Human-environment interactions in the Himalayan Sutlej-Beas system
Dr Bob Grabowski is an interdisciplinary scientist specialising in the interactions between physical processes, ecological communities, and humans within river-floodplain systems. He started his academic career in biology (BSc) and ecology (MSc) and began to link those with fluvial processes in his PhD at Queen Mary University of London. At Cranfield University, his research students and postdocs work on a variety of pure and applied research projects in fluvial geomorphology, aquatic ecology, and integrated land and water management. He currently leads two UKRI projects on social-economic-environmental interactions in river systems (NERC) and cohesive sediment erosion modelling (EPSRC).
Rivers and the land that surrounds them (i.e. land-river interface) are focal points of human activity and development. However, human agency and its impacts on land and water are rarely managed in an integrated and holistic manner. Consequently, interactions and feedbacks between river processes and human activities can lead to unintended social, economic and environmental consequences that are spatially distant or temporally lagged. In this international project, a multidisciplinary team of researchers is investigating the institutional boundaries, socio-economic drivers and barriers, and environmental processes that affect the form and function of river systems and the ecosystem services they support in the transnational Sutlej-Beas river system. The talk will focus on environmental research quantifying geomorphological and vegetation dynamics over multiple timescales.