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Professor of Physical Geography, University of New England

Dr Thoms is the Chair of Geography and Planning and Professor of Physical Geography at the University of New England. His interdisciplinary research focuses on freshwater ecosystems, their responses to environmental change and these effects on human communities. He has developed/participated in many interdisciplinary national and international collaborations with research institutions, government departments and industry organisations. This has delivered new approaches and tools to study and manage freshwater as Social-Ecological Systems; including the development of environmental flow policies for the United Nations in Lesotho and strategic management plans to enable sustainable river systems for the Murray Darling Basin Authority. Currently he is a science advisor to the USEPA and USGS on issues of river health.

He has over 350 research publications in leading science journals such as PNAS, Freshwater Science and JNABA and has attracted >$40m in research funding. Currently, he is regional editorial of River Research and Applications and is on the editorial board of five other international scientific journals. He is a reviewer or panel member for many grant bodies, including ARC, US NSF, European Science Committee, the NZ Marsden Grants and is a regular reviewer for more than 20 journals including Science and Water Resources Research. He was a founding member and President of the International Society for River Science; and has served as secretary of the International Association of Hydrological Science.


  • 2009–2021
    Chair professor, Geography and Planning
  • 2009–2021
    Professor, Physical Geography


  • 1989 
    Loughborough University, UK, PhD