School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences

At a glance

Professor Nick Clifford MA, PhD (Cantab)

Photo of Professor Nick Clifford

Dean of the School

Nick Clifford joined Loughborough in July 2016 as Professor of Geography and Dean of the School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences.

He graduated with first class honours and the Philip Lake Prize for physical geography from the University of Cambridge and went on to complete both a PGCE (with distinction) and a PhD there in 1990.

He became a Chartered Geographer in 2005 and, since 2011, he has focused on deploying his wide academic experience in leadership and management roles, with a focus on performance, strategic investment and transition.

He is an alumnus of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he gained Executive Core Qualifications in Leading Change and Leading People, and between 2010-2016, he served as both Head of Department of Geography and Acting Director of the School of Global Affairs at King’s College London.

Nick has produced more than 150 scientific works and conference presentations spanning river science and management, and commentaries on geographical thought, methods and education. His research expertise is strongly reflected in his international appointments and advisory roles: he is currently Managing Editor of Progress in Physical Geography, and series editor for the SAGE Library of the Environment major works series. He also serves on the editorial board of River Research and Applications. Nick maintains also maintains an active presence in geographical education, editing leading texts Key Concepts in Geography and Key Methods in Geography, and he is one of four editors in the Editorial Collective for Geography.

In 2005, he was Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, and he was Distinguished Visiting Professor at University College Dublin 2010 – 2013. He has given many invited addresses to audiences such as the Association of American Geographers annual meeting, the International Geographical Union and the International Geomorphology Association.

In 2010-11, Nick was President of the British Science Association (Geography Section) and he has also served as a member of the International Association of Geomorphologists’ Working Group on Earth Systems Science; as a Programme Committee member for the International Association of Science and Development in the areas of environmental modelling and simulation; and as Deputy International Programme Director for the Universitas 21 research initiative, 'Water Futures for Sustainable Cities'. He is a Council Member of the Indian Institute for Bio-Social Research and Development (Kolkata) and Director of the UK River Restoration Centre. Nick was invited as an original member of NERC's Peer Review College; he has served on NERC Moderating Panels, the NERC Fellowship Committee, the NERC Sustainable Use of Natural Resources Strategic Development Panel, and as the Academic Director of the NERC Virtual Observatory for the Environment five-day sandpit. He was NERC Panel Member for the Changing Water Cycle Programme in both the UK and India (2011 – 12), and was appointed (2012-13) as one of two UK scientists to the Belmont Forum/G8 Heads of Research Councils Panel of Experts, to consider applications to the International Opportunities Fund on Freshwater Security and Coastal Vulnerability, meeting in London and Washington DC.

In 2014, he twice served as reviewer with the British Council Global Innovation Initiative, and was also a member of the EPSRC panel, Living with Environmental Change and Mathematical Science theme.

In 2015, he was a planner and participant in the Common Purpose and Commonwealth Study Conferences Senior Leaders Programme, focusing on Smart cities and the environmental, cultural and community roles of urban waterscapes.