University of St Andrews



I graduated with a B.A. degree in Environmental Science from The Evergreen State College (Washington State, USA) in 1993. After working in soil conservation in the United States Peace Corps in Nepal, I conducted research for my PhD in fluvial geomorphology from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), which was conferred in 2003. Following graduation, I obtained a research position within the Institute for Computational Earth System Science at UCSB, which I still hold today. Next I received a Research Fellowship from the National Academy of Sciences (USA) working within the US Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California, which I completed in 2007. In 2008 I moved to St Andrews to become a SAGES Lecturer in Physical Geography.

Much of my current research follows many broad themes within fluvial geomorphology: lowland valley sediment budgets, floodplain sedimentation/erosion, links between hydrology and sediment transport, stochastic hydrology, downstream fining, channel and floodplain morphology, and sedimentary and contaminant legacy of hydraulic mining and industry along large rivers. I am particularly interested in human impacts on large rivers and coupling between climate change and geomorphic processes over decadal to millenial time scales. Much of my current research is encapsulated within the following broad question: How do changes in sediment supply (anthropogenic, tectonic, and/or climatic) impact drainage basin functioning? Specifically, how would changes in the magnitude and/or caliber of sediment supply affect grain size distributions and downstream fining, sediment flux rates and mass balance, channel capacity and flood frequency, floodplain inundation and sedimentation rates, channel planform characteristics and bedforms/barforms, longitudinal profiles, hillslope-channel coupling, and the evolution of sediment depocenters.


  • Library Officer
  • Member, Postgraduate Committee
  • Sub-Honours Advisor (Science Faculty)


Research Interests

  • Large river basins 
  • Sediment transport theory 
  • Downstream fining 
  • Hydroclimatology 
  • Floodplains Flood proxies


Teaching Interests

  • GG2011: Catchments and Drainage Basins 
  • GG2012: Regional Geography of the Himalaya 
  • GG3201: Physical Geography Field Course 
  • GG3266: Rivers and Floodplains

Postgraduate Students

  • John Higson    Project: Partitioning modes and rates of sediment flux derived from terrace-channel coupling 
  • Louise Slater  Project: Where do floodplains begin in fluvial networks?