Patrick Daly’s research focuses upon long-term human environmental relationships, the impact of natural hazards and conflicts upon societies, post-disaster recovery, humanitarianism, and cultural heritage. At EOS he oversees the Hazards and Society research group, which has on-going projects in Indonesia and Nepal.
Patrick has worked extensively on issues of recovery and reconstruction in the aftermath of both human and natural disasters. This includes ethnographic fieldwork in the West Bank during the second Palestinian uprising, over ten years analyzing recovery following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in Indonesia, and research on narratives of conflict and reintegration in Cambodia. This body of work seeks to generate more nuanced understandings of how communities perceive and carry out recovery, and how this fits, or does not, within the framework of large intervention projects carried out by external parties. Some of the key themes explored in his work are the relationships between affected persons and aid agencies, the nature and efficacy of participatory aid and development practices, capacity and sustainability, and the importance of culture and heritage to recovering communities.
Starting in 2006, Patrick has conducted research with EOS researchers, international collaborators and local partners on the long-term history of seismic events and tsunamis along the coast of western Sumatra, using geo-archaeological methods. This work has produced the most complete paleotsunami record for the Indian Ocean region, discovered in coastal cave in Aceh, Indonesia. Additionally, the team has uncovered a coastal settlement site from the late 14th century AD that was destroyed by a previous mega-tsunami (precursor to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami).
Before coming to EOS Patrick was part of major environmental history research projects in Europe, the Near East and Southeast Asia. From 1995 – 2000, he worked on the Wadi Faynan Landscape Project, an empirically grounded study of the relationship between human activity and desertification in southern Jordan from the later prehistoric period through present day. From 1998 – 2006 he was one of the core members of a team studying over 75,000 years of environmental and human history in Island Southeast Asia at the Niah Caves in Sarawak. From 1996 – 2007 Patrick was a core member a University of Oxford based study of cultural landscape evolution from the late bronze age through the Romano-British period Oxfordshire.