Dr Simon J Dixon BSc, MSc, PhD

Dr Simon J Dixon

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Contact details

Address
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Simon is a fluvial geomorphology & hydrology researcher with broad interests Anthropocene geomorphology - landforms resulting from interactions between human activities and natural processes. His work is focused on management of landscapes, the effects of geomorphological processes in cities and the effects humans can have in altering geomorphological and hydrological processes. He is currently working with Dr Nick Kettridge on a project looking at the landscape hydrology of natural and restored boreal peatlands in Canada.

Qualifications

  • PhD, University of Southampton, 2014
  • MSc (Distinction) River Environmental Management, 2009
  • BSc (Hons.) Chemistry, University of Birmingham, 1997 

Biography

Simon was awarded his PhD in fluvial geomorphology from University of Southampton in April 2014, following a career change from financial services. His thesis focused on links between land use and flooding; specifically, whether landscape restoration could be used as a method of natural flood management. After completing his PhD, he joined University of Birmingham as a postdoctoral research fellow on the Megascours project; using modelling and remote sensing to study the confluences of some of the largest rivers in the world. His work on this project demonstrated for the first time large river confluences can be highly mobile in the landscape with profound implications for interpreting river deposits in the rock record, and for the management of infrastructure near large rivers.

In 2015 he started work in a second postdoctoral research fellow position looking at the hydrology and geomorphology of Canada peatlands and their landscape restoration. This project uses groundwater modelling to understand more about the interfaces between peatlands and surrounding forests and factors which influence the hydrological exchanges across these interfaces. His work in this area was recently supported by an EU INTERACT grant to research a peatland/lake interface in Sweden.

Since joining University of Birmingham he has been a member of the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) and has published a number of papers on forest hydrology and wood in rivers. He has developed recent interdisciplinary research collaborations on geomorphological processes in cities and on microplastics in freshwater systems.

Teaching

Level 3 – River Processes & Deposits

Research

Research interests

Simon’s principle research interest is at the interdisciplinary boundary between fluvial geomorphology, hydrology & social science. This approach examines the social and political drivers of anthropogenic activities which create, destroy or remake landscapes, and the natural forces which in turn further reshape these landscapes; a hybrid Anthropocene geomorphology. More specifically his research focuses on

  • The design, implications and success of landscape restoration.
  • River management
  • Natural Flood Management
  • Geomorphological processes in cities (e.g. sinkholes, building collapse)
  • The geomorphology and sedimentology of microplastics

Other activities

  • Member of British Society for Geomorphology
  • Member of European Geophysical Union
  • Member of the British Hydrological Society

Publications

Dixon, SJ., Kettridge, N., Moore, PA., Devito, KJ., Tilak, AS., Petrone, RM., Mendoza, CA., Waddington, JM. (2017) Peat depth as a control on moss water availability under evaporative stress Hydrological Processes DOI: 10.1002/hyp.11307

Dixon, SJ., Viles, H., Garrett, B. (2017) Ozymandias in the Anthropocene: The city as an emerging landform. Area DOI: 10.1111/area.12358

Tooth, S., Viles, H., Dickinson, A., Dixon, SJ., Falcini, A., Griffiths, H., Hawkins, H., Lloyd Jones, J., Ruddock, J., Thorndycraft, V., Whalley, B. (2016) Visualising geomorphology: Improving communication of data and concepts through engagement with the arts. Earth Surfaces Processes and Landforms, ESEX Commentary DOI: 10.1002/esp.3990

Dixon, SJ., Sear, DA,. Odoni, NA,. Sykes, T,. Lane, SN. (2016) The effects of river restoration on flood hydrology. Earth Surfaces Processes and Landforms, Special Issue: Stormy Geomorphology: 'Evidence of geomorphic solutions to buffer the effects of extremes' DOI: 10.1002/esp.3919

Dixon, SJ. (2016) A dimensionless statistical analysis of logjam form and process. Ecohydrology, DOI: 10.1002/eco.1710

Dixon, SJ. (2014) Investigating the effects of large wood and forest management on flood risk and flood hydrology. Available from: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/365560/

Dixon, SJ., Sear, DA., (2014) The influence of geomorphology on large wood dynamics in a low gradient headwater stream, Water Resources Research, DOI: 10.1002/2014WR015947