- Professor of Geography (School of Geographical and Earth Sciences)
- Senior Senate Assessor for Student Conduct (Senate Office)
My main research area throughout my career has been Cenozoic landscape evolution and denudation over thousands to millions of years, on both passive continental margins and in active mountain belts. The main techniques that my PhD students, post-docs and I currently use are cosmogenic nuclide analysis, various morphometric analyses, and, more recently, OSL analyses (with Professor David Sanderson at the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre [SUERC]); we are moving into the area of meteoric cosmogenic 10Be (led by the PhD work of Eric Portenga, and in collaboration with SUERC's Dr Dylan Rood). We have developed novel applications cosmogenic nuclide analysis, including using PDFs of single-grain cosmogenic 21Ne concentrations in sediments to infer catchment morphology and processes (with Professor Fin Stuart, SUERC), and in situ 14C in quartz (with Professor Gordon Cook, SUERC). It is clear that applications of all these analytical techniques are collaborative with SUERC. Recent funding for this research has come from NERC, the Scottish Funding Council and the European Commission.
Current work is focused on the ways in which bedrock rivers and the landscape respond to rock uplift. A major focus is using the glacio-isostatic rebound of northern Britain to test hypotheses concerning knickpoint retreat in response to rock uplift. We find that knickpoint retreat scales closely to catchment area (a surrogate for water and sediment discharge) and that this scaling is not influenced by rock type or structure. I am extending this work to examine knickpoint retreat in the semi-arid carbonate terrains of Mallorca, in collaboration with Dr Celso Garcia of the University of the Balearic Islands in Palma. Perhaps not unexpectedly, we are finding distinct differences between retreat rates in Scotland and Mallorca. We are not neglecting Scotland, however, and Julia Stockamp in her PhD work (co-supervised by Zhenhong Li in Newcastle, Glasgow's Jim Hansom, Ali Rennie of Scottish Natural Heritage [who are 50% funding the PhD], and myself) is using InSAR and differential GPS to assess rates of ongoing (modern) glacio-isostatic rebound in northern Britain.
Lithology is influential in situations of low stream power (i.e., low discharges and/or low stream gradients) such as in the post-orogenic settings of interior SE Australia. Knickpoints in such post-orogenic settings, driven by denudational isostatic rebound, readily propagate upstream until they encounter resistant lithologies, where the knickpoints 'stall'. In those situations, the catchment areas above the knickpoints become 'detached' from the base-level signal, meaning in turn that catchment relief must be increasing. Danile Peifer Bezerra, a new PhD student funded by Brazil's 'Science Without Borders' scheme, is examining such issues in the Quadrilátero Ferrífero region of Brazil.
I also have ongoing and now rapidly developing geoarchaeological interests. I have worked in Thailand and Cambodia with large archaeological teams, providing the landscape and environmental contexts for the archaeological findings. Eric Portenga's PhD work, jointly with Macquarie University in Sydney and SUERC, is using single-grain optically stimulated luminescence and meteoric 10Be analysis to assess the impact on landscape stability of 18th century Europeans' arrival in Australia. I am currently developing work on the geoarchaeology and chronology of lime-buring kilns in Scotland, looking to work with local agencies to expand on this area.
I am a geomorphologist. My PhD, on the evolution of the SE Australian high elevation passive continental margin, is from the School of Earth Sciences at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, which also awarded me a DSc in 2009. I came to Glasgow in 1998 to take up the Chair of Geography, after nine years at Monash University in Melbourne. For the last seven years in Melbourne, I was the Director of Monash's Graduate School of Environmental Science.
I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2004, a Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 2011, and a Fellow of the British Society for Geomorphology in 2013.
Codilean, A. T., Fenton, C. R., Fabel, D., Bishop, P., and Xu, S.
Discordance between cosmogenic nuclide concentrations in amalgamated sands and individual fluvial pebbles in an arid zone catchment.
Quaternary Geochronology, 19,
Castillo, M., Bishop, P., and Jansen, J.D.
Knickpoint retreat and transient bedrock channel morphology triggered by base-level fall in small bedrock river catchments: the case of the Isle of Jura, Scotland.
Jansen, J.D., Fabel, D., Bishop, P., Xu, S., Schnabel, C., and Codilean, A.T.
Does decreasing paraglacial sediment supply slow knickpoint retreat?
Codilean, A.T., Bishop, P., Stuart, F.M., Hoey, T.B., Fabel, D., and Freeman, S.P.H.T.
Single-grain cosmogenic 21Ne concentrations in fluvial sediments reveal spatially variable erosion rates.
Fabel, D., Bishop, P., Jansen, J.D., Whitbread K. 2010. Postglacial bedrock river incision, £13k (NERC Cosmogenic Isotope Analysis Facility Allocation 9088.0410).
Bishop, P. and Munoz-Salinas, E. 2009-2011. The evolution of post-orogenic landscapes: bedrock rivers, lithology and relief development (PostOroLand), Euros172,434 (FP7-PEOPLE-IEF-2008 – Proposal N° 237203).
Bishop, P. and Munoz-Salinas, E. 2009. The role of resistant lithologies in the evolution of post-orogenic landscapes, £19,010 (NERC Cosmogenic Isotope Analysis Facility award). Co-investigator: F. Stuart (SUERC), A.T. Codilean (GFZ).
Bishop, P. and Codilean, T. 2008. Single grain 21Ne/10Be ratios in fluvial quartz pebbles: Testing the reliability of cosmogenic 21Ne in sediment, £15,010 (NERC Cosmogenic Isotope Analysis Facility award 9054.0408). Co-investigator: F. Stuart (SUERC)
Bishop, P. 2006-2010. SAGES (Scottish Alliance for Geosciences, Environment & Society, £6.5M (Scottish Funding Council for a pan-Scotland Pooling Initiative; £898,000 to Glasgow). Co-applicants (on behalf of the Scottish geosciences community): D.E. Sugden (Edinburgh), A.E. Fallick (SUERC).
Jansen, J.D., Bishop, P., Hoey, T.B. 2007. Quantifying retreat rates of river knickpoints triggered by glacio-isostatic rebound, £10k (NERC Cosmogenic Isotope Analysis Facility Allocation 9032.1006).
Bishop, P. 2006-2009. Early historic landscapes and the rise of centralised states on the Mekong Delta, Cambodia, £196,230 (AHRC 119196). Co-Investigators: Professor Tony Fallick (Co-applicant; Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre); collaborating with Dr Dan Penny (University of Sydney), Dr Miriam Stark (University of Hawai`i), Dr Russell Drysdale (University of Newcastle, Australia)
Bishop, P. and Hansom, J. 2005. OSL 'ages' and depositional settings of December 26 2004 tsunami deposits in Phuket, S Thailand, £22,068 (NERC NE/D521373/1). Co-Investigator: D. Sanderson (Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, East Kilbride)
Bishop, P., Hoey, T., Jansen, J.D. 2005-2008. Using the glacioisostatic uplift of N Britain to assess the controls on knickpoint recession in bedrock river channels, £115k (NERC, NE/C510416/1).
Bishop, P. 2004-2005. A laser facility for helium analysis for geomorphological, geological and archaeological applications in the Scottish Universities, £29,400 (Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland). Co-Investigator: F. Stuart (SUERC). Collaborators from the Universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Bishop, P. 2003-2006. Determining the post-break-up evolution of high elevation passive margins, £38,601 (NERC NER/S/R/2003/12016. Co-investigators: F. Stuart (SUERC), M. Widdowson (Open University)
Bishop, P., Jansen, J.D., 2003-2004. Bedrock river morphology and incision processes in a rapidly uplifting mountain block, £1700 (Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland).
Bishop, P., Jansen, J.D., 2003-2004. How do bedrock rivers respond to uplift?: River long profiles and river response times in the Sierra Nevada mountain block, Spain, £25k (Royal Academy of Engineering, 10444/26).
Swift, D.A. 2003–2006. Antiquity and severity of glacial erosion in Greenland, £97,464 (BP Royal Society of Edinburgh Personal Research Fellowship). Collaborators: Prof Paul Bishop (University of Glasgow), Dr Finlay M. Stuart (Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC), East Kilbride) and Dr Cristina Persano (Glasgow).
Bishop, P. convening a consortium of Aberdeen, Edinburgh & Glasgow Universities + SUERC. 2001 – 2005. CRUST: Constraining Regional Uplift, Sedimentation & Thermochronology, £632,000 (SHEFC RDG HR00131)
Hoey, T. B.; Bishop, P.; Dempster, T.J. 2001. Inferring denudation history from He isotope and cosmogenic analysis of sediments, £10,034 (Leverhulme Trust). Co-Investigator F. Stuart (SUERC).
Nine PhDs and one research MSc supervised to completion in 14 years in Glasgow
- Réka-Hajnalka Fülöp (PhD candidate): development and application of in situ cosmogenic 14C analysis in quartz
- Katie Whitbread (PhD candidate): post-glacial bedrock rivers - rates and styles of adjustment
- Eric Portenga (PhD candidate): the age(s) and source(s) of post-settlement alluvium ('post-contact sediment') in inland SE Australia (joint PhD with Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)
Throughout my time in Glasgow, I have taught at all levels of the Earth Sciences and Geography degrees, and I continue to do so. I also teach one seminar per semester on 'Science and Natural History' in the Scottish Enlightenment course for Principia Consortium students from the US, run by the School of Critical Studies. I have several times been School Graduate Convener and I currently administer the School's new taught MSc in Aquatic Sciences.