Academic career

2021-2024: NERC KE Fellow, multi-hazard risk.
2021 - : Reader in Natural Hazard Risk
2018-2020: NERC KE Fellow, Insurance Sector.
2010-2020: Lecturer & Senior Lecturer in GIS, Loughborough University                                       
2008-2010: Catastrophe Modeller (Natural Hazards), Zurich Insurance Plc.     
2005-2008: Bibby Research Fellow, St Catharine's College, Cambridge   

Professional responsibilities

2019-: Associate Editor of EGU's Geoscience Communication
2016-2019: Editorial board of Heliyon (Elsevier)
2011-2016: Nuffield STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) outreach Ambassador.
2010-2014: Programme committee member for Geomorphology section of EGU.

Prizes and awards

2017: Loughborough University ‘Research Informed Teaching Award’
2012: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

John is a geologist and physical geographer who uses numerical methods to model both the physics and statistics of active and Quaternary Earth processes. His aim is to gain fundamental insights into these processes, and to probabilistically quantify hazards and risk. His geomorphological work develops algorithms and novel methods, and typically provides the primary observational constraint in his work. In conjunction with the insurance industry, John's work on catastrophes aims to better understand the perils and methods to quantify them. Current research interests include:

  • Dynamics and mechanics of ice flow (e.g., how bedforms might allow ice sheets to flow faster)
  • Catastrophe modelling (i.e., risk, hazard and GIS)
  • Pacific volcanoes and deep Earth processes

John's teaching is mainly in the area of natural hazards, risk and catastrophe modelling. The hazards include floods, wind storms, storm surges, shrink-swell subsidence, cold and snow. The sub-topics he is particularly excited by include impact on networks (e.g. roads), critical infrastructure, and how the hazards may (or may not) be inter-related to each other in how they occur.

John is also involved in teaching Earth surface processes, field trips, and quantitative methods. He believes that integrating quantitative methods in pragmatic and interesting ways into learning allows students to become numerically confident and desirable employees.

PhD students

Current postgraduate research students

  • Meaghan Dinney (2021 - ): Esker Morphogenesis
  • Henry Wells (2021-): UNSEEN, most extreme, severe convective storms
  • Josh Thompson (2021-): Evaluating physical climate risks to the financial sector.
  • Krescencja Podgorska (2019 - ): Deadly climate hazards combined: Tropical Cyclones and Deadly Heat.

Recent postgraduate research students

  • Paolo De Luca (2019) "Interacting UK Hazards – Impacts and Origins"
  • Michael Walz (2018) "Hazard Uncertainty and related damage potentials of extra-tropical cyclones (HURD-ETC)"
  • Corstanza Morinio (2018) "The hidden hazard of melting ground-ice in Northern Iceland"
  • Chrisina Caballero (2018) "Critical coastal infrastructure and climate change adaptation"
  • Benjamin Postance (2017) "Future climates - Understanding how the failure of engineered slopes impact UK transport networks"