Research

Mission 1:  Provide excellent internationally- recognised water science, technology and policy research

Changing climate and rainfall patterns, growing global populations, shifting land use patterns and increasing water consumption: the wide variety of experts operating across disciplines means water@leeds can rise to these challenges.

The water@leeds research community are inspired by the global and regional grand challenges for water. Addressing major research questions through the provision of coordination support, creation of an intellectually stimulating environment, promotion of activities and appointment of outstanding staff to deliver world-leading research, will help to realise our core aims of delivering impact to varied end-users.

Research Highlights 2018

  • water@leeds members have given written 35 book chapters and published 428 articles in academic journals
  • Mapping the global impact of shrinking glaciers on river invertebrates – An international team of scientists published their findings regarding the response of more than one million river invertebrates in diverse regions with shrinking glaciers to determine the impact of global environmental change. Lead author Professor Lee Brown (School of Geography) and his co-authors combined data on river invertebrates collected from over 170 sites in nine mountain ranges, spanning three continents and both hemispheres.
  • Wastewater treatment plants are a key source of river microplastics – In one of the first studies to determine potential sources of microplastic pollution, researchers led by Dr Paul Kay (School of Geography) found a link between wastewater treatment plants and contamination in rivers—up to three times higher on average.
  • New research aims to protect communities at risk from flooding – An innovative project plans to demonstrate that landscape restoration could protect at-risk upland communities from flash flooding. Professor Joseph Holden (School of Geography) is co-investigator on the Natural Environment Council (NERC) funded project, which will investigate natural flood management methods for protecting communities at risk from steep upland streams and rivers.
  • Congo River users Hydrology and Morphology (CRuHM) – CRuHM is a Royal Society-DFID funded research capacity building project focused on the Congo River (2016-2021). Dr Mark Trigg (School of Civil Engineering) leads the consortium in undertaking large-scale fundamental hydrology, hydraulic and geomorphological science research on the main navigable channels of the Congo River.
  • The Deluge in Romantic poetryBritish Romantic Writing and Environmental Catastrophe is the first major investigation of environmental catastrophe in Romantic writing. Dr David Higgins (PI) and Dr Tess Somervell (School of English) works on the cultural history of the Deluge and representations of flooding in English literature.

A list of current projects and research sub-groups can be found in this section. More information can be found in the water@leeds Annual Report.