the team


Dr Stephan Harrison

Director of Climate Change Risk Management

Climate Change Impacts


Stephan teaches at Exeter University and before that at Oxford University.  He has a PhD in Quaternary Science and over 25 years research experience in climate change and mountain geomorphology. He has worked for fourteen field seasons in Patagonia, and also in Bolivia and in the mountains of central Asia on climate change impacts.  He is an expert on the impact of climate change on earth surface systems.

He is currently head of the Climate Change Expert Committee, which advises the UK Government on climate risks for all UK nuclear sites.

Research Interests and Expertise

Thematic Areas:

  • Southern Hemisphere climate change
  • Glacier retreat and water supply problems in central Asia
  • Geomorphology and slope stability

World Regions of Interest:

  • Central Asia
  • European Alps
  • UK
  • South America

Examples of Research/Consultancy Topics

  • Hazard assessment in Kazakhstan associated with climate change
  • Slope instability in South America and glacier retreat
  • Water supply problems in central Asia
Selected Recent Publications

Harrison S, Reynolds J, Huggel C, Wiltshire A, Kargel J, Vilimek V, Reinhardt L, Emmer A, Schaub Y, Glasser N and Betts R. (submitted). Climate change and the global pattern of moraine-dammed glacial lake outburst floods. Nature Geoscience.

Harrison S, Mighall T, Stainforth D, Allen P, Anderson E, Knight J, Mauquoy and Passmore D (submitted) Uncertainty in geomorphological responses to climate change. Nature Geoscience.

Aalto J, Harrison S, Luoto M, (in review) Diminishing periglacial climate realm of northern Europe. Nature Communications

Wood JL, Harrison S, Turkington TAR and Reinhardt L. 2016. Landslides and synoptic weather trends in the European Alps”. Climatic Change. 136, 297-308.

Rangecroft S, Suggitt AJ, Anderson K and Harrison S. 2016. Future climate warming and changes to mountain permafrost in the Bolivian Andes” . Climatic Change. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-016-1655-8

Wood J, Harrison S and Reinhardt L 2015. Landslide Inventories for Climate Impacts Research in the European Alps”. Geomorphology.Vol. 228, 398-408.

Kosanic A, Harrison S, Anderson K and Kavcic I. 2014. Present and historical climate variability in south west England. Climatic Change. (DOI) 10.1007/s10584-014-1101-8

Knight J and Harrison S 2014. The impacts of climate change on Earth surface terrestrial systems. Nature Climate Change Vol. 3, 24-29. Doi:10.1038/nclimate1660

Glasser NF, Harrison S, Jansson K, Anderson K and Cowley A. 2011. Global sea level contribution from the Patagonian Icefields since the Little Ice Age maximum. Nature Geoscience. Vol. 4, 303-307. doi:10.1038/ngeo1122

Smith DE, Harrison S, Jordan J and Firth C. 2011. The early Holocene sea level rise Quaternary Science Reviews”. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2011.04.019

Knight J, Keiler M and Harrison S. 2010. Climate change and geomorphological hazards in the eastern European Alps. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (A) Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences. 368, 2461-2479.


Tessa Kingsley

Project Manager


Tessa has been Project Manager at CCRM since 2005. She started her career as a conservationist and sustainability campaigner, before moving into youth development and teaching.  She brings over 25 years of education experience and three foreign languages to her role as our project manager and facilitator.  She sees our projects through from inception to completion and deals with all the complexities on the way.



Recent projects include:

  • organising training workshops in Georgia and Azerbaijan for Clima East.  This was part of a wider project to offer support for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Eastern Europe and Russia.
  • overseeing the preparation of climate projections for the Climate Resilient Infrastructure Development Facility (CRIDF) for large-scale engineering projects in Southern Africa, including the Nondvo Dam in Swaziland and the Climate Resilient Development Pathways analysis of the Okavango basin.
  • supporting CCRM associates on the Climate Change Expert Committee for the Office for Nuclear Regulation.

Professor Ian Foster

Geomorphology and Soil Erosion


Ian Professor of Geomorphology at Rhodes University, South Africa.  He has over 30 years research experience working in the UK, Europe, the circum-Mediterranean region and in South Africa. After graduating from the Universities of London (King’s College) and Exeter, Ian has spent many years researching land degradation, erosion, water quality and climate change. He has successfully graduated 23 PhD students, has served on committees for a number of academic organisations (e.g. Natural Environment Research Council Peer Review Committee, Field Studies Council Executive Committee, British Geomorphological Research Group, Royal Geographical Society, International Association of Sediment Water Sciences) and has undertaken research and consultancy for national and international Government Agencies and companies. He is currently in receipt of the Hugh Kelly Senior Research Fellowship at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa to research problems of climate change and land degradation.

Research Interests and Expertise

Thematic Areas:

Landscape response to climate change and human impacts.
Land degradation
Soil erosion, sediment & sediment-associated contaminant transport
Sediment source tracing
Water Quality
Environmental & Public Health
Water resources

World Regions of Interest:

UK and N.W. Europe
Circum-Mediterranean region (Greece, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan)
South Africa


Examples of Research / Consultancy Topics

Land degradation in the South African Karoo
Water quality degradation in UK lakes and reservoirs
Sediment transport pathways in lowland UK agricultural catchments
Sediment dynamics in UK urban rivers
Reservoir sedimentation in the Peloponnese
The history of Nile sediment transport – applications of environmental magnetism to Lake Qarun sediments
Radioactive contaminant release and sea level change
UK tsunami risk
Dust provenancing and human health risk in Amman, the Jordanian Badia and Tunisia
Crypotosporidium contamination of upland water supply reservoirs

Specialist Techniques:

Gamma Spectrometry (dating lake and reservoir sediments using 210Pb and 137Cs)
Environmental Magnetism
Sediment Geochemistry
Laser granulometry.

Selected Recent Publications

Boardman J, Foster I D L, Rowntree K, Favis-Mortlock, D Suich, H, Gaynor D  (2017) Long-term studies of land degradation in the Sneeuberg uplands, eastern Karoo, South Africa: a synthesis. Geomorphology

Collins A L, Pulley S, Foster I D L, Gellis A, Porto P, Horowitz A J (2017) Sediment source fingerprinting as an aid to catchment management: a review of the current state of knowledge and a methodological decision-tree for end-users. Journal of Environmental Management, 194, 86-108.

Manjoro M, Rowntree K, Kakembo V, Foster I D L &, Collins A L (2017). Use of sediment source fingerprinting to assess the role of subsurface erosion in the supply of fine sediment in a degraded catchment in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Journal of Environmental Management. 194, 27-41.

Foster I D L and Greenwood M T 2016. Linking the past to the present: the use of palaeoenvironmental data for establishing reference conditions for the Water Framework Directive. In: Gilvear D J, Greenwood M T, Thoms M C and Wood P J. (eds.) River Science: Research and Management for the 21st Century. Chichester: John Wiley. pp. 61-83.

Silva-Sánchez N, Schofield J E, Mighall T M, Martínez Cortizas A, Edwards K J and Foster I D L. 2015. Climate changes, lead pollution and soil erosion in south Greenland over the past 700 years. Quaternary Research. 0033-5894.

Evans R, Collins A L, Foster, I D L, Rickson R J, Anthony S G, Brewer T, Deeks L, Newell-Price J P, Truckell I G and Zhang Y. 2015. Extent, frequency and rate of water erosion of arable land in Britain - benefits and challenges for modelling. Soil Use and Management. 1475-2743.

Rowntree K M and Foster I D L 2012. A reconstruction of historical changes in sediment sources, sediment transfer and sediment yield for a small, semi-arid Karoo catchment, South Africa. Zeitschrift fur Geomorphologie, Supplementary Issues. 56(Supp 1), pp. 87-100. 0372-8854.

Foster IDL, Rowntree K M, Boardman J and Mighal, T M. 2012. Changing sediment yield and sediment dynamics in the Karoo Uplands, South Africa; post-European impacts. Land Degradation & Development. 23(6), pp. 508-522. 1085-3278.

Manjoro M, Rowntree K M, Kakembo V and Foster I D L 2012. Gully fan morphodynamics in a small catchment in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Land Degradation & Development. 23(6), pp. 569-576. 1085-3278.

Foster I D L. 2010. Lakes and reservoirs in the sediment cascade. In Burt, T.P. & Allison, R.J. Sediment Cascades: an Integrated Approach. Chichester, Wiley.

Mighall, TM, Foster IDL., Crew P and Finn A. 2009. Using mineral magnetism to characterise ironworking and detect its evidence in peat bogs. Jnl. Archaeological Science. Vol. 36, 130-139.

Pittam NJ, Foster IDL, and Mighall TM. 2009. An integrated lake-catchment approach for determining sediment source changes at Aqualate Mere, Central England. Journal of Paleolimnology. DOI 10.1007/s10933-008-9272-9 (ISSN 0022-4561).

Boardman J, Shepheard ML, Walker E and Foster IDL. 2009. Soil erosion and risk assessment for on- and off-farm impacts: a test case using the Midhurst area, West Sussex, UK. Journal of Environmental Management. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2009.01.018

Foster IDL., Oldfield F, Flower RJ and Keatings K. 2008. Trends in Mineral Magnetic Signatures in a Long Core from Lake Qarun, Middle Egypt. Journal of Paleolimnology. Vol. 40 (3) 835-849.

Boardman J and Foster IDL. 2008. Badland and gully erosion in the Karoo, South Africa. Jnl. Soil and Water Conservation. Vol. 63 (4), 121A – 125A.

Al Meshan, O. and Foster IDL. 2008. Developing location criteria for domestic and hazardous waste disposal in the Jordan Badia, In Dutton, R, Shahbaz. M. (Eds.), Jordan's arid Badia: deepening our understanding. Smith-Gordon, London, 141-154 pp.

Al Adamat RA, Baban SMJ and Foster IDL. 2008. Modelling nitrate leaching in the Azraq Basin, Jordan, using GIS. In Dutton, R, Shahbaz. M. (Eds.), Jordan's arid Badia: deepening our understanding. Smith-Gordon, London, 117-140.

Foster IDL, Boardman J and Gates. 2008. Reconstructing historical sediment yields from the infilling of farm reservoirs, Eastern Cape, South Africa. IN: Sdiment Dynamics in Changing Environments (Proceedings of a symposium held in Christchurch, New Zealand, December 2008). IAHS Publ. 325, 139-142.(ISSN 0144-7815).

Foster IDL, Boardman J and Keay-Bright. 2007. The contribution of sediment tracing to an investigation of the environmental history of two small catchments in the uplands of the Karoo, South Africa. Geomorphology. Vol. 90(1-2) 126-143.

Lawler DM, Foster IDL, Petts GE, Harper, S and Morrissey, I.P. 2006. Suspended Sediment Dynamics for June storm events in the urbanized River Tame, UK. IAHS Pub. 306, 96-103.

Foster IDL, Boardman J, Keay-Bright J and Meadows M.. 2005. Land degradation and sediment dynamics in the South African Karoo. IAHS Pub. 292, 207-213.


Dr Mike Harrison

Climate science and numerical modelling


Mike has been a consultant for CCRM for the past five years.  His research experience has been built in the UK and Africa, in the UK Met Office, and in the UN both working directly in the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and on numerous external UN-related projects.  Well known as an international leader in the field of seasonal prediction through his management of the WMO CLIPS (Climate Information and Prediction Services) Project, which followed his contribution to the establishment of the Regional Climate Outlook Forums in Africa, Mike also has wide experience in predictions on time scales from a few days to climate change, and a major interest in approaches to the use of forecasts and in the impacts of weather and climate.  Mike has managed numerous international projects dealing with predictions on a variety of time scales and their uses, as well as completing successful a variety of independent consultations.  Amongst his extensive publications list is editorship of and authorship in the book “Seasonal Climate: Forecasting and Managing Risk”.

Research Interests and Expertise

Thematic Areas:

Climate modelling

Climate change impacts and applications

Climate prediction on all time scales, including downscaling


World Regions of Interest:

Global but with particular expertise for Africa


Examples of Research/Consultancy Topics

  • Evaluation of the ClimDev-Africa programme, in general but with focus on use of EU funds
  • Preparation of documents on climate trends and on climate change projections and scenarios as input to the First National Communication to the UNFCCC of the Government of Palestine
  • Downscaling of climate projections, development of scenarios, and advising on adaptation options in the Altiplano, Bolivia
  • Member of team that prepared a Trans-Boundary Diagnostic Analysis on climate change impacts in the coastal zone for several countries in the Red Sea/Gulf of Aden region; responsible for climate aspects
  • DFID-China review of current governmental climate change adaptation policies including within the context of South-South learning – responsible for Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal and Indonesia
  • Climate change impacts modelling for CoP15 (Copenhagen) and CoP16 (Cancun) for the Caribbean States
  • Contributed a major section to an Energy White Paper produced for the World Bank, a document designed to assist the Bank’s work in climate change adaptation in the energy sector in developing countries
  • As an extension to the earlier Short Term Consultancy to the World Bank, participated in the preparation of the Project Appraisal Document and the Appraisal Mission to Manila re the Philippines Climate Change Adaptation Programme


Selected Recent Publications

Schaefer et al. (including Harrison M) (2012). Energy sector vulnerability to climate change: A review. Energy, Vol. 38, 1-12.

Harrison, M., contributing author to “Climate Impacts on Energy Systems: Key Issues for Energy Sector Adaptation”, Vergara, W., Ebinger, J. and Leino I., Editors, (2010), Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) Report, World Bank.

Harrison, M. and Troccoli, A. (2009): “Data Headaches”, in “Management of Weather and Climate Risk in the Energy Industry” (Book derived from the NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Weather/Climate Risk Management for the Energy Sector held in Santa Maria di Leuca, Italy, 6-10 October 2008), Springer, NATO Science for Peace and Security Series – C: Environmental Security, 137-147.

Troccoli, A., Boulayha, M., Dutton, J., Furlow, J., Gurney, R. and Harrison, M. (2009): “Weather and Climate Risk Management in the Energy Sector”, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

Troccoli, A., Harrison, M.S.J., Anderson, D.L.T. and Mason, S.J. (Eds) (2008): “Seasonal Climate: Forecasting And Managing Risk”. Textbook

derived from the NATO Advanced Studies Institute in Gallipoli, Italy, July 2005. Springer NATO Science Series: Earth and Environmental Sciences – Vol. 82. 476pp.

Harrison M.S.J., Troccoli, A., Anderson, D.L.T. and Mason, S.J. (2008): “Introduction”, from Troccoli et al. (2008) “Seasonal Climate: Forecasting And Managing Risk” (see above), 3-11.

Harrison M.S.J., Troccoli, A., Coughlan, M. and Williams, J.B. (2008): “Seasonal Forecasts in Decision Making”, from Troccoli et al. (2008)

“Seasonal Climate: Forecasting And Managing Risk” (see above), 13-41.

Harrison M.S.J. and Williams, J.B. (2008): “Communicating Seasonal Forecasts”, from Troccoli et al. (2008) “Seasonal Climate: Forecasting And Managing Risk” (see above), 293-313.

Abawi, Y., Llanso, P., Harrison M.S.J. and Mason, S.J. (2008): “Water, Health and Early Warnings”, from Troccoli et al. (2008) “Seasonal Climate: Forecasting And Managing Risk” (see above), 351-395.

Harrison M.S.J., Troccoli, A., Anderson, D.L.T., Mason, S.J., Coughlan, M. and Williams, J.B. (2008): “A Way Forward for Seasonal Climate Services”, from Troccoli et al. (2008) “Seasonal Climate: Forecasting And Managing Risk” (see above), 399-410.

Helminen, J., Harrison M.S.J. and Pulwarty R. (2007): Definitions. In Socio-Economic Benefits of Climatological Services. WMO, Geneva, Switzerland. (Submitted to the series of WMO Technical Notes).

Harrison, M., Kanga, A., Magrin, G.O., Hugo, G., Tarakidze, I., Mullen, C. and Meinke, H. (2007) “Use of Seasonal Forecasts and Climate Prediction in Operational Agriculture”, CAgM Report No. 102, WMO/TD No. 1344.


Professor Jasper Knight



Jasper is Professor of Geomorphology at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa.  He is a geoscientist with research interests in the effects of high-frequency climate changes on the sedimentary systems of glacial and coastal environments. He has conducted research throughout the British Isles and in North America on glaciomarine environments, sand dune morphodynamics and sediment partitioning, estuaries, sea-level and climate change over the last 20,000 years, geological conservation, geoarchaeology, marine geophysics and landscape management. Jasper is a Fellow of the Geological Society, a member of Expert Panel, Quaternary Theme, for the conservation of geological sites in the Republic of Ireland (co-ordinated through the Geological Survey of Ireland) (2002-5) and member of the Advisory Council on the Commission on Terrestrial Processes, Deposits and History, INQUA (2007-11). He has published over 100 articles in peer-reviewed international journals.

Research Interests and Expertise

Thematic Areas:

  • Geomorphology
  • Sedimentology of estuaries and coasts
  • Landscape management
  • Landscape response to climate change

World Regions of Interest:

  • British Isles
  • NW United States
  • South Africa

Examples of Research/Consultancy Topics

  • Conservation of geological sites in Ireland for the Geological Survey of Ireland
  • Landscape response to climate change, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Selected Recent Publications

Els A, Merlo S and Knight J. 2016. Comparison of two satellite imaging platforms for evaluating sand dune migration in the Ubaru Sand Sea (Libyan Fazzan).   36th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment, 11–15 May 2015, Berlin, Germany, 1375-1380. 

Knight J. and Harrison S. 2014. Mountain glacial and paraglacial environments under global climate change: lessons from the past and future directions. Geografiska Annaler, in press.

Diodato N., Knight J and Bellochi G. 2013. Reduced complexity model for assessing patterns of rainfall erosivity in Africa. Global and Planetary Change, 100, 183-193. 

Knight J and Harrison S. (eds).  2009.  Periglacial and paraglacial processes and environments. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, Volume 320. ISBN 978-1-86239-6. 272pp.

Knight J and Harrison S Sediments and future climate.  Nature GeoScience, Vol. 2 (4), 230.

McDowell JL, Knight J and Quinn R. 2007. Mesoscale changes in present-day nearshore surface sediments and bedform dynamics off the north coast of Ireland. In: Balson, P.S. and Collins, M.B. (eds) Coastal and Shelf Sediment Transport, Geological Society Special Publication 274, 103-116.

Knight J and FitzGerald DM. 2005. Towards an understanding of the morphodynamics and sedimentary evolution of estuaries. In: FitzGerald, D.M. and Knight, J. (eds) High Resolution Morphodynamics and Sedimentary Evolution of Estuaries. Springer, Dordrecht, 1-9.

McDowell JL, Knight J and Quinn R. 2005. High resolution geophysical investigations seaward of the Bann estuary, Northern Ireland coast. In: FitzGerald, D.M. and Knight, J. (eds) High Resolution Morphodynamics and Sedimentary Evolution of Estuaries. Springer, Dordrecht, 11-31.

Knight J. 2005. Formation of thrust structures in front of coastal landslides. Journal of Geology, 113 (1) 107-114.

Knight J. 2005. Controls on the formation of coastal ventifacts. Geomorphology, 64 (3-4), 243-254.

Knight J. 2005. Processes of soft-sediment clast formation in the intertidal zone. Sedimentary Geology, 181 (3-4), 207-214.


Professor Mark G. Macklin

River Flooding


Mark is the Founding Head of the new School of Geography at the University of Lincoln and Founding Director of the Lincoln Centre for Water and Planetary Health. He also holds the Chair of Fluvial Geomorphology at Massey University, New Zealand and until recently was Professor of Physical Geography at Aberystwyth University.

Mark is a world expert on developing flood histories and his research focuses on river channel and floodplain responses to climate change.  He also has research interests in long-term human-river environment interactions, flood-risk assessment, metal mining pollution and its impact on ecosystem and human health, and the hydrological controls of malaria. His research is conducted worldwide with ongoing projects in Australia, Greece, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Sudan, Tanzania and the UK.

Mark is an advisor to the Research Council for Norway; Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, and was appointed by the Environment Minister of the Welsh Assembly Government to Flood Risk Management Wales Executive Committee. He is on the UK National Commission for UNESCO and was on the Natural Sciences Committee between 2004-9.

Research Interests and Expertise

Thematic Areas:

  • Assessment of river response to climate change over the past
  • flood risk management
  • interaction between river flooding and coastal inundation
  • heavy metal contamination of floodplains during flood events.

World Regions of interest:

  • United Kingdom
  • Mediterranean
  • Eastern Europe
  • South America.
Selected Recent Publications

Foulds S, Macklin M. 2016. A hydrogeomorphic assessment of twenty-first century floods in the UK. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 41 (2) pp. 256-270.

Benito G, Macklin M, Cohen KM and Herget, J. 2015. Past hydrological extreme events in a changing climate. CATENA 130 pp. 1-2.

Death RG, Fuller IC, Macklin M. 2015. Resetting the river template: the potential for climate-related extreme floods to transform river geomorphology and ecology. Freshwater Biology 60 pp. 2477-2496.

Foulds SA, Brewer PA, Macklin MG, Haresign W, Betson RE, Edwards Rassner, SM. 2014. Flood-related contamination in catchments affected by historical metal mining: an unexpected and emerging hazard of climate change. Science of the Total Environment 476-477 pp. 165-180.

Macklin M, Woodward JC, Welsby D, Duller GAT, Williams F, Williams MA. 2013. Reach-scale river dynamics moderate the impact of rapid Holocene climate change on floodwater farming in the desert Nile. Geology 41 (6) pp. 695-698.

Macklin MG, Jones A F. and Lewin J. 2010. River response to rapid Holocene environmental change: evidence and explanation in British catchments. Quaternary Science Reviews. DOI:10.1016/j.quascirev.2009.06.010.

Macklin MG, Tooth S, Brewer PA, Noble P L and Duller GAT. 2010. Holocene flooding and river development in a Mediterranean steepland catchment: the Anapodaris Gorge, south-central Crete, Greece. Global and Planetary Change 70, 35-52.

Macklin MG and Lewin J. 2008. Alluvial responses to the changing Earth system. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 33 (13), 1374-1395.

Macklin MG and Rumsby BT. 2007. Changing climate and extreme floods in the British uplands. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 32(2), 168-186.

Macklin MG, Brewer PA, Hudson-Edwards K A., Bird G, Coulthard TJ, Dennis, I A, Lechler PJ, Miller JR and Turner J N. 2006. A geomorphological approach to the management of rivers contaminated by metal mining. Geomorphology 79, 423-447.

Macklin MG, Benito G, Gregory KJ, Johnstone E, Lewin J, Michczyńska DJ., Soja R, Starkel L. and Thorndycraft VR. 2006. Past hydrological events reflected in the Holocene fluvial record of Europe. Catena 66 (1-2), 145-154.

Macklin MG, Johnstone E and Lewin J. 2005. Pervasive and long-term forcing of Holocene river instability and flooding by centennial-scale climate change. The Holocene, 15 (7), 937-943.

Sarah Shannon_opt_opt

Dr Sarah Shannon

Glacier and climate modelling


Sarah is a glaciologist and climate change modeller at the University of Exeter. Her research focuses on the effects of glacier melting on future water resources in South East and Central Asia.  She has a PhD in numerical modelling of atmospheric desert dust and experience modelling the response of glaciers and ice sheets to climate change.   She currently works on a project to investigate the response of Himalayan glaciers to climate change and implications this has for water supply in the Ganges, Indus and Brahmaputra Rivers.

Research Interests and Expertise

Thematic Areas:

  • The impact of glacier melting on water supply
  • Numerical modelling of mountain glaciers and ice sheets
  • Atmospheric transport of desert dust
  • Vegetation and climate interactions
  • Incorporating uncertainty in model predictions

World Regions of interest:

  • Central Asia
  • South East Asia
  • South America
  • Arctic

Examples of Research/Consultancy Topics

  • Development of a global glacier model for the UK Met Office land surface model (JULES) to assess the impacts of climate change on river runoff.   
  • Modelling past and future glacier mass balance
  • Analysis of regional climate model projections (UK, Chile and India)  
  • Parameterisation of melt water induced basal siding in the Greenland ice sheet for sea level rise predictions.
  • Modelling the global mineral dust cycle to understand the cause of high dust concentrations observed at Barbados during the 1980s.   
  • Monitoring particulate aerosol (PM2.5) at Mace Head, atmospheric research station, Ireland 
Selected Recent Publications

L. Cornford, D. F. Martin, A. J. Payne, E. G. Ng, A. M. Le Brocq, R. M. Gladstone, T. L. Edwards, S. R. Shannon, C. Agosta, M. R. van den Broeke, H. H. Hellmer, G. Krinner, S. R. M. Ligtenberg, R. Timmermann, and D. G. Vaughan, Century-scale simulations of the response of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to a warming climate. The Cryosphere, 9, 1579-1600, 2015

S.R. Shannon, A.J.  Payne,  I.D.  Bartholomew, M.R.  van  den Broeke,  T.L.  Edwards, X. Fettweis,  O. Gagliardinie, F.  Gillet-Chaulet, H. Goelzer,  M.J.  Hoffman,  P. Huybrechts, D. Mair, P.  Nienow,  M.  Perego,   S.F.  Price,   C.J.P.P Smeets,  A.J.  Sole, R.S.W.  van  de  Wal  and  T. Zwinger,   Enhanced  basal lubrication  and  the contribution of the Greenland ice sheet  to future sea level rise.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America, 10.1073/pnas.1212647110, 2013.

Goelzer, H., P. Huybrechts, J.J.  Frst,  M.L. Andersen,  T.L. Edwards, X. Fettweis, F.M. Nick, A.J. Payne  and S. R. Shannon, Sensitivity  of Greenland ice sheet projections to model formulations. Journal of Glaciology, 59, 216, 2013.

Rae, J.  G. L., Aalgeirsdottir, G., Edwards, T.  L.  Fettweis, X. Gregory, J.,  M.  Hewitt,  H. T.,  Lowe, J.  A.  Lucas-Picher, P.  Mottram, R. H.  Payne, A. J.  Ridley, J. K., Shannon, S.  R.,  van de Berg, W. J., van de Wal,  R. S. W. and van  den  Broeke,  M. R.,  Greenland ice sheet  surface  mass  balance:   evaluating  simulations and making projections with regional  climate  models. The Cryosphere, 6, 1275-1294, 2012.

Shannon, S.R. and  D. J.  Lunt, A new dust cycle model with dynamic vegetation:   LPJ-dust version  1.0. Geoscientific Model Development, 4(1), 85-105, 2011.


Professor David E. Smith

Sea level change and tsunami risk


David is one of Europe’s leading sea level change experts. He is Distinguished Research Associate and Leverhulme Emeritus Fellow in the Centre for the Environment at Oxford University. He is currently College Lecturer at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. Previously he worked at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, at Columbia University, New York, USA and at Coventry University where he was Associate Dean for the University’s School of Science and the Environment.

David has now published over 100 papers and contract reports, including over 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals. Since 1989 he has led four major European contracts concerned with climate and sea level change, with funding in excess of £3m, and involving over 20 European universities and research organisations. He has also led several national research projects, funded by both public and private sector organisations. He has been involved in several national and international climate and sea level related organisations and their committees. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, he recently received the Murchison Award in recognition of his work.

Research Interests and Expertise

Thematic Areas:

  • Global sea level change and storm surges
  • Tsunami risk assessment

World Regions of Interest:

  • North Atlantic seaboard
  • Western Pacific Ocean

Examples of Research/Consultancy Topics

  • Sea level change risk assessment for Shetland Council
  • Tsunami risk for southern England
  • Tsunami run-up in the Philippines
Selected Recent Publications

Selby KA and Smith DE 2016. Holocene relative sea-level change on the isle of Skye, Inner Hebrides, Scotland.  Scottish Geographical Journal, 132, 42-65.

Smith DE, Harrison, S. and Jordan, JT 2013. Sea level rise and submarine mass failures on open continental margins. Quaternary Science Reviews, 82: 93-103.

De la Vega Leinert, AC, Smith DE and Jones, R.L. 2012. Holocene coastal barrier development at Bay of Carness, Mainland Island, Orkney, Scotland. Scottish Geographical Journal, 128(2): 119-147.

Smith DE, Hunt, N, Firth, CR, Jordan, JT, Fretwell, PT, Harman M, Murdy J, Orford, JD and Burnside NG. 2012. Patterns of Holocene relative sea level change in the North of Britain and Ireland. Quaternary Science Reviews, 54: 58-76.      

Smith DE, Harrison S, Firth CR and Jordan JT 2011. The early Holocene sea level rise. Quaternary Science Reviews, 30, 1846-1860.

Jordan JT, Smith DE, Dawson S and Dawson AG 2010. Holocene relative sea level changes in Harris, Outer Hebrides, Scotland, UK. Journal of Quaternary Science Available on-line.

De la Vega-Leinert, A, Smith DE and Jones RL. 2008. Holocene coastal environmental changes on the periphery of an area of glacio-isostatic uplift: an example from Scapa Bay, Orkney, UK. Journal of Quaternary Science, Vol. 22, 755-772

Fretwell PT, Smith DE and Harrison S. 2008. The Last Glacial Maximum British-Irish Ice Sheet: a reconstruction using Digital Terrain Mapping. Journal of Quaternary Science. Vol. 23, 241-248

Smith DE, Foster IDL, Long D and Shi S. 2007. Reconstructing the pattern and depth of flow onshore in a palaeotsunami from associated deposits. Sedimentary Geology.

Soulsby RL, Smith DE and Ruffman A. 2007. Reconstructing tsunami run-up from sedimentary characteristics - a simple mathematical model. In Kraus, N.C. and Rosati, J.D. Coastal Sediments ’07. American Society of Civil Engineers, 1075-1088.

Smith DE, Cullingford RA, Mighall TM, Jordan JT and Fretwell PT. 2007. Holocene relative sea level changes in a glacio-isostatic area: new data from south-west Scotland, United Kingdom. Marine Geology.

Smith DE 2005. Evidence for Secular Sea Surface Level Changes in the Holocene Raised Shorelines of Scotland, UK. Journal of Coastal Research, Vol. 42, 26-42.

Smith DE. 2005. Tsunami: a research perspective. Geology Today, Vol. 21(2), 64-68.

Tooley MJ and Smith DE. 2005. Relative sea level changes and evidence for the Holocene Storegga Slide tsunami at a site in Fife, Scotland, UK. Quaternary International, Vol. 113/114, 107-119.

Fretwell PT, Peterson IR and Smith DE. 2004. The use of Gaussian Trend Surfaces for modelling glacio-isostatic crustal rebound. Scottish Journal of Geology, Vol. 40(2), 175-179.

Smith, DE, Shi S, Brooks CL, Cullingford RA, Dawson AG, Dawson S, Firth CR, Foster IDL, Fretwell PT, Haggart BA, Holloway LK and Long D. 2004. The Holocene Storegga Slide tsunami in the United Kingdom. Quaternary Science Reviews, Vol. 23/24, 2295-2325.

5 Mycenae IMGP0069_opt

Dr David Stainforth

Climate model uncertainty


David is a world leading climate modeler and is an Associate Professorial Research Fellow in the Centre for the Analysis of Time Series at the London School of Economics.  His research interests are in climate physics and he has worked in the Middle Atmosphere and Climate Dynamics group of the Oxford University Physics sub-department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics. His research interests cover uncertainty analysis in climate forecasts, coupled Ocean/Atmosphere computer modeling and the analysis and review of renewable energy projects and policies in developing countries.

Research Interests and Expertise

Thematic Areas:

  • Perturbed-physics ensembles of coupled atmosphere/ocean climate models.
  • The parametisation of gravity waves in Global Climate Models.
  • Climate Model uncertainty
  • Interpretation of climate model projections

Examples of Research/Consultancy Topics

  • Seven years’ experience of managing and participating in renewable energy RDD&D (Research, Development, Demonstration and Dissemination) projects for the UK Government (DTI and DFID) and the European Commission.
  • Analysis and review of renewable energy projects and policies in developing countries. Experience from research work for the UK Department for International Development.
Selected Recent Publications

Hawkins E, Smith RS, Gregory JM and Stainforth DA. 2016. Irreducible uncertainty in near-term climate projections. Climate Dynamics, 46, 3807-3819.

Chapman SC, Stainforth DA and Watkins NW. 2015. Limits to the quantification of local climate change. Environmental Research Letters, 10, (9).

Stainforth D A, Chapman SC and Watkins NW. 2013. Mapping climate change in European temperature distributions. Environmental Research Letters, 2013. 8.

Daron J D and Stainforth DA, On predicting climate under climate change. Environmental Research Letters,  2013, 8.

Sanderson BM,  Knutti R, Aina T, Christensen C,  Faull N, Frame D,  Ingram WJ, Piani C, Stainforth DA,  Stone D and Allen MR. 2008.  Constraints on Model Response to Greenhouse Gas Forcing and the Role of Subgrid-Scale Processes.  Journal of Climate, Vol. 21, 2384-2400

Stainforth DA et al. 2007. Issues in the interpretation of climate model ensembles to inform decisions, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Vol. 365, Number 1857.

Lopez A, Tebaldi C,  New M, Stainforth DA, Allen MR, and Kettleborough J. 2006. Two approaches to quantifying uncertainty in global temperature changes under different forcing scenarios, Journal of Climate.

Knutti R, Meehl G,  Allen MR and Stainforth DA. 2006. Constraining climate sensitivity from the seasonal cycle in surface temperature, Journal of Climate.

Stainforth DA,  Allen MR, Frame D,  Piani C. 2006. Risks Associated with Stabilisation Scenarios and Uncertainty in Regional and Global Climate Change Impacts, Chapter 33 of Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, ISBN-13: 9780521864718, ISBN-10: 0521864712.

Stainforth DA et al. 2005. Uncertainty in Predictions of the Climate Response to Rising Levels of Greenhouse Gases". Nature, Vol. 433: 403:406

Murphy JM,  Sexton DMH,  Barnett DN,  Jones GS,  Webb MJ,  Collins M and  Stainforth DA. 2004. Quantification of modelling uncertainties in a large ensemble of climate change simulations". Nature, Vol. 430:268:772.

 Allen MR and Stainforth DA.  2002. Towards Objective Probabilistic Climate Forecasting. Nature, Vol. 419:228.

P1010287_opt (2)

Professor Richard Washington

Climate modelling


Richard is Professor of Climate Science at Oxford University.  His expertise is in climate variability and climate prediction, especially in Africa.  Extremes associated with climate change are likely to come about from climate variability superimposed on the changing climate system. Understanding variability is therefore crucial. Richard has a strong regional perspective on climate, especially the tropical and subtropical climates of the world. He has over 25 years of experience in evaluating how well climate models perform in key regions of the world.

Research Interests and Expertise

Thematic Areas:

  • Causes and predictability of climate variability
  • Relationship between climate change and climate variability
  • Evaluating climate models: how well do they perform?
  • Rainfall variability and change
  • Role of aerosols in the climate system

World Regions of Interest:

  • Africa (Sahara, West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa and southern Africa)
  • Global Tropics
  • Indian and Pacific Ocean basins

Examples of Research/Consultancy Topics

  • In 2004 the government, through a joint DEFRA and DFID initiative, commissioned Richard to prepare a report on African climate. The report was co-authored with a dozen other scientists in the UK and drew on 40 experts worldwide and fed into the ongoing G8 initiative through the Commission for Africa. The work followed on from numerous consultancies with DFID.
  • Richard was a contributing author to the chapter on the IPCC Third Assessment and is a contributing author to the observed climate chapter and a reviewer of the chapter of the Fourth Assessment. He has run several UN World Meteorological Organisation WMO CLIPS (Climate Information and Prediction Services) workshops on seasonal climate prediction in Nairobi, Kenya, Niamey, Niger and Doha, Qatar.
  • He has led the development of the CLIVAR Africa Climate Atlas.
  • He has been a member of the World Climate Research Program CLIVAR Africa panel (VACS) for the last three years. VACS serves as the scientific steering group for African climate science. Richard is a co-PI on the BodEx field experiment to the Bodele Depression in Chad (the dustiest place on Earth), the subject of a recent article in Nature.
Selected Recent Publications

James R, Washington R, and Jones R. 2015. Process-based assessment of an ensemble of climate projections for West Africa.   Journal of Geophysical Research (Atmospheres) 120, 122-1238

Washington R, James R, Pearce H, Pokam W, Moufouma-Okia W. 2013.  Congo rainfall climatology: can we believe the climate models? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 

James R and Washington R, 2012. Changes in African temperature and precipitation associated with degrees of global warming  Climatic Change 10.1007/s10584-012-0581-7M

Todd, Washington R, S Raghavan, G Lizcano and P Knippertz. 2008. Regional Model Simulations of the Bodélé Low-Level Jet of Northern Chad during the Bodélé Dust Experiment (BoDEx 2005) Journal of Climate, Vol. 21, 995-1012.

Stainforth DA, Downing TE, Washington R, et al. 2007. Issues in the interpretation of climate model ensembles to inform decisions Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A-Mathematical and Engineering Sciences Vol. 365 (1857): 2163-2177

Washington R, and A Preston, 2006. Extreme wet years in southern Africa: the role of the Indian Ocean, Journal of Geophysical Research, Atmospheres Vol.111 D15104 doi:10.1029/2005JD006724

Efthymiadis D, New M, Washington R. 2005. On the reconstruction of seasonal oceanic precipitation in the presatellite era, Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres 110 (D6): Art. No. D06103,

Ziervogel G, Bithell M, Washington R, et al. 2005. Agent-based social simulation: a method for assessing the impact of seasonal climate forecast applications among smallholder farmers. Agricultural Systems Vol. 83 (1): 1-26

Washington R,  Harrison M, Conway D,  Black E, Challinor A, Grimes D, Jones R,  Morse A, Kay G, Todd M. 2004. African Climate Report, DFID/Defra

Todd MC, and  Washington R. 2004. Climate variability in central equatorial Africa: Influence from the Atlantic sector, Geophysical Research Letters Vol. 31 (23): Art. No. L23202.


Professor Matt Wilson

Data analysis, remote sensing and flood modelling


Matt is Professor in Spatial Information at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.  He has a PhD in computational flood modeling and is particularly interested in the assessment of uncertainty in predictions of flood inundation and the assimilation of remotely sensed data into models. Past research has included the geostatistical assessment of the effect of topographic uncertainty on the prediction of flood inundation. Recent work includes the modeling of large rivers, including the Amazon (Brazil) and Ohio (United States) rivers. Projects include a "virtual mission" to develop specifications for a surface water remote sensing satellite (WatER).

Research Interests and Expertise

Thematic Areas:

  • Flood hazard and risk assessment
  • Computational modelling of flood inundation and water resources
  • Large scale climate impact assessments
  • Uncertainty in environmental predictions
  • Assessment of water resources under climate change

World Regions of Interest:

I am interested in all areas, particularly developing countries. Areas I have experience working in include:

  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Brazilian Amazon
  • Caribbean
  • Eastern Europe

Examples of Research/Consultancy Topics

  • The effects of uncertainty in input data on the prediction of river flow and flood inundation
  • The Amazon flood cycle and water balance
  • Development of specifications for a surface water remote sensing satellite, SWOT
  • The impact of climate change on water resources in the Caribbean
  • Combined risk from coastal and terrestrial flooding in Negril, Jamaica
Selected Recent Publications

Nandi, A., Mandal, A., Wilson, M.D. and Smith, D., 2016. Flood hazard mapping in Jamaica using principal component analysis and logistic regression. Environmental Earth Sciences 75 (6): 1-16, doi:10.1007/s12665-016-5323-0

Seenath, A., Wilson, M.D., Miller, K., 2016. Hydrodynamic versus GIS Modelling for Coastal Flood Vulnerability Assessment: Which is better for Guiding Coastal Management? Ocean & Coastal Management. 120: 99-109, doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2015.11.019

Wilson, M.D., Durand, M., Jung, H.C. and Alsdorf, D.A., 2015. Swath altimetry measurements of the mainstem Amazon River: measurement errors and hydraulic implications, Hydrology and Earth Systems Science 19: 1943-1959, doi:10.5194/hess-19-1943-2015

Anderson, H., Shaw, P. & Wilson, M.D., 2013. An analysis of the Petite Careme (short dry spell) in Trinidad, Caribbean Geography 17: 58-73.

Tambie, J., Wilson, M.D., Shaw, P.A., 2013. An assessment of rain gauge and satellite-derived rainfall measurements in north-western Trinidad, Caribbean Geography 17: 43-57.

Trigg, M.A., Bates P.D., Wilson M.D., Schumann G. and Baugh, C., 2012. Floodplain channel morphology and networks of the middle Amazon River, Water Resources Research, 48, W10504, doi:10.1029/2012WR011888

Horritt, M.S., Bates, P.D., Fewtrell, T., Mason, D. and Wilson, M.D., 2010. Modelling the Hydraulics of the Carlisle 2005 flood event, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Water Management, 163, 6, 273-281, doi:10.1680/wama.2010.163.6.273

Trigg, M.A., Wilson, M.D., Bates, P.D., Horritt, M.S., Alsdorf, D.E., Forsberg, B.R. and Vega Corredor, M.C., 2009. Amazon flood wave hydraulics, Journal of Hydrology, 373, 92-105, doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2009.06.004.

Neal, J., Bates, P.D., Fewtrell, T., Hunter, N., Wilson, M.D. and Horritt, M.S., 2009. Distributed whole city water level measurements from the Carlisle 2005 urban flood event and comparison with hydraulic model simulations, Journal of Hydrology, 368, 42-55, doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2009.01.026.

He, Y., Wetterhall, F., Cloke, H.L., Pappenberger, F., Wilson, M.D., Freer, J. and McGregor, G., 2009. Tracking the uncertainty in flood alerts driven by grand ensemble weather predictions. Meteorological Applications, 16, 91–10, doi:10.1002/met.132.

Durand, M., Andreadis, K.M., Alsdorf, D.E., Lettenmaier, D.P., Moller, D. and Wilson, M.D., 2008. Estimation of bathymetric depth and slope from data assimilation of swath altimetry into a hydrodynamic model, Geophysical Research Letters, 35, L20401, doi:10.1029/2008GL034150.

Wright, N.G., Villanueva, I., Bates, P.D., Mason, D.C., Wilson, M.D., Pender, G. and Neelz, S., 2008. Case study of the use of remotely sensed data for modeling flood inundation on the River Severn, U.K., ASCE Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 134, 5, 533-540, doi:10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9429(2008)134:5(533).

Wilson, M.D. and Atkinson, P.M., 2007. The use of remotely sensed land cover to derive floodplain friction coefficients for flood inundation modelling, Hydrological Processes, 21 (26) 3576-3596. doi:10.1002/hyp.6584

Wilson, M.D., Bates, P.D., Alsdorf, D., Forsberg, B., Horritt, M.S., Melack, J., Frappart, F. and Famglietti, J., 2007. Modeling large-scale inundation of Amazonian seasonally flooded wetlands, Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L15404, doi:10.1029/2007GL030156

Alsdorf, D., Bates, P., Melack, J., Wilson, M.D. and Dunne, T., 2007. Spatial and temporal complexity of the Amazon flood measured from space, Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L08402, doi:10.1029/2007GL029447

Michaelides, K. and  Wilson, M.D., 2007. Uncertainty in predicted runoff due to patterns of spatially variable infiltration, Water Resources Research, 43, W02415, doi:10.1029/2006WR005039

Hunter, N.M., Bates, P.D., Horritt, M.S. & Wilson, M.D., 2007. Simple spatially-distributed models for predicting flood inundation: A review, Geomorphology, 90, 3-4, 208-225. doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2006.10.021

Bates, P.D., Wilson, M.D., Horritt, M.S., Mason, D., Holden, N. and Currie, C., 2006.  Reach scale floodplain inundation dynamics observed using airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar imagery: data analysis and modelling, Journal of Hydrology, 328, 306– 318. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2005.12.028

Hunter, N.M., Bates, P.D., Horritt, M.S., Wilson, M.D., 2006. Improved simulation of flood flows using storage cell models, Proceedings of the Institute of Civil Engineers, Water Management, 159, WMI, 9-18. doi:10.1680/wama.2006.159.1.9

Néelz, S., Pender, G., Villanueva, I., Wilson, M.D., Wright, N.G., Bates, P.D., Mason, D. and Whitlow, C., 2006. Using remotely sensed data to support flood modelling, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Water Management, 159, WM1, 35–43. doi:10.1680/wama.2006.159.1.35

Wilson, M.D. and Atkinson, P.M., 2005. The use of elevation data in flood inundation models: a comparison of ERS InSAR and combined contour and Differential GPS, International Journal of River Basin Management, 3 (1), 3-20. doi:10.1080/15715124.2005.9635241

Hunter, N.M., Horritt, M.S., Bates, P.D., Wilson, M.D. and Werner, M.G.F., 2005. An adaptive time step solution for raster-based storage cell modelling of floodplain inundation, Advances in Water Resources, 28, 975–991. doi:10.1016/j.advwatres.2005.03.007