Sally is a Senior Research Fellow at the Flood Hazard Research Centre. Joining the centre in January 2007, her research interests focus on the application of social science across a range of areas in flood risk management.

Sally has worked on a number of projects initially working on the EC-funded FLOODsite project particularly focussing on researching innovative methods to understand, model and evaluate flood damages and other flood losses and the development of a risk to life model for European flood events. She also has experience researching coastal environments and contributed to SPICOSA (Science and Policy Integration for Coastal Systems Assessment) an EC-funded project exploring the challenges and opportunities for science and policy integration in a systems approach to coastal management. Recently, she has been the project manager of an Environment Agency funded project scoping the potential for introducing surface water flood warnings in England and Wales and contributed to another Environment Agency funded project on assessing the collection and management of data on the social aspects of flooding. Sally also led FHRC’s contribution to one of the seven projects funded under the second European-funded CRUE ERA-NET programme entitled RISKMAP. The aim of this two-year project was to examine ways to improve flood risk maps as a means to foster public participation and raise flood risk awareness. Most recently Sally is working on the EU FP7 STAR-FLOOD and the updating of the Multi-Coloured Manual.


BSc Geography (Hons), PGCert, PhD, FRGS

Selected Publications:

Parker, D.J. and Priest, S.J. (2012), Flood warning chain fallibility: can Europe’s flood warnings be effective? Water Resources Management, 26, 2927-2950.

Meyer, V., Kuhlicke, C., Luther, J., Fuchs, S., Priest, S., Dorner, W., Serrhini, K., Pardoe, J., McCarthy, S., Seidel, J., Scheuer,S., Palka, G., Unnerstall, H., Viavattene, C. and Scheuer, S. (2012) Recommendations for the user-specific enhancement of flood maps, Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 12, 1701–1716.

A.P. Hurford, D.J. Parker, S.J. Priest and D.M. Lumbroso (2012) Validating the return period of rainfall thresholds used for Extreme Rainfall Alerts by linking rainfall intensities with observed surface water flood events, Journal of Flood Risk Management, 5(2) 134-142.

A.P. Hurford, S.J. Priest, D.J. Parker and D. Lumbroso, (2012) The effectiveness of Extreme Rainfall Alerts as surface water flood warnings in England and Wales. International Journal of Climatology, 31(11) 1768-1774.

V. Meyer, S.J. Priest and C. Kuhlicke (2012) Economic evaluation of the structural and non-structural flood risk management measures – examples from the Mulde River. Natural Hazards, 62(2) 301-324.

S.J. Priest, D.J. Parker, A.P. Hurford, J. Walker and K. Evans (2011) Developing and assessing options for surface water flood warning in England and Wales. Journal of Environmental Management, 92 (12), 3038-3048.

Priest, S.J., Parker, D.J. and Tapsell, S.M. (2011) Modelling the potential damage reducing benefits of flood warnings using European cases, Environmental Hazards,10(2) 101-120.

D.J. Parker, S.J. Priest and S.S. McCarthy (2011) Exploring surface water flood warning requirements and potential in England and Wales. Applied Geography, 31, 891-900.

Parker, D.J., Priest S. J. and Tapsell, S. M. (2009) Understanding and enhancing the public’s behavioural response to flood warning information, Meteorological Applications, 16, p103-114.

Johnson, C. and Priest, S.J. (2008) Flood risk management in England: a changing landscape of risk responsibility? International Journal of Water Resources Development, 24 (4), 513-525.

Priest, S.J., Clark, M.J. and Colclough, S. (2008) Public awareness of flood risk: The Role of the Environment Agency Flood Map - Nominated report submitted to the ESRC, June 2008. Available online at

Treby, E.J., Clark, M.J. and Priest, S.J. (2006) Confronting flood risk: insurance as a barrier to risk transfer, Journal of Environmental Management, 81 (4), p351-359.

Priest, S.J., Clark, M.J. and Treby, E.J. (2005) UK Flood insurance: the challenge of the uninsured, Area, 37 (3) p295-302.

Sally’s PhD focussed on the study of floodplain management in the UK and New South Wales, Australia, and the interrelationships between the different mechanisms and institutions managing the risk of flooding. In particular she focussed on the role of recovery mechanisms and the insurance industry. Building on this work, Sally remains interested in different aspects of social responses to, and the understanding of, risk and is keen to investigate cultural influences on flood perception. She is also interested in the effectiveness of public information in raising awareness about flooding and the influence that it has on attitudes and behaviour. In June 2008, Sally also completed an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded Small Grant project entitled “Public awareness of flood risk: The role of the Environment Agency Flood Map.”

Current Research:

RISCKIT - Resilience-Increasing Strategies for Coasts – tool KIT

STAR-FLOOD Strengthening And Redesigning European FLOOD risk practices Towards appropriate and resilient flood risk governance arrangements

Multi-Coloured Manual Update - 2013

Postgraduate Supervision:

2011-2014: Thomas Thaler ‘Governance and responsibility in flood risk management in Europe’

Completed 2013: Meghan Alexander 'Social Vulnerability, Flooding and Risk Communication: Developing tailored GIS-based decision support systems and emergency flood incident management'.