Researcher Spotlight Series: Disaster preparedness and mitigation in an integrated risk landscape

Wednesday, April 20, 2022
by Shaieree Cottar

Connor Darlington, PhD Candidate in Geography, is researching disaster preparedness and flood risk in Canada. Connor is interested in better quantifying and assessing the risks that face communities when disasters strike, and establishing methods for planning and prioritizing different protective mechanisms to abate disaster consequences. Though Connor is interested in all forms of natural disasters and hazards, he is primarily focused on flooding since it is the most frequent and overall highest cost natural disaster in Canada.

Through practical work experience in the field of emergency management, Connor has seen first-hand the complexity in risk assessment and risk mitigation decision-making. Currently, Connor is researching different risks to evaluate when disaster strikes, such as financial risk to residents and to infrastructure, personal injury or loss of life, and population displacement. For his next steps, Connor aims to combine flood hazard data, population location data, and various vulnerability and damage estimation approaches to contextualize and quantify the many different dimensions of flood risk across Canada.

My goal is to establish effective ways of presenting and combining different disaster risk information to more optimally target risk mitigation efforts, both from a geospatial perspective and from a solution perspective.

Whether it is ensuring decision-makers have the complete and accurate set of risks to consider, or making sure the highest risks are identified early on, Connor aims to advance the process of complex and transparent risk assessment as a solution to deal with the multi-faceted nature of disasters.

If you are interested in getting in touch with Connor to learn more about his research, please email him at


Yiannakoulias, N., Darlington, J., Elshorbagy, A., & Raja, B. (2018). Meta-analysis based predictions of flood insurance and flood vulnerability patterns in calgary, alberta. Applied Geography, 96, 41–50.

Yiannakoulias, N., Gordon, J. N., & Darlington, J. C. (2020). The decision game: A serious game approach to understanding environmental risk management decisions. Journal of Risk Research, 23(1), 81–94.

Darlington, J., & Yiannakoulias, N. (2022). Experimental evidence for coverage preferences in flood insurance. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science.

Darlington, J., Yiannakoulias, N., & Elshorbagy, A. (2022). Changes in social vulnerability to flooding: A quasi-experimental analysis. Natural Hazards, 1–23.