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Research

Introduction

My main interests are in fluvial geomorphology and ecohydraulics with a particular focus on linking the two (ecogeomorphology). I have strong applied interests in the restoration and the management of watersheds and their rivers and have worked extensively at the interface between environmental policy, practice and science. I strive to find practical outlets for much of my research and in particular take the technological and methodological developments we work on and package them into tools and frameworks of use to both practitioners and researchers. Some of the hot applied topics my lab (ET-AL) has been working on lately include:

This column gives an overview of my research interests, whereas the menu boxes to the right provide direct links to specific projects, study sites and/or tools. You can find my publications here.  Recent lab publications are announced here.


Research Themes:

My research is driven by a basic curiosity about how natural and disturbed river systems work. Much of the work I have done has had a very methodological focus, as I believe we have rapidly moved from a fundamentally 'data-poor' situation to a 'data-rich' environment. Although, increasingly we can acquire impressive datasets to capture snapshots of the environment and measure the processes that shape it, we do not yet have the tools to use this extra information intelligently. Underlying the development of better tools is but also a basic question about whether or not all this new information can actually help us better understand these systems. Thus, the projects that I work on cover a mix of blue-skies and applied themes:

Linking Geomorphic Dynamics & Ecohydraulics

Here, I am fundamentally interested in developing a better understanding of to what extent geomorphic dynamics matter to aquatic and riparian species. We are trying to collect field datasets and produce models (e.g. MORPHED) that shed some light on this question. I would also like to more rigorously test long-standing conceptual models like the intermediate disturbance hypothesis and shifting-habitat-mosaic. 

Monitoring and Adapting to Change

I am intrigued by how landscapes (particularly rivers and watersheds) change through time. In particular, I would like to better understand to what extent the people and ecosystems in those landscapes are either resilient to change or able to adapt effectively to such changes. One hypothesis is that physical systems exhibiting higher heterogeneity support higher biodiversity, and ecosystems with higher biodiversity may be more resilient to change. There are major challenges in documenting, explaining and predicting such changes and responses and my research in this area attempts to address such challenges and develop the means to test the above hypothesis. 

Scenario Model Development

I am interested in applying and developing models of various flavors as tools to help test hypotheses that fall out of the above two themes. 

EXAMPLE PROJECTS: SHIRA; MORPHED

Research Strategy

My research strategy is simple. Work hard. Do good work transparently so others can repeat it. Publish what you can and make the rest available (e.g dissemination on web) for others to extend, test, explore, refute and/or improve.




For more information on research projects from ETAL, see here.

Study Site Pages

For more information on study sites and list, see here.

Field Work Locations:
Check out the research footprint of our lab:
Larger version.




For more information on research tools, see here.

For more information on the software our group has developed, see here.