February 12, 2019, by Matt

Researcher Links Workshop – Jordan April 2019


Call for participants from Jordan to workshop on:  Water Resources: management and sustainability in Jordan from pre-history to the future.

Under the Researcher Links scheme offered within the Newton Fund, the British Council and Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology will be holding a workshop on the above theme in Amman, Jordan from the 24th to 27th April 2019. The workshop is being coordinated by Dr. Matthew Jones and Dr Sana’a Al Zyoud, and will have contributions from other leading researchers. We are now inviting Early Career Researchers based in Jordan to apply to attend this workshop.

All travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by the Newton Fund Researcher Links programme. The application form, with more details on the initiative, is available from and should be returned to matthew.jones@nottingham.ac.uk before the deadline of 8th March 2019.

This workshop aims to bring together early career Jordanian and UK scholars from multiple disciplines to enhance understanding of water quantity and quality in Jordan; past, present and future. The aims of the workshop will be met by providing all workshop participants with exposure to a range of related water disciplines.

The workshop will discuss different themes over four days including:

  • Water resources in Jordan; the current situation
  • Water and heritage in Jordan
  • Waste water treatment technologies and management strategies

Background to the workshop
Water resources, their quantity and quality, are arguably the biggest challenges facing Jordan today and in planning for the future. It is clear from the rich archaeological heritage across Jordan that this is not a new issue; people have been dealing with water challenges for over 20,000 years. Understanding the scale of water problems, and potential solutions to them, within the complex social, economic and environmental landscapes in which Jordan sits requires a multidisciplinary approach, including a long-term perspective.

Today water resources are becoming depleted very rapidly in meeting the demands of a growing population, significantly impacted by large-scale migration into Jordan from surrounding conflict areas. Water quality is deteriorating because of the lack of suitable waste water management. Untreated sewage, agricultural return flows, and brackish water from springs, end up in water used for agricultural irrigation, in part due to the lack of natural surface waters to mitigate these issues.

This workshop will increase knowledge about managing water resources in Jordan, to minimize the risks to health and the economy, and to integrate archaeological heritage as a tool for communicating the importance of sustainably managed water resources. Early career researchers from Jordan and the UK will come together with Jordanian water stakeholders, to develop sustainable research collaborations, and develop a Theory of Change towards sustainable water resource management in Jordan.

Workshop Leaders and Mentors

Dr Matthew Jones (University of Nottingham): Dr Jones has over 10 years experience working on archaeological projects in Jordan investigating past water availability. This work links to his general interests in reconstructing the climates and environments of the last 20,000 years, particularity in southwest Asia.

Dr Sana’a Al-Zyoud (Al al Bayt University): Dr Al Zyoud is a former Director of the Water, Environment and Arid Regions Research Center at Al al Bayt. She has broad research interests in water quality, surface and groundwater monitoring, and renewable energy resources.

Dr Rachel Gomes (University of Nottingham):  Dr Gomes brings internationally recognized expertise in engineering solutions for wastewater treatment to the workshop. She is a leading and inspiring mid-carer scientist with a strong track record in obtaining research funding. Dr Gomes will provide state of the art subject specific and generic research skills training at the workshop.

Prof. Dr. Anwar Jiries (Mutah University): Prof. Dr. Jeries is an experienced Hydrologist/ Hydrogeologist. He has worked on internationally sponsored projects as a researcher and/or consultant in Jordan for the last 20 years. He is an expert in groundwater hydrogeology in Jordan, and will provide guidance on these issues throughout the workshop.

Dr Joanne Clarke (University of East Anglia): Dr Clarke is an archaeologist with extensive fieldwork experience in Cyprus, the Near East and North Africa. Joanne currently directs excavations at two prehistoric sites in Kalavasos, Cyprus and she jointly directs a programme of archaeological and environmental  research in Western Sahara. Her principal research interest is human adaptation to, and exploitation of, rapid changes in climate and environment in the early and middle Holocene.

Prof. Dr. Ahmad Al Malabeh (Hashemite University): Prof. Al Malabeh has organized different national and international workshops, he was chair of the Organizing Committee for multiple Geological Eastern Mediterranean Conferences, in Jordan. He has more than 200 publications in geology, water resources and heritage. In the last ten years he has investigated water resources in Jordan in parallel with ancient drainage systems of the historical buildings in the Badia region. He therefore brings a range of expertise across the workshop themes.

Preliminary Conference Programme

23rd April 2019

UK participants travel to Jordan


24th  April 2019

0930   Welcome and introduction

1000   Speed networking and coffee

1100   Keynote Lecture; Prof. Jereis

1130   Participant presentations 1

1300   Lunch

1400   Guest lecture

1430   Participant presentations 2

1600   Tea break

1630   Keynote lecture; Dr Malabeh

1700   Group discussions and feedback

1830   Close


25th April 2019

Field visits to Azraq Wetland Reserve and Desert Castles


26th April 2019

0900   Keynote; Dr Clarke

0930   Participant presentations 3

1100   Tea break

1130   Participant presentations 4

1300   Lunch

1400   Keynote; Dr Jones

1430   Group discussion about Theory of Change

1530   Guest Lecture

1600   Tea Break

1630   Participant presentations 5

1800   Short break

1815   Funding Landscapes in the UK and Jordan; presentations by mentors and applicants.


27th April 2019

0900   Introduction and Keynote; Dr Al Zyoud

0930   Group feedback and continued discussion

1100   Tea break

1130   Guest Lecture

1200   Group feedback and continued discussion

1300   Lunch

1400   Keynote lecture; Dr Gomes

1430   Completion of a draft workshop report.

1600   Close


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