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A University of Arizona researcher is studying how communities recover from large-scale disasters, such as the typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

The typhoon is only the latest in what seems like a growing list of disasters that test a community’s ability to bounce back.

"Today, in disaster research, it’s not always a given that communities are always helpful there for each other or always helpful to assist in individual recovery," said Brian Mayer, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Arizona, who studies disaster recovery.

Mayer's research is looking at how individuals and communities recover from large-scale disasters.

"...that’s been very much captured in the term “resilience,” which is a growing term..." he explained. "There’s been much more attention paid to the impact on communities, and whether or not solidarity is maintained, enhanced, or eroded, and what the role of the resources, or the ability to mobilize the resources within the community, are for recovery."

Mayer’s research is part of an $8 million U.S. Health and Human Services project focused on long-term disaster recovery.