete Gill


Pete has an important role in the Optimal Peatland Restoration project.

He was brought on board to help with work on the DigiBog_ Hydro model, a model that simulates water tables in peatlands, and can be used to help make assessments on how different restoration methods could most cost-effectively restore peatlands.

Pete’s work focuses on developing a user-friendly interface for DigiBog_ Hydro, so that the model is more accessible to non-modelling researchers and practitioners.




Martha Villamizar Velez

Martha is a hydrological modeller based in the Environment department at the University of York in a team lead by Professor Colin Brown. She develops and applies hydrological models to simulate  measures such as detention ponds, small dams and soil management and studies their potential impact on reducing surface runoff and peak flow in NFM catchments.

Martha has more than 8 years’ experience working with environmental and hydrological models. She has a PhD in hydrological and solute transport modelling at the catchment scale from the University of York. Alongside her role in the iCASP NFM project, she also works as a catchment modeller (flood risk) in agricultural catchments in the Upper Welland. Other current research interests in the Water Friendly Farming project  using modelling to advise farmers on different strategies to reduce non-point source surface water pollution from pesticides, nutrients and sediments.

Her interest in environmental modelling started in her final year of her chemistry degree when she realised that lab work was not something that she enjoyed.


Steef Boeing

“I am mainly working to evaluate rainfall forecasts for surface water flooding on the iCASP Enhanced Surface Water Flood Forecasting project. This involves converting data from the Met Office forecasting and radar archives to a suitable format, and developing tools to display and evaluate the spatial distribution of accumulated rainfall and its uncertainty for a number of recent events.

I moved to Leeds in 2015, after a PhD at Delft University of Technology and a postdoc in Zurich.  Most of my other work involves detailed simulations of cumulus clouds and the interaction between clouds and their environment. I am particularly interested in the influence of turbulence on cloud dynamics and rainfall formation, the ways in which precipitation can invigorate convection, and new computational methods to simulate clouds.

At the weekends you may find me walking in the Dales or Peak District.”


Samuel Eze

“I have a BSc in Soil Science from the Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria, an MSc in Sustainable Environmental Management from the University of Greenwich,  and a PhD in Physical Geography from the University of Leeds.

My PhD focused on the impacts of climate change and agricultural land management practices on soil health, particularly soil carbon dynamics in the UK upland grasslands.

As an Impact Translation Fellow, I conducted an evidence review on the impacts of different land management practices in the UK on soil health parameters. I am currently investigating the impacts of various climate-smart agricultural practices on soil health in Africa.”



Richard Grayson

Richard is providing the monitoring  support for Natural Flood Management projects across Yorkshire.

His research centres on catchment management, particularly how land management impacts hydrological and geomorphological processes.

He also has a number of interests at the University of Leeds Farm having recently been involved in the SoilBioHedge project which is examining how grass leys connected to hedgerows can restore and improve soil quality within arable fields.  He is involved in the development of a soil observing facility at the Farm and a hydrological monitoring network designed to measure the hydrological fluxes.

He also acts as the point of contact for the University’s Haldrup F55 plot Grass Harvester with on-board NIR spectrophotometer system.


Jenny Armstrong

Jenny will use her past experience in academia and at the Environment Agency to manage and facilitate a variety of iCASP projects, but will initially work on those with a natural flood management focus.

Her interdisciplinary background in climate change adaptation, stakeholder engagement and flood risk management will be particularly suited to some of the complex challenges at the heart of iCASP projects.

She recently completed her doctorate at Loughborough University where she investigated societal factors that enhance and inhibit climate change adaptation initiatives in UK coastal zones. At the Environment Agency she worked in hydrometry and telemetry, flood resilience and flood incident management.



Tom Willis

Tom Willis is a hydraulic and hydrological modeller who has worked for consultancy companies on a variety of flood modelling problems, from global flood mapping to evaluating proposed flood defences for local councils.

His PhD from the University of Leeds was looking at sources and impacts of uncertainty in flood inundation models. He has recently been involved in the FLOODMAL project in the School of Geography, which is investigating and modelling the link between large scale flood events and the development and movement of mosquito populations.

He is involved in the Calderdale NFM project and will develop hydrological and hydraulic models to evaluate the impact of land use approaches and NFM interventions on runoff rates and flood risk levels in the catchment.






RT @PaolaSakai: Two exciting opportunities to work in a new iCASP project! By closely working with WYCA, EA, the insurance industry……

Look at all these lovely people interested in #NaturalFloodManagement Thank you all for coming along and contributi……

Final Q&A session of the day following talks from representatives of @AbundanceInv, @3KeelLLP and @EnTradeUK Q&A……