Alexander Saunders

Alexander Saunders

Ph.D. Student

Hi, I’m Alex, a reinsurance and humanitarian professional with a background in geophysical sciences. I am currently studying for a PhD in the School of Geography, Development & Environment at the University of Arizona. In my research, I seek to answer questions around disaster risk management and risk financing for extreme climate events. I work with satellite data to map and quantify disaster impacts, which I employ along with disparate sources like in-situ measurements and census data to enable scalable financial mechanisms that can improve resilience to floods and other hazards which threaten lives and livelihoods around the globe. 

My motivation stems from my time working in the reinsurance and humanitarian sectors, where I developed macro (re)insurance and forecast-based financing programs intended to build resilience through novel approaches to risk finance. My goal is to answer some of the most pressing questions in disaster risk financing so that future programs can benefit from more rigorous, validated, transparent, sustainable and inclusive designs that meet the needs of the vulnerable people whom they promise to serve.

Here are some of the research areas I am interested in:

  • Climate risk finance
  • Disaster economics
  • Index insurance
  • Public insurance programs
  • Forecast-based financing
  • Flood hazards, monitoring and mapping
  • Resilience and adaptation in agricultural settings