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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science
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Emeritus Professor John Dearing

Professor in Physical Geography

Emeritus Professor John Dearing's photo
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Emeritus Professor John Dearing is Professor in Physical Geography within Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Southampton.


BSc Geography/Botany (Manchester)

PhD Environmental Magnetism (Liverpool)


2007-present Professor of Physical Geography, University of Southampton

1996-2007 Professor of Physical Geography, University of Liverpool.

1981-1996 Lecturer II, Senior Lecturer, Reader in Physical Geography, Coventry University.


Recipient of the Mike Clark Teaching Award (2015), given annually by Geography and Environmental Science to a staff member who has improved the student experience or challenged students to fulfil their potential.

Recipient of the Murchison Award (2014), given by the Royal Geographical Society in recognition for publications contributing to the understanding of environmental change.


Eyes On The Storm - Research blog

Research interests

  • Global environmental change, particularly the integration of climate, human activities and environmental processes.
  • Reconstructing long-term environmental change and ecological services through analyses of lake sediments, particularly through mineral magnetic measurements, and other archives.
  • Understanding the complexity of modern and future environmental systems from past records and modelling.
Recent research grants/projects
  • 2015-2016 Prof JA Dearing (PI) with Dr J.Dyke and Prof G.M. Poppy. Institute for Life Sciences Research Stimulus Fund project “Sustainability assessment of agriculture and ecosystem services in England and Wales: an integrated systems approach” £20000
  • 2014-2018 Dearing Lead institution team member IDRC (Canada) and DFID (UK) funded ‘Deltas, Vulnerability and Climate Change: Migration and Adaptation (DECCMA)’ (total grant value CAD $13.5)
  • 2013-2016 Dearing co-I Belmont Forum Consortium Grant ‘DELTAS: Catalyzing action towards sustainability of deltaic systems with an integrated modeling framework for risk assessment’ (total grant value €2.6M, €468000 to Southampton)
  • 2013 Prof J A Dearing (PI) ESPA PRIU Grant ‘Poverty and ecology: communicating complexity'  £10000
  • 2013 Prof J A Dearing (PI) EPSRC BtG Grant ‘Complex social-ecological systems: linking theory and reality' £11000
  • 2012-13 Prof J A Dearing (PI) ESPA Open Access Grant £3000
  • 2012-2013 Prof J A Dearing (PI) ESPA EIRG Grant ‘Safe operating spaces for regional rural development: a new conceptual tool for evaluating complex socio-ecological dynamics’. £50000
  • 2012-2016 Prof J A Dearing Co-I ESPA Consortium Grant ‘Assessing health, livelihoods, ecosystem services and poverty alleviation in populous deltas (total ~£3.4M over four years; ~£91000 to co-I)
  • 2012 Prof J A Dearing (PI) Past Global Changes IPO Workshop grant ‘Regional boundaries’. $5000
  • 2012 Prof J A Dearing (PI) International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme IPO Workshop grant ‘Regional boundaries’. €3500
  • 2010-2012 Prof J A Dearing (PI), Prof T P Dawson, Mr R Treves, Prof P Sillitoe, Prof Yang Xiangdong, Prof Zhang Weiguo NERC/DfID ESPA ‘Poverty and Ecology: developing a new evolutionary approach’. £249 743
  • 2010 Prof J A Dearing IGBP Past Global Change IPO, Workshop grant ‘Regional Integration’. $10000
  • 2010 Prof D Sear, Prof J A Dearing (co-PI), Dr P Bates NERC Urgency Award ‘Impacts for Cumbrian floods’. £59525
  • 2008-2012 Prof J A Dearing, Visiting International Expert at East China Normal University, Shanghai, ‘Sustainability of Water Resources in Estuarine and Coastal Environment’. £88000
Research team: students, post-doctoral researchers and visitors
  • Dr Sarah Pogue – NERC PhD completed 2015
  • Caio de Araujo Barbosa - PhD 2013-2016
  • Sarwar Hossain Sohel - NERC/ESRC PhD 2012-2015
  • Laura Crossley – Wessex Water/UoS PhD
  • Gregory Cooper – DECCMA PhD 2014–2017
  • Sarah Spinney – DECCMA PhD 2014-2017
  • Dr David Armstrong McKay – IfLS project 2015-2016
  • Sida Zhuang - Msc research project 2015-2016
  • Dr Rong Wang – visitor Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology 2015-2016
  • Yanjie Zhao - PhD 2017-2021
  • Roseanna Mayfield - PhD 2016-2021

Research group

Landscape Dynamics and Ecology (LDE)

Affiliate research group

Environmental Change and Sustainability (ECaS)

Research project(s)

ESPA Poverty and Ecology

ESPA Deltas

Ecosystem Canaries: biodiversity measures as early warning signals

Safe operating spaces for regional rural development: a new conceptual tool for evaluating complex socio-ecological system dynamics

Belmont Forum DELTAS

Deltas, Vulnerability & Climate Change: Migration & Adaptation

University roles

2014 Acting Deputy Head Resources and Infrastructure

2012-2013 Research Director, Geodata Institute

2008- co-Chair, USRG, Sustainability Science at Southampton

2007-2012 Co-Director, Geography Graduate school

Recent national/international roles

2008-2013 Panel SH3, European Research Council

2008-2013 UK IGBP Committee

2010-2013 IGBP Past Global Changes (PAGES) Executive Committee

2008-2014 IGBP Past Global Changes (PAGES) Science Steering Committee

2006- IGBP Chair, Past Global Changes (PAGES) Focus 4 ‘Past Human-Climate-Ecosystem Interactions’ (PHAROS)

2006- IGBP-IHDP ‘Integrated History and Future of Peoples on Earth ‘(IHOPE) Steering Committee

Fellowships, prizes and visiting positions

2014 The Murchison Award given by the Royal Geographical Society, London

2014 Visiting Professorship for Senior International Scientists, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology

2008-2012 Visiting International Expert, ECNU, Shanghai

2005-2006 Visiting Research Professor, ISTO University of Orléans

1992 The Gordon Warwick Award given by the British Geomorphological Research Group

1990 Visiting Research Fellow ANSTO, Sydney

1979-1980 Royal Society Post-Doctoral Fellowship, University of Lund, Sweden.

Emeritus Professor John Dearing
University of Southampton University Road Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number : 44/2011

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