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School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology
Postgraduate Research Students
Professor Julian Orford
Measures of Esteem
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.
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