Prof. Irasema Alcántara-Ayala

Prof. Irasema Alcántara-Ayala

National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)

Mexico City, Mexico

Professor Irasema Alcántara-Ayala will be leader of WP4. Prof. Alcántara-Ayala is a former Director and current Professor and Researcher of the Institute of Geography at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). In 1997, she got a Ph.D. from King’s College London, University of London. Afterwards, she carried out a postdoctoral stay in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT, Boston. She is a former member of the Committee of Scientific Planning and Review (CSPR) of the International Council for Science (ICSU). Chair of the Geomorphological Hazards Working Group of the International Association of Geomorphologists (IAG). Former Vice-President of the International Geographical Union (IGU). Young Affiliate Fellow of the Academy of Sciences for the developing world (TWAS), Vice-President of the International Consortium on Landslides (ICL), and member of the Scientific Committee of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) Programme of ICSU.

Her research, from a geographical perspective, is focused on mass movement processes, natural hazards, risks, vulnerability, prevention of disasters, and integrated risk. Geography itself is strongly related to solving critical problems of societies. As such, she has very actively collaborated in Mexico with the National Centre for Disasters Prevention -CENAPRED- and has published several bulletins and reports addressing, among other aspects, the significance of educating and promoting the culture of prevention.

She has published numerous peer reviewed papers and book chapters, as well as presented her work at several dozens of international meetings in the five continents; very frequently as an invited lecturer. Additionally, she has taught both formal and specialized courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in different countries; training of students has been one of her main interests and commitments.

Recently, she has co-edited a book on geomorphological hazards and prevention of disasters, with a well-known scientist from the University of Oxford, which was published by Cambridge University Press. This publication emphasizes the urgent need of establishing coherent strategies for disasters prevention and mitigation and the understanding and forecasting of their mechanisms.

[1]    Alcántara-Ayala I., Geomorphology, natural hazards, vulnerability and prevention of natural disasters in developing countries, Geomorphology, 47, 107-124, 2002.

[2] Alcántara-Ayala I., Hazard assessment of rainfall induced landsliding in Mexico, Geomorphology, 61, 19-40, 2004.

[3] Alcántara-Ayala I., On the historical account of disastrous landslides in Mexico: the challenge of risk management and disaster prevention, Advances in Geociences-ADGEO, 14, 159-164, 2008.

[4] Alcantara-Ayala I., Dykes, A., Land-use change in the tropics: causes, consequences and monitoring in Mexico, Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 31, 2, 143-151, 2010.

[5] Alcántara-Ayala I., Goudie, A. (eds.), Geomorphological Hazards and Disaster Prevention, Cambridge University Press, Great Britain, ISBN-13: 9780521769259, 291 pp., 2010.