Helen Rendell

Professor Helen Rendell

PhD (University College London)

  • Emeritus Professor of Physical Geography

Academic career

  • 1999 onwards: Professor of Physical Geography, Loughborough University.
  • 1975-1999: Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader, Professor, University of Sussex.

My current research is focused around contemporary processes and the reconstruction of past processes and environments and includes:

  1. the impacts of extreme meteorological events on landscapes and society and how both the events and their impacts have changed over time. These events include extreme rainfall, droughts and high winds. Recent work in the Mediterranean highlights the impact of winter droughts on badland erosion, while the impact of Atlantic storminess on coastal dunes and historic sand drift has been explored in Western Europe and at the level of landed estates in Britain and Ireland.
  2. the reconstruction of past environments and environmental change during the Holocene. Recent work includes the reconstruction of coastal change in Central Italy during the period of classical Rome and the palaeoenvironments of the River Trent in central England during the Iron Age.

Recent projects include AHRC-funded investigations of the Roman archaeology and geomorphology of the Laurentine Shore (Rome's Maritime Facade), and a British Academy small grant: ‘This restless enemy of all fertility’: storms, sand invasion and coastal management strategies in Britain and Ireland 1700-1950.


  • Year 1: Earth System Science: Tutorials.
  • Year 2: Exploring the Ice Ages.
  • Final Year: Dissertation.

Postgraduate taught

  • Research Design.

Recent postgraduate research students

  • Anne Montreuil (2012): Aeolian Dune Development and Evolution on a Macro-tidal Coast with a complex Wind regime.
  • Andrew Bickett (2010): Reconstructing the Holocene Coastal Development of the Laurentine Shore, Lazio, Italy.
  • Fiona Brown (2010): Lake Holozene Environmental change at Castel Porziano.
  • Jeong Bae Son (2009): Nationalism and Reunification: A study of the Inter-Korean Area.
  • Lynda Howard (2008): The use of Sub-fossil Aquatic insects to Reconstruct River flows and habitats within the River Trent Catchment.

Selected publications