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Institute of Advanced Study

Dr David Kennedy

COFUND Senior Research Fellow at Trevelyan College, Durham University (July - September 2014)

Dr David Kennedy is a Senior Lecturer, Department of Resource Management & Geography, Melbourne School of Land & Environment, The University of Melbourne, Australia. Dr Kennedy is one of the world’s leading coastal geomorphologists, well known and respected for his contributions to knowledge about rapid and slow onset changes on coasts.

The proposed project of Risks and dynamics of rocky coastlines under a changing climate aims to :

1) transfer a new protocol for rock coast risk management developed in Australia to the UK context, building upon Dr Kennedy’s work on coastline risk management; and

2) to develop a long-term collaborative and comparative study into rock coast evolution and erosion dynamics.

The proposal establishes a new collaboration between two young but growing research groups, to combine innovative methods and models. The study of rock coasts is currently inhibited by a focus upon site-specific behaviour, and lacks comparative research that compares maritime (near-shore hydrodynamics), lithological (damage mechanics) and terrestrial (mass wasting) controls on short- and long-term rock coast dynamics. The proposed fellowship seeks to address this by establishing a direct collaboration between two of the leading groups in this field.

The Fellowship will also innovatively allow one of the longest and most detailed studies of in situ rock evolution monitoring to be unlocked. By bringing Dr Kennedy’s techniques for capturing micro-scale (sub-mm) foreshore evolution, by re-instrumenting key-type-sites originally reported by LA Robinson in the seminal papers on the evolution of rock coastlines, the fellowship will capture the erosion signal over 35 years. This will provide data over an unprecedented timescale, which may give insight into the likely future dynamics and hence future risks associated with such coastlines.

“The freedom allowed under the fellowship is particularly advantageous for enabling collaboration to flourish. [...] Being part of the Durham-collegiate system has been an eye-opening and positive experience, being completely different to the approach of Australian Universities.”

Dr David Kennedy, University of Melbourne