Tom Coulthard

Professor Tom Coulthard

Professor of Physical Geography

Faculty of Science and Engineering

+44 (0) 1482 466065

Professor Tom Coulthard chaired the independent review into the Hull floods and was lead author on the review's influential report.

He has a strong research pedigree in modelling environmental systems, specialising in distributed and cellular modelling of fluvial and landscape systems, and has written more than 50 papers in leading journals including Geology and Water Resources Research.

After his PhD (Leeds), Prof Coulthard worked as a lecturer at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, before being appointed as Professor of Physical Geography at the University of Hull in 2005.


Research Interests

  • Modelling the impacts of environmental change
  • Metal contamination in river systems
  • The impacts of vegetation on fluvial geomorphology

Research groups

  • Member of the NERC SINATRA flooding from intense rainfall consortium
  • Former member of the NERC/EPSRC Flood Risk Management Research Consortium (FRMRC) parts 1 and 2.
  • Held a further three NERC grants (GT4/95/147/F, GST/02/0758, NER/A/S/2001/00454)
  • British Society for Geomorphology Windsor Workshop
  • CAESAR-Lisflood landscape evolution model

Further research details


Liu B and Coulthard T J, 'Modelling the Interaction of Aeolian and Fluvial Processes with a Combined Cellular Model of Sand Dunes and River Systems', Computers and Geosciences, 106, pp 1–9 (2017)

Coulthard T J and Skinner C J, 'The Sensitivity of Landscape Evolution Models to Spatial and Temporal Rainfall Resolution', Earth Surface Dynamics, 4, pp 757-771 (2016)

Coulthard T J and Van De Wiel M J, 'Modelling Long Term Basin Scale Sediment Connectivity, Driven by Spatial Land Use Changes', Geomorphology, 277, pp 265–281 (2016)

Liu B and Coulthard T J, 'Mapping the Interactions between Rivers and Sand Dunes: Implications for Fluvial and Aeolian Geomorphology', Geomorphology, 231, pp 246–257 (2015)

Skinner C J, Coulthard T J, Parsons D R, Ramirez J A, Mullen L and Manson S, 'Simulating Tidal and Storm Surge Hydraulics with a Simple 2D Inertia Based Model, in the Humber Estuary, UK', Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 155, pp 126–136 (2015)

Full list


Modules list

  • Fluvial Processes and Management
  • Tenerife Field Course

Research PhDs

Current PhD supervisions

  • Shona Thomson
  • Jessica Moloney
  • Chloe Morris
  • Sergio Duran

 Completed PhDs

  • Supervised five PDRAs and 10 research students

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • BSc Leed
  • PhD Leeds

External roles

  • Managing editor (and founding editor) of the EGU journal Earth Surface Dynamics

Awards and accolades

  • Awarded the Warwick award from the British Geomorphological Research Group (2005)
  • Awarded the Vice Chancellor's Prize from the University of Hull (2008)