Research

Topographic Analysis

A primary theme of my research is the analysis of high resolution topographic data which has motivated my work on the LSDTopoTools project where I have developed algorithms to quantify hillslope properties, route flow across surfaces, compute basin average metrics and calculate rates of topographic shielding for decaying cosmic ray particles.

Sediment Flux

My research has demonstrated a clear link between the nature of hillslope sediment transport and topographic form, where the relationship between hillslope length and relief can be used as a diagnostic test to distinguish between models of sediment flux and to identify the critical gradient of a landscape.

Slope stability

I work on understanding the spatial and temporal distribution of landslides both in the UK and in the Appalachian Mountains in the USA. Work with colleagues at Cardiff University has demonstrated that the rate of soil accumulation controls landslide hazard in humid mountain ranges. I have also worked in the UK on modeling landslide hazard along infrastructure corridors, where I developed methods to better link discrete upslope hazard probabilities to downslope infrastructure features such as roads and rail lines.

Open Research

I am committed to performing open source research, and all of my research software can be found on github. I have a particular interest in the use of computational techniques to generate new scientific insights from open access datasets and directly from the scientific literature through text and data mining techniques.

Novel Computational Methods

I have developed a python package, spatial-efd, to support geoscientists in performing elliptical Fourier analysis of features stored in shapefiles. This method allows the averaging of a collection of contours or the generalization of complex shapes within either geographic or normalized coordinate systems.