Contributing Academic Staff
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Graduating in the 1970s from the universities of Durham and Cambridge (UK), my long- term interests in physical geography and the earth environment reflects this attraction to coasts. My early research centred on London and the coasts of southern England, with PhD work on the analysis of sea-level changes and land subsidence in the Thames estuary.
Moving to Cork in 1977 this coastal-based research has continued in Ireland and also more widely, in the eastern USA in Atlantic Europe from Scandinavia and the Baltic to Mediterranean Spain, Australia, Tahiti and New Zealand. This work has led to the publication of research papers and books on many aspects of sea-level changes, ancient shorelines and coastal processes, on the development of landbridges and their use in plant and animal migration, marine science and of coastal management. More recently, people's concerns for the repercussions of climate change and sea-level rise have resulted in work on the prediction, through numerical modelling, of the impacts of changes in storminess patterns on European Atlantic coasts. Coastal erosion, wave, sediment and water dynamics on the south coasts of Ireland, together with work on tsunamis in New Zealand are topics of current research. In 1993 this coastal research led to the founding of the Coastal Resources Centre in UCC, now the Coastal and Marine Resources Centre (CMRC), of which I was Director till 2001.
Activities in the CMRC have involved many different types of marine-related work at both research and commercial levels. The Centre, as linked to Geography and other university departments, has provided technical training for students and long-term jobs for graduates interested in the coastal and marine environments.