Professor John Boardman


Research Groups

Professor John Boardman

Emeritus Professor


John Boardman is a geomorphologist educated at the Universities of Keele (BA and DSc) and London (BSc and PhD). John retired from ECI in September 2008 and from his positions as Deputy Director of the ECI, Director of the MSc in Environmental Change and Management. He is now an Emeritus Fellow at the ECI and continues working on land degradation issues, particularly in the Karoo, South Africa. He is Honorary Professor in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science, University of Cape Town.

He has published over 150 papers mainly on land degradation and has edited several books: Soils and Quaternary Landscape Evolution (Wiley 1985), Periglacial Processes and Landforms in Britain and Ireland (CUP 1987), Soil Erosion on Agricultural Land (Wiley 1990), Modelling Soil Erosion by Water (Springer 1998) and Soil Erosion in Europe (Wiley 2006).

John was Chairman of the EU-funded COST Action 623 'Soil Erosion and Global Change' (1998-2003) with 21 participating countries and Chaired a Working Group in COST 634 'On and Off-Site Impacts of Runoff and Erosion'. He is UK representative on the COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Transdisciplinary Proposal Standing Assessment Board and also on the Earth System Science and Environmental Management committee.

John was recently appointed Visiting Research Fellow at Green Templeton College; he is also a Research Fellow in the Department of Geography, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.

Research Interests

John continues to work on soil erosion in southern England and also on land degradation in South Africa. John has begun a new project in Autumn 2013 on the history and impact of rainfed wheat farming in the Sneeuberg, South Africa.


As former Director of the MSc in Environmental Change and Management, John continues to teach on the course and to lead field trips. He has recently acted as External Examiner on MSc degrees at the Universities of Exeter and Edinburgh. John is also supervising a PhD student on Sediment Pressures and Mitigation options for the River Rother at the University of Northampton.


  • Foster, I.D.L., Boardman, J., Keay-Bright, J. and Meadows, M.E. (2005) Land degradation and sediment dynamics in the South African Karoo. International Association of Hydrological Sciences Publication, 292: 207-213.
  • Boardman, J. (2003) Applying for UK masters courses. The Students Companion to Geography,: 345-347.
  • Boardman, J., Evans, R. and Ford, J. (2003) Muddy floods on the South Downs, southern England: problem and responses. Environmental Science & Policy, 6(1): 69-83.
  • Boardman, J., Parsons, A.J., Holl, , R., Holmes, P.J. and Washington, R. (2003) Development of badlands and gullies in the Sneeuberg, Great Karoo, South Africa. Catena, 50(2-4): 165-184.
  • Boardman, J., Poesen, J. and Evans, R. (2003) Socio-economic factors in soil erosion and conservation. Environmental Science & Policy, 6(1): 1-6.
  • Boardman, J. (2002) The need for soil conservation in Britain--revisited. Area, 34(4): 419-427.
  • Boardman, J. (2002) Thornsgill and Mosedale; Helvellyn; Throstle Shaw; Sandbeds Fan; Grasmoor; Skiddaw. In, Huddart, D. and Glasser, N.F. and Innes, J. (eds.) Quaternary of Northern England. Joint Nature Conservation Committee.
  • Lascelles, B., Favis-Mortlock, D., Parsons, T. and Boardman, J. (2002) Automated Digital Photogrammetry: A Valuable Tool for Small-scale Geomorphological Research for the Non-photogrammetrist? Transactions in GIS, 6(1): 5-15.
  • Favis-Mortlock, D.T., Boardman, J. and MacMillan, V.J. (2001) The limits of erosion modeling: why we should proceed with care. In, Harmon, R.S. and Doe, W.W. (eds.) Landscape erosion and evolution modeling. Springer. pp. 477-516. ISBN: 9780306467189.
  • Wild, C., Wells, C., Anderson, D., Boardman, J. and Parker, A. (2001) Evidence for medieval clearance in the Seathwaite Valley, Cumbria. TRANSACTIONS-CUMBERLand WESTMORLAND ANTIQUARIAN AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY, 1: 53-68.
  • Favis-Mortlock, D.T., Boardman, J., Parsons, A.J. and Lascelles, B. (2000) Emergence and erosion: a model for rill initiation and development. Hydrological processes, 14(11-12): 2173-2205.