Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Professor Sir Paul Curran 

Visiting Professor

Professor Sir Paul Curran's photo

Professor Sir Paul Curran is Visiting Professor within the School of Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Southampton. 

Sir Paul was President of City, University of London and is now Professor Emeritus.  He joined City in 2010 having served previously as Vice-Chancellor at Bournemouth University and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Southampton.  Following a period of significant progress City joined the University of London federation in September 2016.

A former NASA research scientist and advisor to the European Space Agency (ESA), his research in ecological Earth observation, involving the use of satellite sensors to monitor the environment, is published widely. With a focus on climate change, his recent research involved the estimation of terrestrial chlorophyll content at regional scales.

Sir Paul has received achievement awards from the Royal Geographical Society, Remote Sensing Society, NASA, ESA and the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing and Honorary Doctorates from Grand École ESCP, Paris and Peter the Great University, St Petersburg, Russia.  Her Majesty The Queen approved the award of the Patron’s Medal of the Royal Geographical Society, for his ‘international development of geographical science’ and he is a Freeman of the City of London.

Sir Paul is Chair of the MS Society, NHS National Joint Register and NERC Advisory Committee on Scientific Leadership; Non-Executive Director and Trustee of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) Ltd; President of the Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society and Patron of The Conversation UK.  He was Chair of the national Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB); Founding Chair of the Board of Trustees for The Conversation UK;  Chair of the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) Board and led the employers’ negotiating team in national pay negotiations; a member of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and its Remuneration Committee and Chair of its Audit & Risk Assurance Committee; Chair of the HEFCE, Higher Education Workforce Steering Group; a member of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) Board and its Remuneration and Audit Committees; member of the London Higher Board and member of Universities UK and its Research Policy and Innovation & Growth Policy Committees.

Sir Paul was knighted in the 2016 New Year Honours for ‘services to higher education’.


B.Sc.      Hons. Geography, University of Sheffield, 1976

M.B.A.  Dist. Management, University of Southampton, 1998

Ph.D.     Remote Sensing of Vegetation and Soil, University of Bristol 1979

D.Sc.      Remote Sensing of Environment, University of Bristol, 1991

FRGS     Royal Geographical Society, Fellow, since 1979

FRSPS   Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society, Fellow, since 1995

Honorary Fellow, since 2000

FCIM     Chartered Management Institute, Fellow, since 1999

CGeog   Chartered Geographer, since 2002


United Kingdom

1976 - 1979 University of Bristol, Demonstrator in Geography.

1979 - 1981 University of Reading, Lecturer in Geography.

1981 - 1989 University of Sheffield, Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Geography.

1990 - 1993 University of Swansea, Professor of Physical Geography.

1993 - 2005 University of Southampton, Professor of Physical Geography.

1995 - 1999 Head of Geography Department.

2000 - 2003 Dean of Science.

2003 - 2004 Head of Winchester School of Art.

2004 - 2005 Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

2005 - 2010 Bournemouth University, Professor of Physical Geography, Vice-Chancellor.

2010 - 2016 City University London, Professor of Physical Geography, Vice-Chancellor.

2016 to date City, University of London, Professor of Physical Geography, President.


1986 - 1986 University of New South Wales, Visiting Research Fellow.

1988 and 1989 NASA/Ames Research Center, California, Senior Research Associate.

1998 Baker Library Scholar, Harvard University

Professor Sir Paul Curran
University of Southampton University Road Southampton SO17 1BJ
Share this profile Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings