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Professor of Soil Science, Lancaster University

John is passionate about soil, the brown gold that underpins our very survival on the planet, but which most people take for granted.

He has spent the last 30 years working on understanding and predicting the soil erosion processes that degrade soil functions, soil monitoring, how we can protect soils better and how soils can be managed to mitigate flooding and the pollution of surface waters. He co-leads of LEC's Sustainable Soils Research Group.

His published work includes over 100 refereed journal papers, including one of the most cited papers on soil erosion describing the European Soil Erosion model (EUROSEM). More recent highly cites papers examine the global linkages between soil erosion and the cycling of nutrients and carbon, the effects of vegetation on soil physical properties, new methods for monitoring and tracing soil erosion and a new body of work exploring the lifespan of soils.

Liking to maintain an applied element to his research, John has been working on solutions to soil and water protection. These include an investigation into the impact of soil management on soil and nutrient losses and the use of wetlands to trap sediment before it reaches surface waters.


  • –present
    Professor, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University