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Physical geography is the study of the natural features and processes operating at the Earth’s surface and their impacts on, and interaction with, human society. Our research focuses on fluvial, slope and coastal geomorphology, Quaternary biogeography, and environmental change. Geomorphic research has a “mountains to sea” theme, which recognises the landscape connections between slopes, rivers and coasts.
We publish GeoScience, a Working Paper series that publishes work in progress and serves as a means to publish preliminary findings, often in association with taught postgraduate work.
For more information about our research activity, select individual researchers' names below.
Research in fluvial processes focuses on river channel dynamics and sediment flux; alluvial histories and catchment response to environmental change; slope-channel coupling and catchment connectivity. Pure research in these areas is applied to address river managment issues.
We research the processes that drive changes in New Zealand's coastal landscapes. This encompasses changes driven by contemporary coastal processes, such as coastal erosion, to longer-term changes such as Late Quaternary coastal evolution driven by changes in global sea level.
Contact Dr Alastair Clement
In young, tectonically active landscapes like New Zealand, landslides are the dominant form of erosion. They can modify the landscape both gradually or dramatically, and affect infrastructure and communities. To reduce their impact we investigate the physical, environmental, and anthropomorphic conditions that bring about slope instability and change over human and geological timescales.
Contact Dr Sam McColl
Palynology (the science of pollen) is an inter-disciplinary science that combines geography, earth science, plant biology and ecology. Massey houses a world-class palynology laboratory that uses pollen from ancient sediments to reconstruct past environmental change.
Contact Dr Kat Holt
Biogeography is the study of the distribution of living things across the earth. It draws on many scientific disciplines including ecology, biology, plate tectonics, statistics and molecular biology. We specialise in reconstructing past biogeography to understand how factors like climate change and natural and anthropogenic disturbance have modified the environment.
Contact Dr Kat Holt
We study hydrology, geomorphology and ecology to maintain water quality and quantity in our waterways while balancing ecological and human needs. Massey’s Innovative River Solutions research centre brings together research skills in physical geography, ecology, hydrology, soil science, and Geographic Information Systems to solve water-management issues.
Contact Dr Ian Fuller
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Last updated on Friday 05 January 2018