Damian Lawler


  • 90 Citations
  • 6 h-Index
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Personal profile



Water is the key to life, and I have relished researching in this area. After Undergraduate and PhD degrees from the University of Wales, I worked at The University of Birmingham within active hydrology, geomorphology and water science research groups for many years, before moving to Coventry University in 2013 where I am a Professor of Hydrology. At Coventry, I co-led the REF submission for UOA7 and became co-Director of the new Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience in 2013-2014.

With substantial funding from the University in Environmental Sciences and in CAWR this was, and is, an exciting opportunity to recruit many new staff and build Centre’s research portfolio, especially its four interacting Water streams as a key part of CAWR: Fluvial Processes; Hydrology, Climate and Environmental Change; Water Quality and Pollution Dynamics; and Urban Water.

I have been very fortunate to have worked on complex and important fluvial and hydrological research questions in the UK, Ireland, France, Iceland, Azerbaijan, Georgia, USA and Australia. Almost all of the research projects, derived publications and numeous PhD completions, have been competitively funded by NERC, EPSRC, Environment Agency, and Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, UK, and international organisations such as the Ireland Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Icelandic National Energy Authority, and overseas governments. This work has led to over 170 published papers.

I enjoyed developing the first automatic erosion monitoring system (Photo-Electronic Erosion Pin (PEEP)) system, and also devising the principle of Thermal Consonance Timing for improved erosion event definition and timing (2008). This is now built into the PEEP3T instrument used by over 30 research groups worldwide, especially in Europe, Australia and the USA, including by the US Geological Survey to address sedimentation problems in San Francisco Bay. A current project in Nigeria will use this innovative PEEP system to monitor soil erosion, to help identify causes and solutions.

I also developed the DOCPROBE downstream change model for river bank erosion processes. More recently, I developed the Combined Automated, Flood, Elevation and Stream power (CAFES) model, incorporating engineering hydraulics expertise. In other groups we also achieved the first experimental quantification of needle ice sediment transport and soil erosion effects, and developed novel chains of causality linking North Atlantic atmospheric circulation and climate change to (a) Icelandic sediment fluxes to the ocean (2003); (b) river flow changes in the UK and USA, and (c) flow teleconnections between eastern North America and Northern Europe (2006-20l4). Very recent work with CAWR colleagues and international collaborators focuses on links between large-scale drivers of rainfall patterns and river flow response, in southern Africa, West Africa, UK and Europe.

I also enjoy leading EIA and ESIA teams to identify and manage detrimental environmental and hydrological impacts.

I have supervised to successful completion, 22 PhD theses, mostly as Lead Supervisor, and have acted as Extrernal Examiner to 21 PhD theses, including for international Universities.


Research Interests

Floods and climate drivers ; Urban hydrology and water quality ; Fluvial processes and bank erosion dynamics ; Basin-scale models of river erosional systems ; Fluvial hydraulics and stream power distributions ; River suspended sediment dynamics in urban and glacial rivers ; Hydrological impacts and improved protocols for EIA for Oil and Gas projects ; Hydrogeomorphological impact of climate change and North Atlantic Oscillation in the North Atlantic, Iceland and northern Europe

Vision Statement


I am a hydrologist and fluvial geomorphologist, and I am passionate about first identifying key research gaps in our knowledge of interacting fluvial, hydrological and environmental processes, then developing new conceptual models of such systems, and finally subjecting these models to critical tests and improvement, often using novel methodologies and approaches I have developed. Fluvial hydrology is important to many water resource and water quality issues, which led to research on bank erosion processes and related fluvial sediment transport / pollution dynamics; stream power modelling which drives many fluvial processes; climate-river flow relationships; and the complex spatial linkages between climate trends and river flows across Northern Europe and north-east USA. Many of these projects led to clear solutions to problems.

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Research Output 2008 2018

  • 90 Citations
  • 6 h-Index
  • 12 Article
  • 6 Conference proceeding
  • 2 Chapter
  • 2 Poster
1 Citations

From synoptic to interdecadal variability in southern African rainfall: towards a unified view across timescales

Pohl, B., Dieppois, B., Cretat, J., Lawler, D. & Rouault, M. 29 Jun 2018 In : Journal of Climate. (in press), p. (in press)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

atmospheric convection
Pacific Decadal Oscillation
1 Citations

Trend and variability in a new, reconstructed streamflow dataset for West and Central Africa, and climatic interactions, 1950 – 2005

Sidibe, M., Dieppois, B., Mahé, G., Paturel, J-E., Amoussou, E., Anifowose, B. & Lawler, D. 10 Apr 2018 In : Journal of Hydrology. (in press), p. (in press)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

potential evapotranspiration
hydrological regime
river flow
land use change
1 Citations

Flood seasonality across Scandinavia: Evidence of a shifting hydrograph?

Matti, B., Dahlke, H., Dieppois, B., Lawler, D. & Lyon, S. 30 Nov 2017 In : Hydrological Processes. 31, 24, p. 4354–4370 27 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

From synoptic to inter-decadal variability in southern African rainfall: A unified view

Pohl, B., Dieppois, B., Cretat, J., Rouault, M. & Lawler, D. 2017 (Submitted) In : Journal of Climate.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Trend and variability in western and central Africa streamflow, and their relation to climate variability between 1950 and 2010

Sidibe, M., Dieppois, B., Mahé, G., Paturel, J-E., Rouché, N., Amoussou, E., Anifowose, B. & Lawler, D. 1 Apr 2017

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

river flow

Activities 1998 2014

  • 4 Participation in conference
  • 3 Editorial activity

International Geographical Union Water Conference

Lawler, D. (Keynote Speaker)
25 Aug 201427 Aug 2014

Activity: Participation in conference

Hydrological Processes (Journal)

Lawler, D. (Guest Editor)
1 Jan 200831 Dec 2008

Activity: Editorial activity

National Meeting on Water Quality

Lawler, D. (Organiser)
8 Aug 2008

Activity: Participation in conference

British Society for Geomorphology Annual International Conference

Lawler, D. (Organiser)
7 Jul 2007

Activity: Participation in conference

International Association of Hydrological Sciences Conference

Lawler, D. (Session Chair)
6 Jun 2006

Activity: Participation in conference