Dr Peter French

Personal profile

I am a senior lecture in Physical Geography with research interests in coastal and estuarine management.

I completed my BSc in Earth Science at Kingston Polytechnic in 1986 , followed by my PhD in 1990, entitled 'Coal dust as a marker pollutant in the Severn Estuary, south-west England' at the University of Reading. I worked as an environmental consultant for 4 years for Cambridge Environmental Research consultants, before moving to the Geography Department at Lancaster University, thence to the Geography Department at Royal Holloway in September 1998.

 

Research Interests

a. Estuarine pollution.

Research into metal and nutrient levels in intertidal sediments. Key areas of research include the development of stratigraphic variation in metal pollution levels for dating and correlation; the release of metals and nutrients in relation to managed realignment schemes (attracted NERC funding for both research and a PhD studentship); the re-introduction of metals into estuarine environments following salt marsh erosion; metal phase relationships linked to stability and impacts of sea level rise on metal mobility.

 b. Coastal erosion, protection and process.

The erosion and protection of coastlines, particularly soft coasts (i.e. those currently un-defended with physical structures) is an important area of research, particularly the management aspects of this subject area.  I have co-produced reports for English Nature and M.A.F.F. and several journal publications on this research area. Research in this subject area focuses around sediment dynamics in modern intertidal areas and links to coastal defence integrity.

 c. Coastal Zone Management.

CZM is relevant to many coastal authorities and conservation groups. Within this research area, I have contributed an 8000 word section on CZM for inclusion in the ‘Encyclopaedia of coastal Science’ (2005), as well as research papers. Ongoing projects include investigations into the effectiveness of CZM strategies at the local level, with reference to both coastal managers and the general public. A PhD research student working on CZM strategies and policies in Vietnam completed in April 2010.

 

Teaching activities:

 

I currently teach on the following undergraduate and postgraduate courses:

GG1002 Physical Geography II: Biogeography, ecology & scales of change (5 weeks, 10 lectures on biogeography)

GG2003 Geographical field methods (Staff member on the second year physical geography field trip to southern Ireland)

GG2013 Environmental systems: Processes & sustainability (Term 2, 10 weeks on Environmental processes and impacts of society on the natural environment)

GG3001 Undergraduate dissertations

GG3013 Defending coastal and wetland environments (Third year option on aspects of coastal management and human involvement in the coastal zone)

GG5300 Principles of environmental sustainability (4 sessions on environemntal sustainability on the MSc Sustainability & Management programme)

 

Consultancy:

I have carried out consultancy work for the following organisations:

DEFRA

English Nature

Archaeoscape

Lancaster Universitry Archaeological unit

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