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Research Student Spotlight January 2022: Manal Ali Al Balushi

Our monthly spotlight on the work and lives of the next generation of water@leeds researchers. 
January 2022: Manal Ali Al Balushi
PhD title: Flood Processes in Ephemeral Catchments in Dhofar Governorate, Sultanate of Oman.
School of Geography, Faculty of Environment
Supervisors: Prof. Joseph Holden and Dr Mark Trigg
Photograph: Manal (right) beside a gauge station (wadi station) and discussing how it works, during fieldwork in the Darbat catchment, Oman

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I grew up in Muscat, the capital city of Oman. I did my first degree in Education (Geography) at Kuwait University. I started my first career as a geography teacher in 2010. I decided to do the Master’s degree at Sultan Qaboos University, which was a part-time course, as I couldn’t get study leave at that time.

Why did you choose Leeds University?

To receive a scholarship from the government in Oman the admission must be from one of the high reputation universities in the world according to Shanghai Ranking. I searched for potential supervisors from several universities around the world. I got a quick and eager response from Leeds University. My supervisors have a deep experience and excellent knowledge around my research topic. In addition, Leeds University is a good place for international students.

What is your research about?

My study analyses the behaviour of several catchments in a dry region in Dhofar Governorate in Oman during previous extreme rainfall events and how the magnitude of the velocity, depth and extent of flood are generated in the study area. I am applying a hydrology and a hydraulic model for previous flood events and then after validating and calibrating the models I will be able to use the model for future scenarios. In addition, I will examine how some other factors such as rangeland, human modification and climate change do influence the flood extent.

What did you wish you knew before starting a PhD?

How to use some hydrological and hydraulic models.

Follow Manal on Twitter