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Personal profile


​​Ian is Professor of Geomorphology in the Faculty of Art, Science and Technology.  He graduated with a BSc in Geography from the University of London, King’s College and holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Exeter. He is currently a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and is a Chartered Geographer. He holds a visiting Chair of Geomorphology at Rhodes University, South Africa and is Professor Emeritus at Coventry University.

Research Interests

Ian is a Geomorphologist with over 35 years research experience working in the UK, Europe, the circum-Mediterranean region and, more recently, in South Africa. After graduating from the Universities of London (King’s College) and Exeter, Ian has spent many years researching issues concerning land degradation, erosion, water quality and climate change. He has specialist interests and expertise in catchment process studies and in reconstructing environmental change from sedimentary archives contained in lakes and reservoirs. 

His current research focus is in South Africa where, with NERC, British Academy and South African Research Council funding, he has been monitoring erosion rates and exploring the potential to use a range of techniques (e.g. Sediment geochemistry, mineral magnetism, gamma emitting radionuclides) to reconstruct and interpret the history of land degradation from sediments deposited in farm reservoirs. Much of this research is collaborative and includes researchers from a range of UK (e.g. Aberdeen, Oxford, Sheffield) and overseas Universities (e.g Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan and Rhodes). 

Ian has supervised 25 research students to completion working on a range of topics including dust provenancing in Amman, Jordan; reconstructing recent environmental change in the Peloponnese; sediment source tracing in lowland UK catchments; monitoring heavy metal contamination in urban rivers and saline incursion into coastal freshwater lagoons. 

He is currently supervising 5 PhD students at Northampton working on problems of sediment management in lowland UK catchments (3 students), an analysis of the fate of natural and man-made radionuclides in urban freshwater systems and developing resilience to climate change in Jordan.​


Jennine Evans; Environmental Science

Sediment Pressures and Mitigation Options for the River Rother.

Teaching Interests

Ian teaches Physical Geography across all three years of the undergraduate programme and also runs a Research Methods module for several MSc programmes. He also contributes to the Midland Postgraduate Consortium of Universities that offers postgraduate training to PhD students in Physical Geography. Modules on which Ian teaches are;

  • ENV1107 Principles of Physical Geography  
  • ENV2108 Geomorphology (Module Tutor)
  • ENV2123 Physical Geography Practical
  • ENV3110 Dryland Environments
  • ENV3130 Understanding Change in Physical Geography (Module Tutor)
  • ENV4106 Earth Science and Physical Geography Dissertation
  • ENVM002 Research Methods (Module Tutor)
  • ENVSCIPDP Personal Portfolio Development Seminar (For Personal Tutees)

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor, King's College London

PhD, University of Exeter

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Ian Foster is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 1 Similar Profiles
sediment Earth & Environmental Sciences
catchment Earth & Environmental Sciences
land degradation Earth & Environmental Sciences
erosion Earth & Environmental Sciences
badlands Earth & Environmental Sciences
erosion rate Earth & Environmental Sciences
soil erosion Earth & Environmental Sciences
sediment yield Earth & Environmental Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1996 2019

A palaeoenvironmental study of particle size-specific connectivity- new insights and implications from the West Sussex Rother Catchment, United Kingdom

Foster, I., Biddulph, M., Boardman, J., Copeland-Phillips, R., Evans, J. L., Pulley, S., Zhang, Y. & Collins, A. L., 15 Jul 2019, In : River Research and Applications. p. 1-11 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Particle size
particle size

Disrupting longitudinal connectivity: a case study of historical valley sedimentation due to dam building in the Weald, UK.

Evans, J. L., Boardman, J. & Foster, I., 9 Jul 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conference typesPosterResearch


Off-site impacts of soil erosion and runoff: why connectivity is more important than erosion rates

Boardman, J., Vandaele, K., Evans, R. & Foster, I. D. L., 31 Jan 2019, In : Soil Use and Management.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

erosion rate
soil erosion
field margin

An analysis of potential controls on long-term 137Cs accumulation in the sediments of UK lakes

Pulley, S., Foster, I. D. L., Collins, A. L., Zhang, Y. & Evans, J. L., 20 Feb 2018, In : Journal of Paleolimnology. 60, 1

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Monitoring and assessing land degradation: new approaches

Foster, I. D. L., Boardman, J., Holmes, P. J. (ed.) & Boardman, J. (ed.), 12 Jul 2018, Southern African Landscapes and Environmental Change. London: Routledge, p. 249-274 308 p. (Earthscan studies in natural resource management).

Research output: Contribution to Book/Report typesChapterResearchpeer-review

land degradation
erosion rate
management practice

Activities 2019 2019

  • 1 Oral presentation


Ian Foster (Speaker), John Boardman (Speaker), David Favis-Mortlock (Speaker)
9 Jul 2019

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationResearch



Testing the efficacy of mitigation measures for reducing fine sediment and associated pollutant delivery to and through rivers in agricultural catchments of England

Author: Biddulph, M., 2016

Supervisor: Holmes, N. (Supervisor), Collins, A. (Supervisor) & Foster, I. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis