Tom is a Lecturer in Hazard and Disaster Management in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Canterbury.
Tom's doctoral research analysed the vulnerability of pastoral farming systems to volcanic ashfall hazards. Specifically this investigated short- and long-term impacts to pasture and soil, water and animals; mass livestock evacuation; rehabilitation of pastoral farmland following large explosive eruptions; and the effectiveness of government aid in promoting recovery. Associated research included developing risk assessment tools and models to assess loss from volcanic hazards using geospatial platforms (GIS) - as part of the Riskscape project.
Since beginning as a lecturer at UC he has developed the Volcanic Ash Testing laboratory (VAT Lab) which investigates the vulnerability of critical infrastructure and primary industries to volcanic ashfall (http://vatlab.org). Current PhD and MSc projects investigate the properties of volcanic ash which control impacts to infrastructure through to analysis of the critical infrastructure network vulnerability to ashfall.