John Boardman is a geomorphologist educated at the Universities of Keele (BA and DSc) and London (BSc, PhD, PGCE). John retired from ECI in September 2008 and from his positions as Deputy Director of the ECI and Director of the MSc in Environmental Change and Management. He is now an Emeritus Fellow at the ECI, Research Fellow at Green-Templeton College and at the Department of Geography, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa. He is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Northampton. He is an elected Fellow of the British Society for Geomorphology (2016) and of the British Society for Soil Science (2023).

He has published over 190 peer-reviewed 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), Past and Present Soil Erosion (Oxbow, 1992), Modelling Soil Erosion by Water (Springer 1998), Soil Erosion in Europe (Wiley 2006) and Southern African Landscapes and Environmental Change (Routledge, 2018). Currently he is editing (with Ian Foster) The Rother Valley: Geomorphology, Ecology and Archaeology in the Western Weald (Oxbow). He has an H index of 48 (Google Scholar). 

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 on the Earth System Science and Environmental Management committee.


John has worked for over 20 years in the Karoo, South Africa on degradation by overgrazing and its impacts. He continues to work on soil erosion in southern England including recent work on the impact of maize cultivation on flooding in Devon (with the EA). A new project on Sunken Lanes in England is planned with Natural England.


As former Director of the MSc in Environmental Change and Management, John continues to teach on the course and to lead field trips.



  • Boardman, J. Local and Regional British Journals: Natural History, Geology, Geography and Ecology, their role and value. Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association, in press
  • Boardman, J.  Re-measurement of lichens on Keswick area gravestones after 38 years. Cumbrian Geologist, in press.
  • Boardman, J. 2023. Communicating soil erosion in the UK: how should we present extreme events? Geographical Journal. doi: 10.1111/geoj.12554
  • Boardman, J. and Foster, I.D.L. 2023. Are ‘free-flowing rivers’ a good idea? The challenge of removing barriers from our rivers. Geography, 108(3): 121-129. doi: 10.1080/00167487.2023.2260219
  • Boardman, J.,  Vandaele, K. 2023. Soil erosion and runoff: the need to re-think mitigation strategies for sustainable agricultural landscapes in western Europe. Soil Use and Management, 39: 673-685doi: 10.1111/sum.12898
  • Boardman, J., Evans, R., Favis-Mortlock, D., Foster, I.D.L. and Vandaele, K.  2023. Progress in soil erosion research: a European perspective. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 78(3): 69A-74A. doi: 10.2489/jswc.2023.0223A


  • Pulley, S., Zhang, Y., Copeland-Phillips, R., N, Vadher, A., Foster, I., Boardman, J., Collins,  A. 2022. A reconnaissance survey of channel bank particulate phosphorus concentrations, controls and estimated contributions to riverine loads across England. Hydrological Processes. doi: 10.1002/hyp.14785
  • Boardman, J. 2022. Sunken lanes in southern England: a review. Proceedings of the Geologists Association 133(6): 481-490. doi: 10.1016/j.pgeola.2022.06.001
  • Boardman, J. 2022.  Footpath erosion: assessment, extent and  impacts with especial reference to the United Kingdom. Geography, 107(2): 60-69.
  • Boardman, J., Poesen, J., Evans, M. 2022. Slopes: soil erosion. In: Burt, T.P., Goudie, A.S. and Viles, H.A. (eds.) History of the Study of Landforms or the Development of Geomorphology. Volume 5: Geomorphology in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century,), Geological Society, London, Memoirs, 58: 241-255.
  • Boardman, J. (2022) Footpath erosion Geography Review, 36(1): 2-5.
  • Favis-Mortlock, D., Boardman, J., Foster, I.D.L. and Shepheard, M. (2022) Comparison of observed and DEM-driven field-to-river routing of flow from eroding fields in an arable lowland catchment Catena, 208: 105737.
  • Foster, I.D.L., Boardman, J., Evans, J., Copeland-Phillips, R., Vader, A.J., Collins, A. and Manning, C. (2022) Anthropogenic sediment traps and network dislocation in a lowland UK river Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 47(1): 143-158.


















  • 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.