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Ioanna Tantanasi

Research Associate, University of Sheffield

I specialise in knowledge mapping, social network analysis (SNA), stakeholder identification and engagement, climate change adaptation and resilience, environmental governance. In particular, in my current project (IMPROVER) I explore how resilience can be improved among critical infrastructure operators, emergency management organisations, and the public before, during, and after a disaster.

I started my academic career with a BSc in Oceanography (University of the Aegean). My thesis on fish parasites that are harmful to human health led to my first co-authored publication in 2012 and served as an excellent introduction to collaborative knowledge production with my peers. After graduation, I worked at the National Centre for Marine Research (NCMR) in Athens on the EU FP6 Project SPICOSA, which looked at environmental governance of transboundary waters in Europe. My interest in human geography then led me to do an MSc in Environmental Governance and PhD in the Department of Geography at The University of Manchester. My doctoral thesis focused on environmental governance and addressed questions of mapping pathways to climate adaptation and resilience, as well as knowledge transfer and the power relationships between different social groups within the Peak District National Park (PDNP).

Through my post-doctoral research positions (NERC, NERC-IAA, ESRC-IAA, Copernicus Masters) my research focus has shifted from rural to urban landscapes, which has enabled to further my inter-disciplinary focus. The projects I have been involved in ranged from themes of stakeholder identification for wildfire and fire research within the PDNP and beyond (, to climate justice and vulnerability (, water and energy nexus, enhancing urban resilience through green infrastructure-based solutions (

I am currently working as Research Associate for the European Commission Horizon 2020 funded project ‘IMPROVER: Improved risk evaluation and implementation of resilience concepts to critical infrastructure’. The aim of the study is to explore how information shared via social media can help reduce response and recovery times and raise awareness about the risk of future disasters. The Sheffield team looks specifically at how critical infrastructure operators, the public, emergency management organisations can use social media to create early-warning systems that can be activated during such events. I am currently co-authoring a book chapter and a journal article on using SNA to explore how Twitter’s #PorteOuverte was promoted by public figures and emergency management organisations during the Paris terrorist attacks in November 2015 to raise awareness and also express solidarity.

My research interests involve mapping communication and knowledge patterns within a social network (through the use of social network analysis) to gain deeper understanding of how individuals, groups, and organisations interrelate in environmental governance and the mitigation of climate change. I am also interested in the power relations observed within this context and their implications for the agency of marginalised groups in such circumstances. Further to this, I am also interested in the role of community champions in promoting disaster awareness and in actively encouraging community engagement and participation. I am drawing from literatures on community practices, social equality and justice, stakeholder engagement, resilience, adaptive learning, urban sociology, digital sociology, and political ecology. My empirical work involves using both qualitative and quantitative research methods from the field of human geography and sociology. I am also interested in exploring a combination of methods to create innovative research methodologies to further inter-disciplinary research.
I have strong experience in writing grant applications to national (Leverhulme Trust, Hallsworth and Simon Fellowships, ESRC-IAA, NERC-IAA, Innovate UK) and European research councils (Copernicus Masters, European Space Agency). Three of these applications have been successful. The most recent was the 2016 European Commission award from the Copernicus Masters competition under the ‘Sustainable Living Challenge’ with the project, turned Small Medium Enterprise, called ‘EnviroSAR: using satellite data to target restoration and revegetation activities following hazardous wildfire incidents’.

Refereed journal articles
(2012) Tantanasi, J., Diakou, A., Tamvakis, A., and Batjakas, I.E. (2012) Anisakis spp. burden in Trachurus trachurus. Helminthologia, 49 (1), pp. 16-20.

Recent Peer-reviewed project reports
(2016) Lindley, S. and Tantanasi, I. (2016) The Climate Just website: An ESRC-IAA Impact Evaluation. (A Report for ESRC-IAA).

Recent presentations
(2018) ‘#Porteouverte, Hashtagged Solidarity, and the November 2015 Paris Terror Attacks’, Paper Presentation, The International Humanitarian Studies Association, The Hague, Netherlands.

- Member of the Association of American Geographers
- Member of International Network for Social Analysis (INSNA)

Further information:
- Academic Profile:
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  • 2015–2018
    Research Associate , The University of Manchester
  • 2018–2018
    Research Associate, The University of Sheffield