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River basin

River Basin Processes and Management

PGR-RA-117

Expertise of research area
aquatic ecosystems; biogeochemistry; geomorphology; glaciology; hydraulics; Hydrology; peatlands; water management


<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

We provide international leadership in understanding and managing environmental processes and feedbacks that control and link water, sediment, solute and biotic dynamics in river basins, estuaries and marine systems. We are particularly renowned for our research strengths in peatland science, glacial and ice-marginal systems, hillslope processes, and water resource management.

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p><a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/geography-research-river-basin-processes-management">The River Basin Processes and Management</a> group has extensive expertise in hydrology and hydraulics, geomorphology, biogeochemistry, aquatic ecosystems and glaciology. We work closely with <a href="https://water.leeds.ac.uk/">water@leeds</a> which is one of the largest interdisciplinary centres for water research in any university in the world. We cover a broad range of hydrology and hydraulics research, including hillslope hydrology, soil water, river hydraulics, shallow groundwater, and natural flood management.</p> <p>Our research uses modelling, field and laboratory-based techniques to investigate the distribution and cycling of water through aquatic and terrestrial systems. We are particularly interested in understanding how humans influence the water system, including the effects of emerging contaminants (e.g. microplastics and pharmaceuticals) on water quality, current and future changes in water quantity (c.f. environmental flows) and how river catchments can be better managed to account for these pressures.</p> <p>Our research in geomorphology spans soil erosion, hillslope and river sediment flux, peatland processes and 3D landscape evolution modelling. We are making quantitative, systematic and regional assessments of water, sediment and solute sources, pathways and sinks, and of landform composition and functioning. We aim to understand the processes driving changes and also the linkages between system components, and we assess component sensitivity and resilience to change. We use emerging datasets and analytical methods to cover a wide range of spatial scales from individual sediment fragments up to entire river systems and their catchments. We employ numerical modelling to understand processes, to interpret observations and to predict beyond our observations. Our peatland research includes assessments of soil erosion and transport at the peat surface as well as in sub-surface cavities known as pipes.</p> <p>Our expertise in aquatic ecosystems centres on the response of ecological systems at the level of individual genes, individual organisms, populations, and communities, up to whole food webs and functional processes such as decomposition and whole-ecosystem metabolism. We have particular strengths in the ecology of freshwater invertebrates but also have expertise with algal communities, microbes (fungi, bacteria) and fish. &nbsp;</p> <p>We undertake extensive research in glaciology which focuses on quantifying the response of glacierised regions to climatic change, considering both contemporary and palaeo-environments. &nbsp;We focus on Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine environments and use a range of methods, in particular, field data collection, remote sensing and GIS, numerical modelling and geomorphological mapping, to establish the key drivers of cryospheric change and measure rates of response.</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uqV3H9IKkDw?loop=1&amp;playlist=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqV3H9IKkDw&amp;list=PLPooB6Qr1ayESV1E-FWY6ZafMCeOtqCOg&amp;index=13&amp;t=0s" width="560"></iframe></p> <h3>Useful links and further reading:</h3> <ul> <li> <p><a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/geography-research-degrees">Research degrees within the School of Geography</a></p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/research-area/117-river-basin-processes-and-management">River Basin Processes and Management group</a></p> </li> <li><a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/geography-research">School of Geography, Research and Innovation</a></li> </ul> <h3>Leeds Doctoral College</h3> <p>Our <a href="https://www.leeds.ac.uk/info/130558/leeds_doctoral_college">Doctoral College</a> supports you throughout your postgraduate research journey. It brings together all the support services and opportunities to enhance your research, your development, and your overall experience.</p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the <a href="http://www.leeds.ac.uk/info/130206/applying/91/applying_for_research_degrees">University&#39;s website</a>.</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For queries relating to your research proposal or subject area, please contact&nbsp;<a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/geography/staff/1060/dr-megan-klaar">Dr Megan Klaar</a>.</p> <p>For general enquiries and details regarding the application process, please contact the Graduate School Office:<br /> e:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:env-pgr@leeds.ac.uk">env-pgr@leeds.ac.uk</a>, t: +44 (0)113 343 1314.</p>


<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Linked funding opportunities</h2>