Professor Dan Parsons

PhD Sheffield; PCHE Sheffield

Pronouns: He/him
  • Professor in Geosciences & PVC - Research and Innovation
Hi there! My name is Dan and I am a Professor in Geosciences and Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at Loughborough University.
Prior to this role I was the founding Director of the Energy and Environment Institute here at the University of Hull. I completed my PhD at The University of Sheffield in 2004 before moving to work on a NERC funded Post-Doctoral Research Assistant post in Earth Sciences at the University of Leeds. In 2005 I was awarded a NERC Research Fellowship, which allowed me to follow my own independent research programme for 3 years. Following the completion of my Fellowship term, I spent a year at the USGS Hydroacoustics Office and the Department of Geology at the University of Illinois, USA, before returning to Leeds in 2010 to take up a Lectureship post in Earth System Science at the School of Earth and Environment. In 2011 I moved east down the M62 to the University of Hull, where I held a Personal Chair as Professor in Process Sedimentology.


I am actively researching in several areas related to fluvial, estuarine, coastal and deep marine sedimentology. My research focuses on the interaction between fluid flows and mobile sediment, using a process based approach that combines fieldwork, laboratory experimentation and numerical modelling. I am keen on techniques and methodological innovations that enhance substantive understanding of the processes within the field of sedimentology. I teach on modules that align with my research, enabling me to bring cutting-edge research into the lecture theatre, practical or field class. You can find out about my current and recent research projects and my teaching interests on my personal website, where you can also find a complete list and download information on my publications, and also a fuller biography and CV.

I teach in climate change science, sedimentology and sedimentary environments, and flood hazard and risk.

PhD's - Selection completed
  • Saphia Fluey 2022, Climate change, migration and forced labour
  • Florence Halstead 2022, Children's perceptions of flood hazard and risk
  • Freija Mendrik 2022, Plastics transport in riverine systems
  • Chloe Morris 2020, Coastal spit dynamics
  • Hao Hu 2018, Estuarine channel roughness
  • Xuxu Wu 2017, Tidal bedforms, influence of combined flows
  • Claire Keevil, 2016, Tidal bedform dynamics;
  • Leiping Ye 2015, Cohesion and bedform dynamics
  • Chris Unsworth 2015, Bedforms in unsteady flows
  • Kevin Woodbridge, 2014, River dynamics due to tectonic folding
  • Nic Yin 2014, Modelling bedrock scour processes
  • Tao Wei 2012, Turbidity flows at slope breaks

See Google Scholar for up to date listing - but recent highlights include:



  • Hage, S., Galy, V.V., Cartigny, M.J.B., Acikalin, S., Clare, M.A., Gröcke, D.R., Hilton, R.G., Hunt, J.E., Lintern, D.G., McGhee, C.A. and Parsons, D.R., (2020) Efficient preservation of young terrestrial organic carbon in sandy turbidity current deposits. Geology. 48 (9): 882–887.
  • Cisneros, J., Best, J., Van Dijk, T., de Almeida, R.P., Amsler, M., Boldt, J., Freitas, B., Galeazzi, C., Huizinga, R., Ianniruberto, M. and Parsons, D.R., (2020) Dunes in the world’s big rivers are characterized by low-angle lee-side slopes and a complex shape. Nature Geoscience, 13(2), pp.156-162.
  • Azpiroz-Zabala, M., Cartigny, M.J., Talling, P.J., Parsons, D.R., et al. (2017) Newly recognized turbidity current structure can explain prolonged flushing of submarine canyons. Science Advances, 3(10), p.e1700200.
  • Parsons, D.R. et al. (2016) The role of bio-physical cohesion on subaqueous bedform size: Geophysical Research Letters.
  • Darby, S.E., Hackney, C.R., Leyland, J., Kummu, M., Lauri, H., Parsons, D.R., Best, J.L., Nicholas A.P., and Aalto, R. (2016) Fluvial sediment supply to a mega-delta reduced by shifting tropical-cyclone activity, Nature 539, 276–279.