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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science
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Dr Jo Nield 

Associate Professor in Aeolian Geomorphology

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Dr Jo Nield is an Associate Professor in aeolian geomorphology, my research focuses on understanding key controls on sediment transport in dusty and sandy environments through innovative field measurements and computer simulation algorithms.

I obtained a BE (Civil and Environmental Engineering) and a BSc (Physical and Inorganic Chemistry) at the University of Adelaide in 2001 and completed a PhD at the same University in 2006, entitled ‘Equilibrium Morphological Modelling in Coastal and River Environments: The Development and Application of Self-Organisation- and Entropy-Based Techniques’.

Before joining the University of Southampton in 2007 I undertook an 18 month postdoc in the Department of Geography at King's College London, with Andreas Baas, supported by a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) grant to develop a Discrete ECogeomorphic Aeolian Landscape model (DECAL)

Research interests

The core of my research as an aeolian geomorphologist centres on furthering scientific knowledge and understanding of two key controls of sediment transport and dune mobility in aeolian environments, namely vegetation and surface moisture. To do this I develop and apply a number of innovative techniques that focus on the use of terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) to obtain field measurements at a high spatial and temporal resolution, in conjunction with the formulation of computer simulation algorithms to model system response to long-term climate and environmental perturbations. My current research is funded by the Royal Society, National Geographic Society, EPSRC, NERC, Royal Geographical Society, the British Society for Geomorphology and the World University Network.

Specific Projects

  • Investigation of patterns in vegetated aeolian environments
  • Quantifying surface moisture influences on aeolian transport
  • Modelling landscape development in vegetated aeolian environments
  • Modelling surface moisture and aeolian sedimentation feedback
  • Surface roughness estimation for glacier mass balance modelling using Terrestrial Laser Scanning
  • Quantifying spatial and temporal changes in salt pan surface roughness for improved dust emission predictions
  • Barchan dune dynamics


Research group

Landscape Dynamics and Ecology (LDE)

Research project(s)

High-resolution and Spatially-distributed Surface Roughness Estimation for Glacier Mass Balance Modelling Using Terrestrial Laser Scanning

Investigation of Vegetated Roughness Element Influence on Aeolian Processes in Semi-arid Environments

BSc Programme Leader

Associate Editor, Aeolian Research

Dr Jo Nield
University of Southampton University Road Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number : 44/2051

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