Professor Larissa Naylor
- Professor of Geomorphology and Environmental Geography (School of Geographical & Earth Sciences)
Larissa Naylor is Professor of Geomorphology and Environmental Geography at the University of Glasgow, UK. She addresses ecological and climate change challenges facing society. She describes herself as ‘a Doctor of Geography, a Doctor for the Planet.’
She is a coastal geomorphologist who works at the interface of geomorphology, ecology and engineering and applies this to address ecological and climate change challenges facing society. Larissa helped establish the UK’s Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership; informed the IPCC’s 4th and 5thAssessments; and advised the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). She has shaped climate change, marine, flooding and planning policies and climate change adaptation action plans. She is a former NERC knowledge exchange fellow (2015-19), held an industrial exchange with Arup (2014) and most recently was an invited expert advisor to the World Bank's Inspection Panel.
She is an international expert in biogeomorphology, rock coast morphodynamics, coastal erosion risk and coastal climate change adaptation and use of nature-based approaches including ecological enhancement of coastal engineering assets. She is increasingly applying her science to address climate, ecological and planetary health emergencies. Larissa has led international working groups on Stormy Geomorphology and Rock Coast Geomorphology, and sat on climate change advisory boards including Adaptation Scotland, Climate Ready Clyde and the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership.
Larissa Naylor is Professor of Geomorphology and Environmental Geography at the University of Glasgow, UK. She is a coastal geomorphologist who works at the interface of geomorphology, ecology and engineering and applies this to address ecological and climate change challenges facing society. Larissa helped establish the UK’s Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership; informed the IPCC’s 4th and 5thAssessments; and advised the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). She has shaped climate change, marine, flooding and planning policies and climate change adaptation action plans. She is a former NERC knowledge exchange fellow (2015-19), held an industrial exchange with Arup (2014) and most recently was an invited expert advisor to the World Bank's Inspection Panel.
She was an Associate Editor of Earth Surface Processes and Landforms (2014-2018) and is currently on the Editorial Board of Annals of the American Association of Geographers 2018 - present). She sat on the Advisory Board of Adaptation Scotland (2016-2020), Climate Ready Clyde's Sea-level Rise Steering Group (2016-2019), City of Glasgow's Adaptation Planning Advisory Board (2015-2018) and the European Climate Change Adaptation Conference's Local Advisory Board (2017).
In 2018 she won the Halcrow Prize for best paper in the Institution of Civil Engineer’s Journal: Proceedings in Maritime Engineering and the British Society for Geomorphology’s Mid-Career (Gordon Warwick) Award. The Warwick Award nomination said: "Dr Naylor is an impressive example of the new generation of geomorphologists. She is highly intelligent, energized, and passionate, deeply rooted in conceptual understanding, with extensive field experience and early adopter and innovator in advancing technologies. She is active in applying geomorphology to the significant societal issues we face in the Anthropocene."
Larissa’s knowledge exchange expertise was developed through 6 years of work in industry and government in the UK and Canada. She uses these skills to navigate the science-policy-practice interface to help shape policy and practice. Earlier in her career, Larissa helped establish the UK’s Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership. She reviewed the coastal chapter for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 4th Assessment and has advised the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). She was appointed to Adaptation Scotland’s Advisory Board, and has shaped climate change, marine, flooding and planning policies and climate change adaptation action plans from national to local scales across Scotland and Wales, including the Scottish Government’s Dynamic Coast project. Her work has won notable awards for career achievements, best papers, industry innovation and as exemplars of international best practice on coastal risk management projects, including co-leading a chapter in US Corps of Army Engineers International guidelines on Natural and Nature-based Solutions.
Larissa was co-investigator on two joint UK-China research projects looking at improving our understanding of how human activities affect fragile karst ecosystems, and how best we can use science to support delivery of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to improve local livelihoods. This work supported Chinese government officials, farm cooperatives and farmers in developing more sustainable land-management practices and has been featured in an EOS Editor's VOX. Larissa has overseen the knowledge exchange aspects of these projects.
She recently led two NERC-funded projects, looking at ecosystem-based urban coastal adaptation to climate change with partners in England and Scotland and a NERC Green Infrastructure Innovation project focused on improving multi functionality of hard infrastructure that must remain primarily grey via greening: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJQdURjiztc For these projects, she worked closely with over 20 government, industry and non-profit organisations across the UK. The design of key project outputs has been co-developed with project partners, to improve the ease with which academic and government science can be used by practitioners and policymakers. This work is being used to shape statutory policies and improve practice to deliver ecological and climate change adaptation improvements within urbanized coasts, estuaries and catchments. She currently co-leads WP1 of the NERC GALLANT strategic programme on resilient estuarine cities and ecosystems.
Larissa also works with artists, designers and makers to help captivate audiences around pressing environmental challenges such as climate change and rapid urbanisation of our natural and semi-natural landscapes. Her work has featured in recent public exhibitions (attended by >43,000 people in 2018), documentary films, magazines (e.g National Geographic Kids). Her work has been featured by multiple news outlets including the New Scientist, The Sunday Times, BBC, FrenchNews24, Inside Climate News and National Geographic Kids.
Prior to her return to academia on a part-time basis in 2007, Larissa worked for the Environment Agency (2004-2006) and an Environmental Consultancy (Wollsey Parsons Komex). Here she worked on catchment-scale science questions, helping to implement the hydromorphology elements of the European Water Framework Directive and aid implementation/compliance with water quality related matters related to the Habitats Directive. She worked closely with the marine, climate change and social science teams, helping develop and deliver coastal and marine related initiatives. During this period, she won a Royal Society outgoing fellowship to work with CSIRO in Australia to identify best practice in catchment scale water management science that could inform emerging UK practice.
Grants (2013 - Present)
- EPSRC Impact Accelerator Account Award, Upscaling the BioGeoEcotile, 2021 - 2023 £11K
- NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship: Developing a sustainable, ecosystem-based coastal climate change adaptation routemap for policy makers and practitioners, NE/M010546/1, 2015-2019, £121,997
- EPSRC Impact Accelerator Account Award: City of Edinburgh Dynamic Coast Downscaling, 2019, £8000
- NERC Innovation Follow-on: Integrated Green Grey Infrastructure Framework Accelerator, NE/R009236/1, 2018-2020, £100,791
- Portsmouth City Council: lead partner on eco-formliner design for operational flood risk scheme, 2018, £17,500
- EPSRC iCASE PhD Studentship with Arup: Green biofilters, EP/R511936/1, 2017-2021, £83,000
- NERC Green Infrastructure Innovation: A Decision Framework for Integrated Green Grey Infrastructure (IGGIframe), NE/N017404/1, 2016-2017, £98, 747
- University of Glasgow Academic Returner's Funding, 2015, £10,000
- SAGES+ Industrial Exchange Fellowship with Arup, 2014, £15,000
- NERC Gallant Programme: Glasgow as a Living Lab Accelerating Novel Transformation Delivering a Climate Resilient City through City-University Partnership, 2022-2027 £10M
- SMEEF Scottish Marine Environmental Enhancement Fund with Glasgow Science Centre, Glasgow's Floating Estuarine Wetlands, 2022-23, £300K
- NatureScot Biodiversity Challenge Fund, Wildline Project with Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh, 2019-2020 £100K
- NERC MIDST-CZ: Maximising Impact by Decision Support Tools for sustainable soil and water through UK-China Critical Zone science, NE/S009140/1, 2019-2021, £240,505
- Scottish Government: co-investigator on the Dynamic Coast 2 project (www.dynamiccoast.com), 2018-2020, £240,000
- NERC Urgency: Dating coseismic marine terrace formation during the Kaikoura 2016 earthquake, NE/P021433/1, 2017-2019, £52,401
- NERC Newton: The transmissive critical zone: understanding the karst hydrology-biogeochemical interface for sustainable management, NE/N007425/1, 2016 – 2019, £518,356
- NERC Belmont Forum: Multi-scale adaptations to climate change and social-ecological sustainability in coastal areas (MAGIC), NE/L008807/1, 2013-2017, £224,416 (£5K to Glasgow)
I welcome applications from prospective PhD students on a range of topics, and from a range of funding sources. I have an extensive track record of successful PhD supervision on a range of coastal, geomorphology, biogeomorphology, climate change adaptation and urban greening topics, including several interdisciplinary PhDs across the science-arts or science-policy-practice interface.
- Edwards, David
Towards a Postcolonial Ecology: A Transfigurative Analysis of the ‘Critical Zone’ in China
- Muir, Freya
Real-time monitoring and forecasting of coastal erosion
- Nugraha, Idham
COASTAL MULTI RISK ASSESSMENT AND THE APPLICATION OF DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM (DSS)
- Wang, Yuchen
Sediment transport of made ground along Scottish sites
My former students have worked on a range of exciting and interesting topics related to coastal geomorphology, coastal eco-engineering and coastal climate change risks and adaptation. These former students have transitioned to excellent roles in arts organisations, government, consultancies and universities including:
- Dr Ralph Brayne, Senior Coastal Processes Scientist, CEFAS
- Dr Robin Rotman, Associate Professor of Environmental Law, University of Missouri
- Dr Claire Earlie, Sea level scientist, NASA, USA
- Dr Charlotte Francoz, National Oceanography Centre
- Dr Mairi MacArthur, Climate Change Adaptation Team, Environment Agency
- Dr Martin Coombes, Oxford University Centre for the Environment
- Dr Daniel Metcalfe, 3D Design and Technology Professor, Technion University
- Dr Rachel Clive, Freelance Theatre Producer
- Dr Anissa Halwyn, Senior Coastal Geomorphologist, Natural England
- Dr Uduak Affiah, Care Worker
Geography Summer School (widening participation)
- Contribute to the annual programme
- Co-design and co-leader (2013-2015)
Level 1 Geography
- A world of changing environments
- An interacting world
Level 2 Geography
- Fieldcourse Leader
Level 3/4 Geography
- Dissertation supervisor
- Level 4 core course contributor: Geography Beyond the Academy
- Conveynor of Coasts and Climate Change A: Science and Risk and Coasts and Climate Change B: Vulnerability and Adaptation
Level 4 Environmental Geoscience
- Supervison of Level 4 projects on cultural heritage science, environmental and geological engineering related topics.
MSc Sustainable Water and Geomatics
- Managing Water Environments (Conveynor)
- Supervision of MSc research projects (2014 to present)
MSc Earth and Environmental Futures
- Global Challenges (contributor)
- Research Design (contributor)
- Supervision of MSc research projects (2020 to present)
Prior to the University of Glasgow, I designed and delivered (both individual and team-taught) courses in interdisciplinary science, coastal geomorphology and biogeomorphology, geomorphology, first year physical geography and learning by experience. I also co-designed and delivered undergraduate fieldtrips and was undergraduate programme director.
Professional activities & recognition
Prizes, awards & distinctions
- 2018: Halcrow Prize, best paper in Proceedings of the ICE - Maritime Engineering Journal (Institute of Civil Engineers)
- 2018: Gordon Warwick Award, for excellence in Geomorphology research within 15 years of completing your PhD (British Society for Geomorphology)
- 2015 - 2019: NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship
- 2016 - 2016: MASTS PECRE Award
- 2014 - 2014: SAGES Industrial Exchange Fellowship with Arup
- 2005 - 2005: Royal Society Outgoing Fellowship to the University of Melbourne
Grant committees & research advisory boards
- 2018 - 2018: NERC, Knowledge Exchange Fellowships Interview Panel
- 2006 - 2009: NERC, Peer Review College (Affiliate)
- 2010 - 2014: IUCN, Invited Peer Reviewer
- 2003 - 2006: IPCC, Invited Chapter Reviewer
- 2016 - 2020: Annuals of the American Association of Geographers
- 2014 - 2018: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms (Associate Editor)
Professional & learned societies
- 2002 - 2019: Ordinary Member, British Society for Geomorphology
Selected international presentations
- 2019: Keynote at European Geography Congress (Galway, Ireland)
- 2019: Keynote at Young Coastal Scientists Conference (Glasgow, Scotland)
- 2018: Keynote at the Spanish Geomorphology Society's Bi-Annual Conference (Palma, Majorca)
- 2018: Gordon Warwick Award Lecture, British Society for Geomorphology's Annual Conference (Aberystwyth, Wales)
- 2017: Keynote at the Scottish Wildlife Trust's Annual General Meeting (Glasgow, Scotland)