Prof Robert Nicholls
Prof Robert Nicholls (Engineering & Environment)
Dr Ivan Haigh (Ocean and Earth Science)












Teaching Staff

Prof Carl Amos  – Ocean and Earth Science

Prof Lisa McNeil – Ocean and Earth Science

Dr Gerald Muller – Engineering and the Environment

Dr Derek Clarke – Engineering and the Environment

Dr Max Barton – Engineering and the Environment

Dr Malcolm Hudson –  Engineering and the Environment

Dr Charlie Thompson – Ocean and Earth Science

Dr Kate Parks –  Engineering and the Environment

Dr Gustavo A.M. de Almeida –  Engineering and the Environment

Dr Hachem Kassem – Ocean and Earth Science

Prof Ian Townend   – Ocean and Earth Science

Dr Andres Garcia Payo –  Engineering and the Environment


Prof. Robert Nicholls (Faculty of Engineering and the Environment)robert_nicholls.jpg_SIA - JPG - Fit to Width_144_true

Professor of Coastal Engineering

Co director of the MsC, Co-ordinator of ‘CENV6126 Coastal Morphodynamics‘ and project supervisor on ‘CENV6143 Research Project

Robert Nicholls is Professor of Coastal Engineering, Deputy Head of School (Research) and Co-Director of the University-wide Centre for Coastal Processes, Engineering and Management. Currently, he is Programme Leader of the coastal research theme in Phase II of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and is contributing to the OECD study of “Climate Impacts for Port Cities” “(main report)”, NERC QUEST Programme “Global Scale Impacts Study” and he will conduct the coastal assessments in the EU-funded “Climate Costs”. He is also contributing to the EA/DEFRA Research project on Coastal Geomorphology. He participated in the influential and widely-cited DEFRA-funded “Fast Track” assessments as the coastal expert, led the SURVAS Project which reviewed vulnerability of coastal zones around the world from 1999 to 2001. He was a lead investigator on the DINAS-COAST Project which lead to the development of the DIVA tool for sub-national to global vulnerability assessment. He has also provided expertise to national assessments such as the Office of Science and Technology Foresight Flood and Coastal Defence Assessment and the supplementary Pitt Review (published 2008), and international assessments such as the GEF-funded ‘Caribbean: Planning for Adaptation to global Climate Change’, as well as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (see below). He was lead author of chapters in four reports of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) (awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007): Second Assessment Report (1996); the Regional Assessment (1998); the Special Report on Technology Transfer (2000); and the Third Assessment Report (2001), and has just finished being convening lead author for the “Coastal Systems and Low-Lying Areas” chapter in the IPCC 4th assessment (published 2007). He is an Associate Editor of Journal of Coastal Research and ICE Civil Engineering.  He also leads the University of Southampton involvement in the Erasmus Mundus MSc Coastal and Marine Engineering and Management (CoMEM),which is lead by Delft University of Technology and also involves NTNU (Trondheim), UPC (Barcelona) and City University (London).

His main technical areas of interest are long-term coastal engineering and management, especially the issues of coastal impacts and adaptation to climate change, with an emphasis on sea-level rise. Particular interests include: 1. Coastal implications of climate change: impacts and responses. 2. Integrated assessment of coastal areas 3. Large-scale coastal morphological behaviour 4. Soft coastal engineering 5. Shoreline management.

Prof Carl Amos (Ocean and Earth Science)cla8_0

Professor in Coastal Morphodynamics and Sediment Dynamics

Co-director of the MsC Degree, Co-ordinator of ‘SOES3014 Coastal Sediment Dynamics

Professor Amos has made significant and balanced contributions to the University in scientific leadership through research into the fundamental processes governing sediment transport. He has demonstrated strong leadership skills in coordinating and undertaking major research projects in tidally-dominated coastal settings. His present interests include the development of instrumentation (benthic landers and benthic flumes) for in situ measurement of sediment stability in cohesive and non-cohesive sediments, which has reesulted in over 100 science publications in this field of study. He is presently involved in developing and calibrating a sediment transport model of Venice Lagoon (with the National research Council of Italy) for purposes of management of lagoonal habitats.


Dr Ivan Haigh (Ocean and Earth Science)

Lecturer in Coastal Oceanography

Co-director of the MsC, Co-ordinator of ‘SOES6011 Applied Sediment Dynamics‘ and project supervisor on ‘CENV6143 Research Project

In the last 10 years Ivan has worked on a wide range of projects in both industry and academia covering many different aspects of coastal oceanography, with a particular focus on sea-level rise and coastal flooding. After graduating from the University of Southampton in 2001, having studied oceanography and maths, he worked for 5 years as a numerical modelling consultant at ABP Marine Environmental Research. During this time he led several projects for the Environment Agency, looking at coastal flood risk along the UK south coast. He then undertook a PhD at the University of Southampton examining sea-level rise and extreme events around the UK. For the last three years, he was a research assistant professor at the Oceans Institute at the University of Western Australia, primarily assessing past and potential future changes in sea level and variability around Australia and worldwide. In April 2012 He joined the National Oceanography Centre Southampton as a lecturer in Coastal Oceanography.

Ivan’s main research interests are (i) assessing historic and determining future changes in mean and extreme sea levels at local, regional and global scales; and (ii) determining how to effectively translate global projections of absolute sea level rise down to regional and local scales in practical terms that will aid coastal managers and engineers inform flood and erosion risk-based management and for future planning. In this regard, he is interested in all aspects of sea level variations from time scales of minutes (ocean surface waves), hours (seiches, tides), days (storm surges), through to longer term changes (seasonal, inter-annual and longer-term changes in mean sea levels, lunar tidal cycles). He has experience in assessing observational datasets (i.e. tide gauge records, wave buoy data) and tide/surge and wave numerical modeling for short (forecasting, navigation) and long (coupling with climate models to assess past/present and potential future changes in storm surges, extreme sea levels and coastal flooding) term applications.

Prof Lisa McNiell (Ocean and Earth Science) Prof Lisa McNiell

Professor of Tectonics

Co-ordinator of ‘SOES6016 Introduction to marine geology‘ module

Primary current research interests are the active tectonics of subduction zones and continental rifts, and their associated geological hazards. Lisa’s research involves a range of methodologies, from tectonic geomorphology, paleoseismology and Quaternary dating methods onshore, to marine geophysics and ocean drilling offshore. Lisa has had extensive involvement with the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program in recent years, in particular with the NanTroSEIZE drilling project



Dr Gerald Muller (Faculty of Engineering and the Environment)

Associate Professor gerard muller

Co-ordinator of ‘CENV6128 Understanding Civil Engineering (hydraulics)‘, ‘CENV6123 – Coastal Flood Defence‘ and  ‘CENV6084 Coastal & Maritime Engineering and Energy‘ and project supervisor on ‘CENV6143 Research Project

Gerald Muller’s research can broadly be classified in two sections; namely the effect of waves on coastal structures and low head hydropower converters. In coastal engineering, I have investigated breaking wave induced loadings on coastal structures in model and field measurements as well as the propagation of wave impact induced pressures into cracks and fissures of blockwork structures and the loadings imposed on the deck of structures caused by down falling water masses. The propagation of impact pressures as pressure pulses could be demonstrated for the first time, and a numerical model for propagation was developed. The hitherto unknown loadings created by wave induced downfall were determined in large scale experiments conducted in the Large Wave tank in Hanover/Germany. This work was funded by the EU under MAST IV, by EPSRC under research contracts GR / M49755 and GR/R30600 and by the EC’s HYDRALAB project. The work on low head energy conversion focussed initially on water wheels; a detailed literature review and analysis and subsequent large scale experiments showed water wheels to have efficiencies of more than 80%, making them comparable to the most modern turbines. In addition, their effect on the environment and in particular the fish population appears to be minimal. Currently, the work has moved on to the development of a novel energy converter type, the Hydrostatic Energy Converter. This type of machine allows for the utilisation of hydropower with head differences of 0.5 to 2m and power ratings of 50 – 1000 kW; a so far practically unused resource. This work was funded by the European Commission’s Framework 7 project hylow ( ).

Dr Derek Clark (Faculty of Engineering and the Environment) derek_clarke.jpg_SIA - JPG - Fit to Width_144_true

Lecturer in Water Resources

Co-ordinator of  ‘CENV6123 – Coastal Flood Defence‘ and project supervisor on ‘CENV6143 Research Project

Derek’s research covers a range of topics in water use in the UK and overseas, including extreme events such as floods, water resources, shallow groundwater, soil-vegetation impacts on slope stability for roads and railways and the management of irrigation water delivery. Other interests include simulation of tides and floods in estuaries and the impact of sea level rise on flood risk, including sea level change implications for the UK’s New Nuclear Build programme. He led the team that wrote the first Windows version of CROPWAT, the Unted Nations’ standard design software for irrigation water use. He is an active member of the EPSRC funded CLIFFs project (Climate impact forecasting for slopes). He was also a developer of the TRL Microcomputer Accident Analysis Package MAAPfive. Derek has also worked in Egypt, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Australia, where as an invited research fellow he worked with CSIRO on the impact of large irrigation systems (especially wine production) on the water resources of the Murray Darling Basin. During several visits to Kazakhstan he worked with an EU funded team working with UNESCO on the history of irrigation in central Asia over the last 1400 years


Dr Malcolm Hudson (Engineering and the Environment)malcolm_hudson.jpg_SIA - JPG - Fit to Width_144_true

Lecturer in Environmental Sciences

Co-ordinator of ‘ENVS6028 – Environmental Impact Assessment

Malcolm is a applied ecologist working on interdisciplinary projects with a focus on the interactions between humans and natural systems. This spans both terrestrial and marine systems, and I work with ecologists, environmental modellers, chemists and social scientists. His PhD was in Environmental Sciences at Southampton investigating the effects of invasive species on coastal ecosystems.

Dr Charlie Thompson (Ocean and Earth Science)

Teaching and Research Fellow charlie

Charlie coordinates ‘SOES3014 Coastal Sediment Dynamics‘ and teaches on ‘CENV6126 Coastal Morphodynamics‘ and  is project supervisor on ‘CENV6143 Research Project

Charlie’s main research interests focus on experimental and processes based sediment dynamics. These include:

  • Measuring and predicting bed stability, sediment resuspension processes and dynamics in situ and in the laboratory.
  • Measurements of fluid and solid-transmitted stresses during sediment transport, with a focus on how mobile sediments erode the seabed, archaeological artifacts and skeletal remains.
  • Understanding the complex feedbacks between boundary layer dynamics, roughness and turbulence.

Dr Katherine Park  (Engineering and the Environment)kate_parks.jpg_SIA - JPG - Fit to Width_144_true

Senior Teaching Fellow

Co-ordinator of ‘CENV6139 Geographic Information System

I obtained my undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Southampton, and then a PGCE in KS2/3 science with the University of Exeter. After a short career as a primary school teacher, I moved to King’s College, London for my MSc in Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Management and remained at King’s for my PhD, where I completed my thesis under the supervision of Dr Mark Mulligan. Prior to joining the Centre For Environmental Sciences at the University of Southampton, I was a lecturer at Kingston University – working in their Centre for GIS.

My expertise lies in using GIS for environmental modelling and management, with a focus on tropical systems. My PhD research involved the development of a spatial implementation of a resource based model of geodiversity which can be used to examine the potential impact of climate change on resource regimes within tropical mountains and the robustness of the current protected area network. I have also been involved in a field-expedition gathering functional trait data of utilitarian tree species within Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar, with the aim of quantifying the value of utilitarian species within the national park and across Madagascar.

Dr Hachem Kassem  (Ocean and Earth Science)

Teaching Fellow in Coastal Morphodynamics &  GIS

Coordinates  ‘SOES6060 Key skills and applied coastal oceanography‘ , and teaches on ‘SOES3014 Coastal Sediment Dynamics‘, ‘SOES6011 Modelling Coastal Processes‘, and  is project supervisor on ‘CENV6143 Research Project

Hachem is currently a teaching fellow and a PhD student at theHachem_Severn University of Southampton. After a degree in Civil Engineering Hachem completed the Masters  in Engineering in the Coastal Environment at the University of Southampton (UoS), with Distinction, where he particiapted in the Barrier Dynamics Experiment II (BARDEX II), as part of data collection for his dissertation, and later PhD.

Hachem’s research focuses on the complex interactions between turbulence structures and sediment suspension in waves, currents, and combined flows. He employs prototype-scale experimental data, fieldwork measurements and numerical modelling.

Dr Gustavo A. M. de Almeida (Engineering and the Environment)

Lecturer in Water Engineering

Co-ordinates CENV6128 Understanding Civil Engineering (HydrauDr Gustavo A. M. de Almeida's photolics)

Gustavo de Almeida graduated in 2002 with a degree in Civil Engineering from Rio de Janeiro State University, Brazil. After spending a year in industry, he carried out research at UPC BarcelonaTech on the stability of non-continuous riprap in rivers, for which he was awarded a PhD in 2007. He then spent two years at The University of Newcastle (Australia) working on the development and application of a numerical model for river hydraulics and morphodynamics. From 2011 to 2013 he worked at the University of Bristol on the development of high-performance 2-D hydrodynamic models for flood propagation problems. In September 2013 he joined the University of Southampton as a Lecturer in Water Engineering.

Dr de Almeida’s current research interests are broadly in the fields of river hydraulics, morphodynamics and engineering. He particularly focuses on the development of methods that improve our ability to understand, predict and mitigate the consequences of floods.

Dr Andres Payo Garcia (Engineering and the Environment)

Research Fellow- Coastal System Modeller

Andres_samplingSwashZone Teaches on  ‘CENV6126 Coastal Morphodynamics

Dr Andres is a research Fellow at the Faculty of Engineering & the Environment, Energy and Climate Change of Southampton University and a Senior Research Associate at the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) of the Oxford University. His research focused upon the effects of human actions on, and the linkages among, risk of flooding and coastal erosion, morphological changes and responses to climate change, ecosystem structure and function and biogeochemical processes. His work spans a range of scales from hours to centuries and utilizes field and lab investigations, mathematical modelling, and theory development.



Prof Ian Townend (Ocean and Earth Science)

ian_townend.jpg_SIA - JPG - Fit to Width_144_true

Visiting Professor

Teaches on ‘SOES6011 Modelling Coastal Processes‘ and Project supervisor on ‘CENV6143 Research Project

Ian was Research Director at HR Wallingford with responsibility for the technical direction of the research agenda across the organisation. He previously spent 13 years as Managing Director of ABPmer and 18 years as a consultant with Sir William Halcrow & Partners.

Ian’s work is largely related to estuary and coastal systems and involves a wide range of interests including hydraulics, sediment transport, and geomorphology, as well as the associated habitats and ecosystems. My main research interest is currently the dynamic response of these systems to change.



Dr Sally Brown  (Engineering and the Environment)

Research Fellow


Project supervisor on ‘CENV6143 Research Project

Sally  is a Research Fellow in the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment. She is interested in coastal geomorphology, shoreline management the impacts of sea-level rise and climate change adaptation at local and global scales.  Her PhD analysed the engineering implications of eroding soft cliffs in England, where she undertook extensive research along the coasts of Christchurch Bay, Holderness and Norfolk.

Since 2008, her post-doctoral research has covered the impacts of sea-level rise, globally, European-wide, in Africa (using the Dynamic Interactive Vulnerability Assessment (DIVA) model), the Maldives and the Ganges/Brahmaputra delta. More recently she has been involved in climate change adaptation, leading a work package in an EU funding project (RISES-AM- ) where climate change adaptation is being analysed in a range of case study sites throughout Europe.

As part of the MSc ECE programme, Sally supervises dissertations. She is particularly keen to hear from students with an interest in coastal management, soft defences, geomorphology or coastal changes in the Maldives.



Dr Max Barton (Engineering and the Environment)(181) max barton


Project supervisor on ‘CENV6143 Research Project

Max Barton is an Engineering Geologist with experience in Geotechnics and Coastal Engineering. I have authored or part authored over 60 technical papers. My current research interests include the following. Landsliding and Slope Stability Coastal Erosion and Cliff Recession: processes & rates Climate Change and Sea Level Rise: past & future Strength & Stiffness of Natural Soils & Rocks Diagenetic Alteration of Sediments & its eng’ing significance Influence of Geological Structure on Geotechnical Behaviour.

Prof Ken Pye (Engineering and the Environment)


Visiting Professor

Teaches on  ‘CENV6126 Coastal Morphodynamics‘  ken pye

Professor Kenneth Pye is an internationally recognised environmental geoscientist who specialises in geomorphology and sedimentology with interfaces to other branches of the earth and environmental sciences, engineering, ecology, planning and environmental management. Much of his recent work has been related to environmental risk assessments associated with new nuclear power station development and renewable energy infrastructure, geo-engineering for habitat recreation, the impacts of climate and sea level change on coastal and estuarine environments, and coastal erosion and flood risk management.


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