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School of Geography

Resilient Freshwater and Marine Systems

Our group works from nano to landscape scales to understand how aquatic systems function and can be made more resilient under increasing pressures from climate change and human impact. Our work integrates field, modelling and laboratory investigations and we work with stakeholders and citizen scientists to co-develop and deliver the fundamental science that underpins effective management. 

Major challenges we research:

  • Researching the feedbacks between geophysical and ecological systems 
  • Understanding systems responses to disturbances, including climate and land use change and invasive species 
  • Developing novel methods and tools to support sustainable environmental management and restoration 
  • Developing innovative, multi-scale and integrative approaches to support evidence-based management and policy. 

Our methods are field measurements and experiments, geospatial analysis, laboratory analytical techniques, physical and numerical modelling 

Our impacts are nationally-adopted Citizen Science and Professional tools for assessing the biophysical habitat condition of rivers and estuaries ( River Condition Assessment delivers the river condition component of the Biodiversity Metric, which is Natural England’s / DEFRA’s method for measuring and accounting for biodiversity losses and gains resulting from development or land management change across England. Development of frameworks for monitoring rewilding outcomes and associated carbon sequestration. 

Our stakeholders include the Port of London Authority, Natural England, National Trust, Rewilding Britain, Environment Agency, Rivers Trusts, Knepp Wildland. 

Our associated staff are: 

Lisa Belyea peatlands, ecohydrology, carbon cycle, greenhouse gases, ecosystem resilience 

Heather Ford – paleoceanography, paleoecology 

Stuart Grieve geomorphology, sediment transport, remote sensing, planetary science, LiDAR, GIS, computational geoscience  

Gemma Harvey – biogeomorphology, landscape rewilding and restoration, ecosystem engineers, invasive species. 

Alex Henshaw – geomorphology, fluvial systems, remote sensing, nature-based solutions 

Kate Heppell – hydrology, hydrochemistry, biogeochemistry 

Andrew Russell – coastal erosion, adaptation policy 

Kate Spencer – estuarine geochemistry, fine sediment management, saltmarsh restoration, flocculation 

Charles Teta – Environmental pollution, ecotoxicology, biogeochemistry, waste management, environmental health 

Giuditta Trinci - Ecohydraulics, Fluvial systems, River Assessment and Restoration 

Geraldene Wharton – hydrogeomorphology, river restoration and integrated catchment management, biophysical habitat assessments

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