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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science
(023) 8059 4614

Professor David Sear BSc, PhD, FRGS, MCIWEM

Professor in Physical Geography

Professor David Sear's photo

Professor David Sear is a Professor in Physical Geography within Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Southampton.

David Sear is currently Professor in Physical Geography.

Web of Science Researcher ID: Researcher ID: J-6333-2012

1992 PhD: Civil Engineering, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Impacts of River Regulation for HEP on sediment dynamics.
1986 BSc: Geography and Environmental Science: University of Surrey.

1991-3 PDRA University of Newcastle-Upon Tyne; Sediment Mangement in the UK.
1993 - Lecturer University of Southampton
1996- Senior Lecturer, University of Southampton
2003 - Reader, University of Southampton
2006 Professor, University of Southampton

Significant Achievements
1989 CIWEM Otter Trophy
2008 Visiting Professor Depth of Applied Mathematics, Humboldt State University, USA
2008 Visiting Professor, USFS, Redwood Creek, California, USA
2008 Key note Speaker NOWPSA Salmind Hbaitat workshop
2009 Keynote Speakre MaCaulay International Workshop on Hydromorphology
2009 Invited Speaker Binghampton Symposium
2009 Invited Speaker Geological Society of America.
2008- First ever geophysics and acoustic imaging survey of the submerged medieval town of Dunwich, leading to discovery of church ruins from the former international port.

Research interests

David has research interests at the interface of geomorphology, ecology biology and human society. He helped pioneer new approaches to sediment management and river restoration that have been adopted by river management agencies in the UK and internationally. His research uses a range of techniques to unlock sediment archives and evidence for environmental change in lakes, floodplains and coastal systems. He collaborates with researchers around the globe on projects ranging from climate change in the tropical pacific, human migration into the pacific islands, small island exposure to multi-hazards, Natural flood management approaches, geomorphic impacts of large floods and the impacts of fine sediments on aquatic ecosystems.

PhD Supervision

I have supervised 30 PhD’s across a range of research areas. Current PhD’s include

Beth Mondon Developing sediment targets for chalk streams. David Sear (UoS), Adrian Collins (RR), Pete Shaw (UoS), Tim Sykes (EA). Environment Agency.

Jonathon Robotham (CEH) Multiple benefits of rural Natural Flood Management. Gareth Old (UKCEH), David Sear (UoS), Ponnambalam Rameshwaran (UKCEH), David Gasca-Tucker (Atkins), Helena Soteriou (Thames Water) SPITFIRE DTC.

Miles Clark (UEA) Novel tracing of large wood and sediment transport in a forested catchment.  Georgie Bennett (UoExeter), David Sear (UoS),  Gerrard Parr, Aldina Franco (UEA), NEXUSS CDT.

Marie Schlenker. Coastal change and community adaptation in the Solomon Islands. Ivan Haigh, Robert Nichols David Sear. University of Southampton,Melanesian Mission.

Imogen Barnsley Natural Flood Management in Chalk Rivers, David Sear, Julian Leyland, Justin Sheffield, Tim Sykes. Environment Agency.

Charlotte Hipkiss, Stress in Paradise: droughts during the settlement of the Pacific Islands. David Sear, Pete Langdon, Ian Croudace, Justin Sheffield

Nichola Strandberg Impact of extreme events on pacific island ecosystems, Sandra Nogue, David Sear, Mary Edwards, Pete Langdon.

Research projects

Quantifying multiple Climate hazard exposure and risk across Pacific Island SIDS 2019-2021 GCRF

Quantifying sediment pathways in anthropogenic floodplains during extreme flooding, NERC 2020-2021.

Dunwich Project: The Search for Britain’s Atlantis
2008 - 

Research group

Landscape Dynamics and Ecology (LDE)

Affiliate research group

Palaeoenvironmental Laboratory at the University of Southampton (PLUS

Research project(s)

PATCheS: how does the development of particle scale structure control river scale morphology?

Socio-ecological and food security future scenario development with policy makers

Development of workshop based socio-ecological and livelihood based scenario strategies in the agricultural sector of the developing South

Director of Internationalisation 2018 – 2021

Associate Director of River Restoration Centre


Module Coordinator for

GEOG3023/6009 River Basin management & Restoration

GEOG2039 Concept and Method in Environmental Management

GEOG3011 Advanced Techniques in Physical Geography (not 2020-21

Lecturer on the following:

GEOG1010 Dangerous World

GEOG3018 Dissertation Project

GEOG1010 Geographical, Quantitative and Field Skills

Tutor / Supervision Group.

Professor David Sear
University of Southampton University Road Southampton SO17 1BJ Location: 44/2023

Room Number : 44/2023

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