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Extended Information

Orford, JProf. Julian Orford

Professor of Physical Geography
Head, School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology

Room G.06 (map)
School of Geography
Queen's University Belfast
Belfast BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland, UK

Tel: +44 (0)2890 975142
Fax: +44 (0)2890 321280
Int: +44 2890 975142


I started at Queen’s as a geography lecturer in 1977, after doing postgraduate research at Salford (MSc) and Reading (PhD), and demonstrating at Keele (where I also did my undergraduate degree in Geography and Sociology). I joined QUB to teach statistical methods, but I now concentrate on teaching coastal environments (210GGY330) both in terms of their physical development and their future use (coastal management). My initial coastal research concentrated on the dynamics and development of gravel beaches and barriers in Britain and eastern Canada, in particular with respect to sea-level changes. In the last decade I have been concerned with the response of a wide range of coastal morphology (barriers, dunes and marshes) to both sea-level change as well as to increased storminess related to climatic change, which has been funded primarily by the EU and NERC. This work has stimulated collaboration with the Environment and Heritage Service (NI), Countryside Council for Wales, DEFRA, Natural England and the Environment Agency over the future of the UK coastline. Collaborative research with other workers in Canada, the USA and other EU countries has led to the development of a wide international network of coastal scientists that has been of value to my graduate students at Belfast. These students have been working on Holocene coastal chronology, developing integrated approaches to CZM methodologies, examining recent coastal storminess and its impacts, Holocene/recent coastal erosion and deposition in open and closed drumlin archipelagos, recent estuary geochemistry and the latest, on the role of overwash in dune evolution. My contemporary interest into spatial and temporal mesoscale approaches to studying coastal development is currently focusing on the role of extreme events in coastal morphology in particular beach/dune interactions , and recently reconsidering the issue of barrier swash alignment as a measure of coastal stability for storm protection. This has practical applications with respect to work undertaken with the Environment Agency and British Energy on future scenarios for the UK coast.

Publications since 2000

Bradbury,A.P. and Orford, J.D., 2007 Influence of changing management regimes on the morphodynamic response, of a mixed gravel and sand barrier beach. Coastal Sediments ’07, New Orleans. Amer Soc Civ Engs., 492-505.

Orford, J.D. and Jennings, S.C. 2007 Variation in the organisation of gravel-dominated coastal systems: Evidence from Nova Scotia and Southern England. Coastal Sediments ’07, New Orleans. Amer Soc Civ Engs., 434-448.

Greenwood, R.O. and Orford, J.D. 2007 Factors controlling the retreat of drumlin coastal cliffs in a low energy marine environment – Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland. Journal of Coastal Research, 23:285-297.

Aagaard, T. Orford, J.D. and Murray, A.S.. 2007. Environmental controls on coastal dune formation; Skallingen Spit, Denmark. Geomorphology, 83: 29-47.

Orford,J.D., Pethick,J.S. and McFadden,L. 2007 Reducing the vulnerability of natural coastal systems – A UK perspective. In eds. McFadden,L., Nicholls, R.J., and Penning-Rowsell, E, Managing coastal vulnerability. Elsevier Publ., 177-194.

Orford, J.D. and Pethick, J.S. 2006 Challenging assumptions of coastal habitat formation in the 21st century. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 31, 1625-42.

Orford, J.D., Murdy,J. and Freel, R. 2006 Developing constraints on the relative sea-level curve for the north-east of Ireland from the mid-Holocene to the present day. Phil Trans Roy Soc A. 364: 857-866.

Orford, J.D. 2005 The controls on late-Holocene coastal dune formation on leeside coasts of the British Isles. Zeitscrift fur Geomorphologie. Supp Band 141; 135-152.

Orford, J.D. 2005 ‘Gravel barriers’. 2005 In Schwartz, M. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Coastal Sciences, Kluwer Acad. 491-492.

Orford, J.D. 2005 Coastal Environments. In eds. Fookes, P.G., Lee, E.M. & Milligan, G. Geomorphology for Engineers. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Ch 21: 576-602.

Betts, N., Orford, J.D., White, D. & Graham, C. 2004 Storminess and Surges in the South-Western Approaches of the Eastern North Atlantic: The Synoptic Climatology of Recent Extreme Coastal Storms. Marine Geology, 210, 227-246.

Orford, J.D., Murdy, J. and Wintle, A. 2003 Prograded Holocene beach-ridges with superimposed dunes in north-east Ireland: mechanisms and timescales of fine and coarse beach sediment decoupling and deposition. Marine Geology, 194. 47-64.

Orford, J.D., Jennings, S.C. and Pethick, J. 2003 Extreme storm effect on gravel-dominated barriers. Coastal Sediments’03. In Davis, R.A. (ed). 2003. Proceedings of the International Conference on Coastal Sediments 2003. CD-ROM published by World Scientific Publishing Corp. and East Meets West Productions, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA. ISBN 981-238-422-7, 12pp.

Orford, J.D. 2003 Porlock Gravel Barrier.Coastal Geomorphology of Great Britain, Geomorphological Conservation Review Series, No 28 (ed. May, V.J. and Hansom, J.D.) Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough, pp 266-271.

Knight, J., Orford, J.D., Wison, P., Braeley, S. and Wintle, A. 2002 Assessment of temporal changes in coastal sand dune environments using the log-hyperbolic grain size method. Sedimentology, 49, 1229-1252.

Orford, J.D., Forbes, D.L. and Jennings, S.C. 2002 Organisational controls, typologies and timescales of paraglacial gravel-dominated coastal systems. Geomorphology, 48, 51-85.

Anthony,E. and Orford, J.D. 2002 Between wave- and tide-dominated coasts: the middle ground revisited. J. Coastal Research, SI 36, 8-15.

Burgess, K., Orford, J., Dyer, K., Townend, I., and Balson, P. 2002. "FUTURECOAST -- The Integration of Knowledge to Assess Future Coastal Evolution at a National Scale." Proceedings, 28th International Conference on Coastal Engineering, World Scientific, Vol. 3, 3221-3233.

Wilson,P and Orford, J.D. 2002 ‘Relative Sea-level changes’. In Knight, J. (ed) Field Guide to the Coastal Environments of Northern Ireland, 11-15. Univ of Ulster.

Orford, J.D. and Murdy,J. 2002 ‘Murlough Dunes’. In Knight, J. (ed) Field Guide to the Coastal Environments of Northern Ireland, 58-67. Univ of Ulster.

Wilson, P., Orford, J.D., Knight, J., Braley, S. & Wintle, AG. 2001. Late Holocene (Post-4000 years BP) coastal dune development in Northumberland, northeast England. The Holocene, 11: 215-231.

Orford,J.D., Jennings, S.C. & Forbes, D.L. 2001. Origin, development, reworking and breakdown of gravel-dominated coastal barriers in Atlantic Canada: future scenarios for the British coast. In Packham, J.R. et al. (eds.) British Shingles. Smith Settle Publishers, UK: 23-55.

De Groot,T.M. and Orford,J.D. 2000. Implications for coastal zone management. In Smith,D., Raper, S., Zerbini, S & Sanchez-Arcilla, A. (eds.), Sea-Level Change and Coastal Processes: Implications for Europe. Ch.5: 214-242. DG12, The European Commission, Luxembourg.

Orford, J.D., Wilson, P., Wintle, AG., Knight, J. & Braley, S. 2000. Holocene coastal dune initiation in Northumberland and Norfolk, eastern UK: climate and sea-level changes as possible forcing agents for dune initiation. In Shennan, I.& Andrews, J. (eds) Holocene Land-Ocean Interaction and Environmental Change around the North Sea. Geological Society, London, Special Publications. 166, 197-217.