Professor Damian Lawler
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Professor Damian Lawler

Co-Director, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience

My Research Vision

I am a hydrologist and fluvial geomorphologist, and I am passionate about first identifying key research gaps in our knowledge of interacting fluvial, hydrological and environmental processes, then developing new conceptual models of such systems, and finally subjecting these models to critical tests and improvement, often using novel methodologies and approaches I have developed. Fluvial hydrology is important to many water resource and water quality issues, which led to research on bank erosion processes and related fluvial sediment transport / pollution dynamics; stream power modelling which drives many fluvial processes; climate-river flow relationships; and the complex spatial linkages between climate trends and river flows across Northern Europe and north-east USA.

BIOGRAPHY

Water is the key to life, and I have relished researching in this area. After Undergraduate and PhD degrees from the University of Wales, I worked at The University of Birmingham within active hydrology, geomorphology and water science research groups for many years, before moving to Coventry University in 2013 where I am a Professor of Hydrology.  At Coventry, I co-led the REF submission for UOA7 and became co-Director of the new Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience in 2014. With substantial funding from the University in Environmental Sciences and CAWR, this will be an exciting opportunity to recruit many new staff and develop the Centre’s research portfolio, especially its four interacting Water streams: Fluvial Processes;  Hydrology, Climate and Environmental Change;  Water Quality and Pollution Dynamics;  and Urban Water.

I have been very fortunate to have worked on complex and important fluvial and hydrological research questions in the UK, Ireland, France, Iceland, Azerbaijan, Georgia, USA and Australia. Almost all of the research projects, derived publications and 15 PhD completions, have been competitively funded by NERC, EPSRC, Environment Agency, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, and international organisations such as the Ireland Environmental Protection Agency, the Icelandic National Energy Authority, and overseas governments. This work has led to over 150 published papers.

I enjoyed developing the first automatic erosion monitoring system (Photo-Electronic Erosion Pin (PEEP)) system, and devising the principle of Thermal Consonance Timing for improved erosion event definition (2008), which is now built into the PEEP3T instrument used by over 30 research groups worldwide, especially in Europe, Australia and the USA, including by the US Geological Survey to address sedimentation problems in San Francisco Bay.

I developed the DOCPROBE downstream change model for river bank erosion processes and the Combined Automated, Flood, Elevation and Stream power (CAFES) model (2009). In other groups we also achieved the first experimental quantification of needle ice sediment transport effects, and developed novel chains of causality linking North Atlantic atmospheric circulation and climate change to (a) Icelandic sediment fluxes to the ocean (2003); (b) river flow changes in the UK and USA, and (c) flow teleconnections between eastern North America and Northern Europe (2006-20l4).

SELECTED OUTPUTS

SELECTED PROJECTS

  • The Siltflux Project: This project in collaboration with University College Dublin aims to set standards for suspended sediment fluxes for the protection of sensitive catchments and biota in order to advise Ireland EPA, farmers and end-users on management solutions.
Research breakout image

Co-Director, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience

Building: James Starley
Room: JSB02a
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