Samuel Van Ackere - TRANSPACIFIC

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Samuel Van Ackere is a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Geography and the Department of Industrial Systems Engineering and Product Design. His key research interests concern issues relating to geoinformatics and remote sensing as applied to emergency management, resilience of societies and critical infrastructures, critical infrastructure protection, civil protection, urban resilience, (volunteered) geographical data analysis, spatial data analysis, environmental changes and risk. He developed a fast and accurate socio-economic damage and risk assessment tool, called FLIAT, which models and estimates the impact, and the societal collapse due to a flood event, and which will provide guidance for evacuation in the future.

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With an interdisciplinary team, comprising specialists in geomatics, economic, environmental, and medical history, maritime archaeology, Chinese, Japanese, Latin American, Southeast Asian, this project will, for the first time, systematically investigate the roles of actors, objects, side-effects, and exchanges that were ‘invisible’ or marginal to conventional histories of the Manila Galleon trade (1565 to 1815). It will also examine informal trade routes and networks in this trans-Pacific trade connection, concentrating on the 16th to 18th centuries. To achieve this goal, TRANSPACIFIC will expand upon the structure and impacts of contraband, informal, accidental, and undesired exchanges of cargoes, people, knowledge, technologies, and diseases across the Pacific, to evaluate, first, the complexity, nature, and degree of the global interconnectivity of Asian and European sub-regional networks, and, second, to reassess both their positive and negative impacts on trans-Pacific trade generally, and on indigenous actors and societies in China, Japan, and the Viceroyalty of Peru specifically.