River Science

Our Research

Rivers satisfy multiple social needs in terms of resources and services. Yet, they are affected by a wide degree of human impacts, which reduce the environmental and societal services that rivers provide, and are often in need of restoration. Lincoln Centre for Water and Planetary Health is committed to tackling these issues in the interdisciplinary framework of “River Science”, which stands at the interface of geomorphology, ecology, engineering, and social sciences. Sustainable river management requires a paradigm that considers social-eco-hydro-morphological processes and feedbacks determining river functioning.

Sediment Process and Morphodynamics

Our aim is to characterise the complex relationships between sediment sources at the basin scale, connectivity, sediment fluxes, and river morphodynamics, and to quantify the impact of human interventions on fluvial dynamics.

Ecological Functioning of Riverine Ecosystems

Lincoln Centre for Water and Planetary Health aims to characterise the biodiversity of rivers and to understand how fluvial processes affect and are affected by fauna and flora at multiple scales.

Rivers and Society

Our research aims to determine human perceptions and aesthetic preferences towards several natural and artificial elements related to river systems, in order to understand the role of rivers in the collective identities of communities.

Rivers and Natural Hazards

LCWPH is working to develop a series of robust and practical tools for analysing flood hazards and risks associated also with vegetation and large wood in rivers.

Rivers and Energy

Rivers are a source of energy. In many countries the challenge is to rank potential sites for future developments considering ecological values and services.

Floodplain Sedimentary Archives

We aim to reconstruct multi-centennial length flood histories and undertake long-term flood frequency analysis by incorporating historical and palaeoflood data into flood series, and considering climate and land-use changes and the modification of channel capacity.

Key Personnel and Expertise

Dr Luca Mao - River processes and ecology

Professor Mark Macklin - River Systems and Global Environmental Change

Dr Dilkushi de Alwis Pitts - Spatial analysis and remote sensing

Dr Harriet Moore - River restoration and environmental behaviour

Dr Joseph Harwood - Analytical Geochemistry, sedimentology

Josephine Westlake - Hydrology, Geomorphology, Geophysical Hazards

Publications (with LCWPH affiliation)


Team Member  Publication
Luca Mao 

Carvalho Carneiro de Mendonça B, Mao L, Belletti B (2021) Spatial scale determines how the morphological diversity relates with river biological diversity. Evidence from a mountain river in the central Chilean Andes. Geomorphology 

372, 107447, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2020.107447. 

Mark Macklin 

Davies, Peter, Lawrence, Susan, Turnbull, Jodi, Rutherfurd, Ian, Grove, James, Silvester, Ewen and Macklin, Mark (2020) Mining Modification of River Systems: A case study from the Australian Gold Rush. Geoarchaeology . ISSN 1520-6548 


Fuller, IC, Macklin, Mark, Toonen, WHJ, Turner, J and Norton, K (2019) A 2000 year record of palaeofloods in a volcanically-reset catchment: Whanganui River, New Zealand. Global and Planetary Change, 181 (10298). ISSN 0921-8181 


Grove, J, Turnbull, J, Lawrence, S, Davies, P, Rutherfurd, I, Silvester, E, Colombi, F and Macklin, Mark (2019) Mining to mud: a multidisciplinary approach to understanding Victoria’s riverine landscape as a product of historical gold mining. Preview, 200 . pp. 44-56. ISSN 1443-2471 


Longfield, Sean, Faulkner, Duncan, Kjeldsen, Thomas, Macklin, Mark, Jones, Anna, Foulds, Simon, Brewer, Paul and Griffiths, Hywel (2019) Incorporating sedimentological data in UK flood frequency estimation. Journal of Flood Risk Management . ISSN 1753-318X 


Macklin MG, Lewin, J (2019) River stresses in anthropogenic times: Large-scale global patterns and extended environmental timelines. Progress in Physical Geography: Earth and Environment 43(1), 3-23.  


Wilem, Bruno, Canovas, Juan Antonio Ballesteros, Macdonald, Neil, Toonen, Willem H J, Baker, Victor, Barriendos, Mariano, Benito, Gerardo, Brauer, Achim, Corella, Juan Pablo, Denniston, Rhawn, Glaser, RudigerIonita, Monica, Kahle, Michael, Liu, taoLuetscher, Marc, Macklin, Mark, Mudelsee, Manfred, Munoz, Samuel, Schulte, Lothar, St. George, Scott, Stoffel, Markus and Wetter, Oliver (2018) Interpreting historical, botanical, and geological evidence to aid preparations for future floods. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, 6 (1). ISSN 1939-5078 


Briant, Rebecca M, Cohen, Kim M, Cordier, Stephane, Demoulin, Alain J A G, Macklin, Mark, Mather, Anne E, Rixhon, Gilles, Veldkamp, Tom, Wainwright, John, Whittaker, Alex and Wittmann, Hella (2018) Applying Pattern Oriented Sampling in current fieldwork practice to enable more effective model evaluation in fluvial landscape evolution research. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 43 (14). pp. 2964-2980. ISSN 0197-9337 


Panyushkina, Irina P., Meko, D. M., Macklin, M. G., Toonen, W. H. J., Mukhamadiev, N. S., Konovalov, V. G., Ashikbaev, N. Z. and Sagitov, A. O. (2018) Runoff variations in Lake Balkhash Basin, Central Asia, 1779-2015, inferred from tree rings. Climate Dynamics, 51 (7-8). pp. 3161-3177. ISSN 0930-7575 


Fuller, Ian C., Macklin, Mark G., Toonen, Willem H. J. and Holt, Katherine A. (2018) Storm-generated Holocene and historical floods in the Manawatu River, New Zealand. Geomorphology, 310 . pp. 102-124. ISSN 0169-555X 


Byrne P, Hudson-Edwards KA, Bird G, Macklin MG, et al. (2018) Water quality impacts and river system recovery following the 2014 Mount Polley mine tailings dam spill, British Columbia, Canada. Applied Geochemistry 91, 64-74. 


Davies, P, Lawrence, S, Turnbull, J, Rutherford, I, Grove, J, Silvester, E, Baldwin, D and Macklin, Mark (2018) Reconstruction of historical riverine sediment production on the goldfields of Victoria, Australia. Anthropocene, 21 . pp. 1-15. ISSN 2213-3054 


Clement, A. J. H., Novakova, T., Hudson-Edwards, K.A., Fuller, I.C., Macklin, Mark, Fox, E.G. and Zapico, I. (2017) The environmental and geomorphological impacts of historical gold mining in the Ohinemuri and Waihou river catchments, Coromandel, New Zealand. Geomorphology, 295 . pp. 159-175. ISSN 0169-555X 


Lam, Daryl, Thompson, Chris, Croke, Jacky, Sharma, Ashneel and Macklin, Mark (2017) Reducing uncertainty with flood frequency analysis: the contribution of palaeoflood and historical flood information. Water Resources Research, 53 (3). pp. 2312-2327. ISSN 1944-7973 


Toonen WHJ, Foulds SA, Macklin MG et al. (2017) Events, episodes and phases: Signal from noise in flood-sediment archives. Geology 45(4), 331-334. 


Naylor, Larissa A., Spencer, Tom, Lane, Stuart N., Darby, Stephen E., Magilligan, Francis J., Macklin, Mark G. and Moller, Iris (2017) Stormy geomorphology: geomorphic contributions in an age of climate extremes. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 42 (1). pp. 166-190. ISSN 0197-9337 


Team Member  Project 
Luca Mao   
Harriet Moore    
Mark Macklin  Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (New Zealand) Endeavour Fund award to Professor I C Fuller, Professor M G Macklin and Dr ST McColl for “Smarter Targeting of Erosion” $750,000 (New Zealand Dollars) 
Dilkushi de Alwis Pitts    
Joseph Harwood   
Josephine Westlake   Improving flood risk assessment in the Yorkshire Ouse river using documentary and floodplain sedimentary archives (LCWPH-funded PhD studentship)  

Contact Us

Department of Geography, College of Health and Science
University of Lincoln, Think Tank, Ruston Way, Lincoln, LN6 7DW

Tel: +44(0)1522 835820