About us

Vice-Chancellor


Vice-Chancellor

Professor Geoff Petts

Geoff Petts 

Professor Petts has been Vice-Chancellor of the University of Westminster since 1 August 2007.

He studied physical geography and geology at the University of Liverpool and gained his PhD at the University of Southampton. He was appointed to a lectureship at Loughborough University in 1979, was awarded a chair in 1989, and became head of department in 1991.

In 1994 he moved to the University of Birmingham as Professor of Physical Geography and Director of Environmental Research and Management. Two years later, he founded that University’s Centre for Environmental Research and Training (CERT). He was appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor at Birmingham in 2002, before taking up his appointment as Vice-Chancellor at University of Westminster.

Research

Professor Petts has established a reputation for inter-disciplinary research that engages stakeholders to identify key problems and then focuses on fundamental studies to develop the next generation of tools to tackle these problems. This approach has become the ‘brand’ of CERT at Birmingham.

His own research is at the interface of hydrology, geomorphology and ecology to address the sustainable development of water projects. His publications include 20 books and more than 100 scientific papers. He is founder and Editor-in-Chief of the international journal River Research and Applications.

Professor Petts has held a number of external appointments, including a term as a Director of the International Water Resources Association (1992-94) and Council Member of the Freshwater Biological Association (2000-2003).

He has been a member of several scientific advisory committees including the International Council for Science (ICSU); the Scientific Committee on Water Research; UNESCO IHP Eco-Hydrology Programme; and US Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Long-term Monitoring Programme for the upper Mississippi River.

He was President of the International Society for River Science (ISRS) from 2011-2013. In 2007, he was awarded the Busk Medal of the Royal Geographical Society for his contributions to inter-disciplinary research on river conservation. In 2009, he was awarded the Life-time Achievement Award of the ISRS.

Recent Publications

This is a selection of publications, more can be found on WestminsterResearch, our online research repository.

Optimizing environmental flows between dams
Yin, Xin'an and Zhang, Yang and Petts, Geoffrey E. (2012) Optimizing environmental flows between dams. River Research and Applications, 28 (6). pp. 703-716. ISSN 1535-1459

Meso-habitat use by brown trout (Salmo trutta) in a small groundwater-dominated stream
Gosselin, M.-P. and Maddock, I.P. and Petts, Geoffrey E. (2012) Meso-habitat use by brown trout (Salmo trutta) in a small groundwater-dominated stream. River Research and Applications, 28 (3). pp. 390-401. ISSN 1535-1459

Hydrology and ecology of river systems
Gurnell, Angela M. and Petts, Geoffrey E. (2011) Hydrology and ecology of river systems. In: Wilderer, Peter, (ed.) Treatise on water science. Academic Press, Oxford, pp. 237-269. ISBN 9780444531933

Reservoir operating rules to sustain environmental flows in regulated rivers
Yin, Xin-An and Yang, Zhi-Feng and Petts, Geoffrey E. (2011) Reservoir operating rules to sustain environmental flows in regulated rivers. Water Resources Research, 47 (8). W08509. ISSN 0043-1397

Mesohabitat use by bullhead (Cottus gobio)
Gosselin, M.-P. and Petts, Geoffrey E. and Maddock, I.P. (2010) Mesohabitat use by bullhead (Cottus gobio). Hydrobiologia, 652 (1). pp. 299-310. ISSN 0018-8158

Instream flow science for sustainable river management
Petts, Geoffrey E. (2009) Instream flow science for sustainable river management. Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 45 (5). pp. 1071-1086. ISSN 1093-474X

Wood as a driver of past landscape change along river corridors
Francis, Robert A. and Petts, Geoffrey E. and Gurnell, Angela M. (2008) Wood as a driver of past landscape change along river corridors. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 33 (10). pp. 1622-1626. ISSN 0197-9337

Characteristics of freshly deposited sand and finer sediments along an island-braided, gravel-bed river: the roles of water, wind and trees
Gurnell, Angela M. and Blackall, Trevor D. and Petts, Geoffrey E. (2008) Characteristics of freshly deposited sand and finer sediments along an island-braided, gravel-bed river: the roles of water, wind and trees. Geomorphology, 99 (1-4). pp. 254-269. ISSN 0169-555X

Integrating climate-hydrology-ecology for alpine river systems
Hannah, David M. and Brown, Lee E. and Milner, Alexander M. and Gurnell, Angela M. and McGregor, Glen R. and Petts, Geoffrey E. and Smith, Barnaby P.G. and Snook, Deborah L. (2007) Integrating climate-hydrology-ecology for alpine river systems. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 17 (6). pp. 636-656. ISSN 1052-7613

Patterns of denitrification rates in European alluvial soils under various hydrological regimes
Pinay, Gilles and Gumiero, Bruna and Tabacchi, Eric and Giminez, Olivier and Tabacchi-Planty, Anne Marie and Hefting, Maria Margaretha and Burt, Tim P. and Black, Valerie A. and Nilsson, Christer and Iordache, Virgil and Bureau, Fabrice and Vought, Lena and Petts, Geoffrey E. and Decamps, Henri (2007) Patterns of denitrification rates in European alluvial soils under various hydrological regimes. Freshwater Biology, 52 (2). pp. 252-266. ISSN 0046-5070

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Honorary doctorates and Notable Alumni

Honorary doctorates and Notable Alumni

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