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Theodore Keeping

Areas of interest

  • Wildfires
  • Climate-risk
  • Ecological modelling
  • Climate modelling.

Research projects

Nowcasting the Risks of Wildfire

Theodore’s research is focussed on developing a fine-resolution, globally applicable wildfire risk model. This constitutes dual research strands: the first being the development of a model that quantifies the probability of wildfire events; and the second being to model the effect of the wildfire hazard on economic and ecological vulnerabilities. The result of this effort will therefore be a model that can highlight vulnerable settlements and ecosystems to wildfire, given weather and climate projections across timescales. 

Currently, Theodore is developing a high-resolution probabilistic hazard model for the contiguous United States. He is funded jointly by the SCENARIO NERC DTP and LEMONTREE through the Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society. He is also receiving advice and in-kind support from AXA-XL. 

‘Nowcasting the Risk of Wildfire’ aims to (a) develop a multi-continental probabilistic hazard model at fine spatial resolution (<< 0.5°) for wildfire on an annual timescale and (b) apply this hazard model to economic and ecological vulnerabilities in a wider risk model. The PhD is by papers, with the following themes for papers being proposed: 


Prof. Sandy Harrison (University of Reading) 

Prof. Colin Prentice (Imperial College London) 

Prof. Ted Shepherd (University of Reading) 

Dr John Wardman (AXA XL)


Theodore holds an MPhys in Physics from the University of Oxford and an MSc (with Distinction) in Environmental Modelling from University College London – where he received both the best Physical Geography dissertation and best Physical Geography student awards. His MSc dissertation compared the differing projections of the fire weather (the meteorological component of fire risk) under the two leading downscaled climate ensembles for the UK. Theodore is an experienced science educator and communicator, having taught privately for several years and worked at the Science Museum.