Departmental Research Projects
Professor John Wainwright
My research interests, which focus on past, present and future human interactions with the environment, arise from a varied background. I have a BA in Archaeology and Geology from Bristol University, where I also studied for my PhD on "Erosion of Semi-Arid Archaeological Sites: A Study in Natural Formation Processes", working on sites in Southwest France. Then I moved to Keele University to work as a post-doc on a NERC-funded project on overland-flow dynamics in the context of vegetation change. Following a temporary lectureship at Southampton University, I took up a lectureship in physical geography at King's College London in 1993, where I was subsequently reader (2000) and professor (2002).
In 1999, I received the prestigious Gordon Warwick award of the British Geomorphological Research Group, recognizing my innovative work in the understanding of past and present semi-arid environments. I have also previously been Honorary Secretary and Membership Secretary of the BGRG, which is now the British Society for Geomorphology.
In 2005, I moved to Sheffield as Professor of Physical Geography, and spent three years as a Visiting Professor at Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg. I was appointed as Professor in Physical Geography at Durham in October 2011.
I have carried out extensive field research, especially in drylands, with an emphasis on the Mediterranean, the US Southwest and sub-Saharan Africa. Computer modelling is central to the methods I use to link data with theory, and I have also carried out laboratory experiments on slope and channel processes to make this link.
- Modelling of human-environment interactions using agent-based models and other interdisciplinary approaches
- Geomorphology and geoarchaeology of arid, semi-arid and Mediterranean regions
- Processes of overland flow and soil erosion
- Links between hydrological, geomorphological and ecological processes (ecohydrology and ecogeomorphology)
- Laboratory modelling of hydrological and geomorphic processes
- Computer modelling of hydrological and geomorphic processes
- Theoretical geomorphology
Please contact me if you are interested in discussing possible PhD or MRes research projects on any of these themes.
If you would like copies of any of my publications, please get in touch.
- Dynamics of Runoff And Erosion Modelling (DRAEM)
- Kitchener, B.G.B., Dixon, S.D., Howarth, K.O., Parsons, A.J. Wainwright, J., Bateman, M.D., Cooper, J.R., Hargrave, G.K., Long, E.J. & Hewett, C.J.M. A low-cost bench-top research device for turbidity measurement by radially distributed illumination intensity sensing at multiple wavelengths. HardwareX. 2019;5:e00052.
- Kalayci, T., Lasaponara, R., Wainwright, J. & Masini, N. Multispectral Contrast of Archaeological Features: A Quantitative Evaluation. Remote Sensing. 2019;11:913.
- Wainwright, J. & Ayala, G. Teleconnexions and environmental determinism: was there really a climate-driven collapse at Late Neolithic Çatalhöyük. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2019;116:3343-3344.
- Gao, Peng, Cooper, James R. & Wainwright, John Toward understanding complexity of sediment dynamics in geomorphic systems. Geomorphology. 2019.
- Briant, R., Cohen, K., Cordier, S., Demoulin, A., Macklin, M., Mather, A., Rixhon, G., Wainwright, J., Wittmann, H. & Veldkamp, T. Applying Pattern Oriented Sampling in current fieldwork practice to enable more effective model evaluation in fluvial landscape evolution research. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 2018;43:2964-2980.
- Hewett, Caspar J.M., Simpson, Carolyn, Wainwright, John & Hudson, Steve Communicating Risks to Infrastructure Due to Soil Erosion: A Bottom-Up Approach. Land Degradation & Development. 2018;29:1282-1294.
- Briant, R.M., Wainwright, J. & Maddy, D. New approaches to field-model data comparison: Numerical modelling of the last glacial cycle in the Welland catchment, England. Geomorphology. 2018;323:106-122.
- Parsons, A., Cooper, J., Wainwright, J. & Sekiguchi, T. Virtual velocity of sand transport in water. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 2018;43:755-761.
- Kitchener, B.G.B., Wainwright, J. & Parsons, A.J. A review of the principles of turbidity measurement. Progress in Physical Geography. 2017;41:620-642.
- Millington, J. & Wainwright, J. Mixed qualitative-simulation methods: understanding geography through thick and thin. Progress in Human Geography. 2017;41:68-88.
- Ayala, G., Wainwright, J., Walker, J., Hodara, R., Lloyd, J.M., Leng, M. & Doherty, C. Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of the alluvial landscape of Neolithic Çatalhöyük, central southern Turkey: The implications for early agriculture and responses to environmental change. Journal of Archaeological Science. 2017;87:30-43.
- Brown, A.G., Tooth, S., Bullard, J.E., Thomas, D.S.G., Chiverrell, R.C., Plater, A.J., Murton, J., Thorndycraft, V.R., Tarolli, P., Rose, J., Wainwright, J., Downs, P. & Aalto, R. The Geomorphology of The Anthropocene: Emergence, Status and Implications. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 2017;42:71-90.
- Cunliffe, A.M., Puttock, A.K., Turnbull, L., Wainwright, J. & Brazier, R.E. Dryland, calcareous soils store (and lose) significant quantities of near-surface organic carbon. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface. 2016;121:684-702.
- Perry, G.L.W., Wainwright, J., Etherington, T.R. & Wilmshurst, J.W. Experimental simulation: using generative modeling and palaeoecological data to understand human-environment interactions. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 2016;4:109.
- Pan, C., Ma, L. & Wainwright, J. Particle selectivity of sediment deposited over grass barriers and the effect of rainfall. Water Resources Research. 2016;52:7932-7979.
- Moreno-de las Heras, M., Turnbull, L. & Wanwright, J. Seed-bank structure and plant-recruitment conditions regulate the dynamics of a grassland-shrubland Chihuahuan ecotone. Ecology. 2016;97:2303-2318.
- Moreno-de las Heras, M., Diaz-Sierra, R., Turnbull, L. & Wainwright, J. Assessing vegetation structure and ANPP dynamics in a grassland-shrubland Chihuahuan ecotone using NDVI-rainfall relationships. Biogeosciences Discussions. 2015;12:51-92.
- Moreno-de las Heras, M., Diaz-Sierra, R., Turnbull, L. & Wainwright, J. Assessing vegetation structure and ANPP dynamics in a grassland–shrubland Chihuahuan ecotone using NDVI–rainfall relationships. Biogeosciences. 2015;12:2907-2925.
- Okin, G.S., Moreno-de las Heras, M., Saco, P.M., Throop, H.L., Vivoni, E.R., Parsons, A.J., Wainwright, J. & Peters, D.P.C. Connectivity in dryland landscapes: shifting concepts of spatial interactions. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 2015;13:20-27.
- Parsons, A.J., Bracken, L.J., Poeppl, R.E., Wainwright, J. & Keesstra, S.D. Introduction to special issue on connectivity in water and sediment dynamics. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 2015;40:1275-1277.
- Parsons, A.J., Cooper, J. & Wainwright, J. What is suspended sediment?. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 2015;40:1417-1420.
- Long, E.J., Hargrace, G.K., Cooper, J.R., Kitchener, B.G.B., Parsons, A.J., Hewett, C.J.M. & Wainwright, J. Experimental investigation into the impact of a liquid droplet onto a granular bed using three-dimensional, time-resolved, particle tracking. Physical Review E. 2014;89:032201.
- Bracken, L.J., Wainwright, J., Ali, G.A., Tetzlaff, D., Smith, M.W., Reaney, S.M. & Roy, A.G. Concepts of hydrological connectivity: Research approaches, pathways and future agendas. Earth-Science Reviews. 2013;119:17-34.
- Stewart, J., Parsons, A.J., Wainwright, J., Okin, G.S., Bestelmeyer, B., Fredrickson, E.L. & Schlesinger, W.H. Modelling Emergent Patterns of Dynamic Desert Ecosystems. Ecological Monographs. 2013.
- Cooper, J.R., Wainwright, J., Parsons, A.J., Onda, Y., Fukuwara, T., Obana, E., Kitchener, B., Long, E.J. & Hargrave, G.H. A new approach for simulating the redistribution of soil particles by water erosion: A marker-in-cell model. Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface. 2012;117:F04027.
- Michaelides, K., Lister, D., Wainwright, J. & Parsons, A.J. Linking runoff and erosion dynamics to nutrient fluxes in a degrading dryland landscape. Journal of Geophysical Research. 2012;117:G00N15.
- Wainwright, J., Turnbull, L., Ibrahim, T.G., Lexartza-Artza, I., Thomton, S.F. & Brazier, R.E. Linking Environmental Régimes, Space and Time: Interpretations of Structural and Functional Connectivity. Geomorphology. 2011;126:387-404.
- Wainwright, J. & Millington, J.D.A. Mind, the gap in landscape-evolution modelling. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 2010;35:842-855.
- Wainwright, J., Parsons, A.J., Muller, E.N., Brazier, R.E., Powell, D.M. & Fenti, B. A transport-distance approach to scaling erosion rates: 1. Background and model development. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 2008;33:813-826.
- Wainwright, J., Parsons, A.J., Muller, E.N., Brazier, R.E., Powell, D.M. & Fenti, B. A transport-distance approach to scaling erosion rates: 3. Evaluating scaling characteristics of MAHLERAN. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 2008;33:1113-1128.
- Dynamics of Runoff and Erosion (DRÆM) project
- For full publications and other research details, please go to my personal web page
- 2013: Vegetation shifts in desert environments: a multi-scale ecohydrological approach for the analysis of grassland-shrubland transitions (£165202.29 from European Commission)
- 2012: Understanding Runoff and Erosion Dynamics (£73762.33 from NERC - Natural Environment Research Council)