Lucy Daniels

The Mazumdar-Shaw Advanced Research Centre

11 Chapel Lane

University of Glasgow

G11 6EW

Research title: Implications of river restoration for geomorphic diversity and flood risk

Research Summary

Recently, there has been a drive towards developing flood risk management methods which mitigate flooding but also address the challenges of river and floodplain biodiversity loss. Scotland is a primary example of the result of this shift, moving from traditional, ‘hard’ engineered flood risk mitigation such as embankments and channelisation, to more holistic approaches which consider the catchment in its entirety. An example nature-based solution is river restoration, which has the potential to manage flooding while also improving water quality and physical habitat diversity through reconnecting river channels with their floodplains. Despite its rise in popularity, river restoration is deficient in the evidence-based research required to evaluate success and thus feed into the future implementation of effective schemes. To meet desired targets such as flood risk reduction and the minimisation of sediment management interventions in the long term, these schemes must be evaluated and the effects of them understood. Large wood and the planting of riparian woodland are becoming increasingly popular components of these river restoration projects both within and outwith the UK. Primarily, this inclusion is based upon the known benefits for ecosystem improvement, highlighted through environmental engineering investigations. However, their influence on hydrology and sediment transport within river reaches and their catchments is currently lacking empirical evidence.

This multidisciplinary PhD project will provide a valuable insight into the effectiveness of river restoration approaches across the UK. Through the increased understanding of river restoration strategies and processes, particuarily those incorporating large wood, the findings of this project will aid the development of more sustainable and effective methods of river catchment management, which simultaneously reduce flood risk and benefit ecosystems. 




Scientific Advances in River Restoration (SARR) Conference, 6th-8th September 2023, University of Liverpool, UK


James Watt School of Engineering

ENG3085 Hydraulics 3 - Lab and Tutorial Demonstrator 

School of Geographical and Earth Sciences

Geography GIS A - Lab Demonstrator

Earth Science 1B - Lab Demonstrator 

Additional Information

Academic and Professional Body Membership

British Society of Geomorphology Postgraduate PhD Member 

Research Projects

2023 - Evaluating the suitability of HEC-RAS for post-restoration morphodynamic modelling of the Allt Lorgy, Summer Research Internship, University of Glasgow

2023 - Assessing the impact of reach-scale river restoration on geomorphic change and in-channel geomorphic unit transitions: Swindale Beck, Cumbria, MSc Thesis, University of Glasgow

2021 - A 1D hydraulic modelling approach to assess the effect of climate change on compound flooding on the Isle of Wight, Undergraduate Dissertation, Cardiff University


August 2023, Summer Research Intern, James Watt School of Engineering, University of Glasgow

2022 - 2023, MSc Sustainable Water Environments (Distinction), University of Glasgow

2021-2022, Consultant at Wallingford HydroSolutions, Cardiff

2018-2021, BSc Environmental Geography (First Class Honours), Cardiff University