Professor Richard Brazier
Professor of Earth Surface Processes

External responsibilities

Awards/Honorary fellowships

2015 - Winner of the Water Industry Achievement Awards: Big Data award. In partnership with South West Water and the Environment Agency

2013 - Winner of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management: Wetlands Award as part of the ‘Upstream Thinking’ team

2012 - Winner of the Utility Industry Achievement Awards, 2012 (Environment Award), as part of the ‘Upstream Thinking’ team with SWW, WRT, EA and NE.

2012 - Overall Winners prize in the 2012 Pennon Environmental awards “The judges commended the development and use of innovative technology to survey restored mires and gather data on blue water storage. They noted this will enable future restoration to be better targeted on relevant areas of land, and help inform the next bid to Ofwat to apply for more funding going forward. They felt this solution had many applications, not just in the water industry, or the UK, but across many industries, globally.”

Committee/panel activities

2009 - 2020 Scientific advisor to the South West Water Mires-on-the-Moors project

2009 – present Honorary Fellow at North Wyke Research, part of  Rothamstead Research

2004 - 2008 Invited member of COST 634 initiative.

2004 - 2008 Invited inaugural member of the Top Down Working Group (TDWG) of the IAHS sponsored ‘Predictions in Ungauged Basins' PUB initiative

2007 - present Invited member of the Soil Conservation Committee of the Soil System Science group of the European Geophysical Union.

2008 - 2011 Member of the NERC peer review college

2009 – present Invited member of steering group for Defra-funded Flood Demonstration Project, Holnicote Estate.

2007 - present Invited member of the Erosion Committee of the Hydrology group of the European Geophysical Union.

2010 - present Invited advisor to the Defra sponsored ‘Catchment Sensitive Farming’ Initiative (ECSFI)

2010 - present Invited scientific advisor and member of the Mires-on-the-Moors Project Delivery Group

2012 - present Invited member of NERC taskforce on sustainable Agriculture

2013 - present Member of the International Commission on Water Quality

2012 – present Senior Scientist on the Sevilleta Long Term Ecological Research project. Funded by the US National Science Foudation in collaboration with the University of New Mexico

Editorial responsibilities

Journal Reviewer for >20 International, peer-reviewed journals

Editorial board for journal Catena, Special Issue – The scale problem in soil erosion studies. Published March 2013.

2013 - Associate Editor for EGU journal ‘SOIL’

External Examiner Positions

PhD Examining

November 2003 - Louise Sime (Sheffield)

August 2004 - Andy Carr (Sheffield)

November 2004 - Ben Surridge (Sheffield)

September 2006 - Eblal Zakzok, (Manchester)

September 2011 - Charlotte Lloyd (Bristol)

November 2014 - Anka Asandei (Exeter)

December 2014 - Harriet Sjerps-Jones (Exeter)

June 2016 - Gareth Owen (Newcastle)

June 2016 - Ian Thomas (Ulster)

June 2017 - Holly East (Exeter)

October 2017 - Peter Metcalfe (Lancaster)

Invited lectures & workshops

January 2011 - Chair and organiser of Defra-funded workshop ‘Developing a cost-effective framework to monitor soil erosion in England and Wales’

April 2009 - Understanding the erosion of semi-arid landscapes subject to vegetation change: a combined approach using monitoring, isotope and 14C analysis. Invited paper. European Geosciences Union.

May 2010 - Rainfall simulation in erosion studies. Invited keynote paper at the EGU meeting, Vienna, 2010.

May 2010 - Improving soil erosion models through iterative data collection and numerical experimentation. Invited paper at the EGU meeting, Vienna, 2010.

June 2012 - The Mires Restoration Project: holistic understanding of the effects of moorland restoration. Invited paper at the British Ecological Society Annual Meeting, Bangor, Wales.

July 2012 - Invited participant in the Future Water 2012 conference at the Royal Geographical Society, London.

March 2012 - Invited seminar at Department of Geography, Brighton University.

October 2012 - Invited reviewer for the Portugese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT).

November 2012 - Invited reviewer for the Czech Science Foundation

November 2012 - Invited rapporteur at the UK’s Upland Hydrology Group meeting, Dartmoor National Park, UK.

July 2013 Invited participant in the Future Water 2013 conference at the Royal Geographical Society, London.

Media Coverage

Specieswatch: beavers chip in to boost Yorkshire flood defences - The Guardian, 5th November, 2018

How England's first wild beaver colony has transformed a Devon valley - The Daily Mail online, 24th August, 2018

Beavers arrive in the Forest of Dean - Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Forestry Commission, and The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, 24th July, 2018

Beavers released in Forest of Dean as solution to flooding - The Guardian, 24th July, 2018

Beavers curb soil loss and water pollution, study suggests - The Daily Mail online, 10th May, 2018

Beavers could be used to clean up polluted rivers in Devon and Cornwall - ITV1, 9th May, 2018

Beavers reduce river pollution by building dams, study shows - The Telegraph, 9th May, 2018

Beavers ponds reduce flood risk and mitigate soil erosion - BBC Radio Devon, 9th May, 2018

How beavers can do dam good work - BBC Wildlife Magazine, 9th May, 2018

Beavers Do Dam Good Work Cleaning Water, Research Reveals - Science Magazine, 9th May 2018

Beavers curb soil loss and water pollution, study suggests - The Evening Express, 9th May 2018 

Beavers reduce flood risk - BBC Radio 1 - PM program, 8th May, 2018

Gove’s farming subsidy overhaul ‘must be backed by research’ - Research Professional, 5th January, 2018

Britain bringing back the beaver - The Globe and Mail, 22nd December, 2017

Natural England greenlights beaver release to boost biodiversity - ENDS report, 11th December, 2017

Beavers will return to the Forest of Dean for first time in 400 years - BBC online, 8th December, 2017

Beavers returned to Forest of Dean as solution to flooding - The Times, 8th December, 2017 

Beavers are going to be released into the Forest of Dean - BBC Radio Gloucestershire, 8th December, 2017 

Environment Secretary backs release of Beavers in Forest of Dean -, 8th December, 2017

Michael Gove says yes to beavers: Family of dam-building rodents set for the Forest - Gloucestershirelive, 8th December, 2017

Leave it to the Beavers! - Cornwall Life magazine, November, 2017

Autumnwatch: The Cornwall Beaver Trial - BBC Two, 25th October, 2017 (from 40 minutes in)

Meet the latest recruit to the UK flood defence team: the beaver - The Guardian, 16th September, 2017

Countryfile Summer Diaries, Episode 3: Cornwall Beaver Trial - BBC One, 30th August, 2017 (from 21 minutes in) 

Dam it! How beavers could save Britain from flooding - The Guardian, 8th August, 2017

Bring back beavers to prevent flooding - The Telegraph, 4th June, 2017

Beaver return 'benefits environment' - BBC News online, 3rd June, 2017

The benefits of beavers - They can be controversial, but scientists say beavers are good for the environment and biodiversity. BBC News online, 3rd June, 2017

Extinction reversed as beavers make a miraculous comeback in Cornwall - The West Briton, 30th March, 2017

Beaver projects win national nature conservation award - BBC Spotlight, 27th March, 2017

Beaver fever proves giant rodents are not a dam nuisance - The Times, 25th March, 2017 

Wildlife Success of the year - BBC Countryfile magazine, 13th March, 2017

Reintroducing beavers to the Forest of Dean - BBC Radio Gloucestershire, 24th February, 2017

Watch: Rare baby beavers with mother in River Otter - Express online, 30th January, 2017

Brexit offers rare chance to make Britain greener - Nature News, 11th January, 2017, Nature 541, 145-146. doi:10.1038/541145a

Environmental Audit Committee - Oral and written evidence: The Future of the Natural Environment after the EU Referendum - Published 4th January 2017

Drones for leak detection - BBC One Spotlight, 21st December, 2016

Beaver dams could help in the fight against flooding - The Times, 3rd December, 2016

Scientific evidence proves the value of British beavers - Rewilding Britain Magazine, 10th November, 2016

Environmental Audit Committee - The Future of the Natural Environment after the EU Referendum, 18th October, 2016

Farming Today - UK Beavers, BBC Radio 4, 3rd August, 2016

Five Brilliant facts about Beavers - Rewilding Britain magazine, 27th July, 2016

From source to sea, natural flood management: the Holnicote experience

Beavers at work... Devon dwellers reveal their flair for fighting floods  Observer, 14th February, 2016

Farming today - Beavers in Devon, BBC Radio 4, 10th February 2016

Using Beavers to Naturally Manage Flooding Permaculture magazine, 9th February, 2016

A natural ally in the fight against floods - the beaver Western Morning News, 8th February, 2016

Environmental Audit Committee: Flooding, Cooperation across Government, Parliament TV, 3rd February, 2016

Beavers and flood risk management  Rewilding Britain, 18th December 2015

Should the UK bring back beavers to help manage floods? New Scientist, 21st November, 2015

Devon beaver colony could prevent floods and boost fish populations Western Morning News, 19th November, 2015

Beavers are back, but are they welcome? Shooting Times and Country magazine, 2nd September, 2015

Saving the culm grasslands - how farmers and conservationists are working together - Western Morning News, 24th June, 2015

Exmoor Mires water project could have global significance - Western Morning News, 23rd April, 2015

Exmoor peat bogs could soar in value for carbon emissions offsetting - Western Morning News, 30th March, 2015

Beavers are back, but are they welcome? Shooting Times and Country magazine, 2nd September, 2015

Saving the culm grasslands - how farmers and conservationists are working together - Western Morning News, 24th June, 2015

Exmoor Mires water project could have global significance - Western Morning News, 23rd April, 2015

Exmoor peat bogs could soar in value for carbon emissions offsetting - Western Morning News, 30th March, 2015

A scheme to 're-wet' thousands of acres of peat bog - BBC news, 18th March, 2015

Acres of Exmoor 're-wetted' and restored to peat bog -, 18th March, 2015

Working wetlands audio slideshow - Devon Wildlife Trust, March 2015

Farming Today - BBC Radio 4, February 2015

Shared planet: beavers in business - BBC Radio 4, November 2014

Rewilding Britain: bringing wolves, bears and beavers back to the land

Going back in time to save the Exmoor Mires - Western Daily Press, 10th June, 2014

An environmental superstar? Understanding the ecohydrological impact of reintroducing the Eurasian Beaver in the UK.

Devon County Show cancelled due to adverse weather (.mp3) - Interview on BBC Radio Devon, Friday 30th May, 2014

Torquay Letter: Tourism badly hit by storms The Irish Times - Friday March 14th, 2014 By Mark Hennessey

Careless farming adding to floods South West Farmer - Friday 7th March, 2014

Farmers need to be much smarter on land use to prevent worst flooding Blue and green tomorrow - Friday, March 7th, 2014 By Tom Revell

Interview with Roger Harrabin - Drive Time, BBC Radio 5, 7th March 2014

Interview with Roger Harrabin - Today, BBC Radio 4, 7th March 2014

UK floods: How restoring peat bogs could prevent flooding - 10th March 2014

Careless farming adding to floods - by Roger Harrabin, BBC online, 7th March 2014

Exmoor Mires project - BBC Spotlight, 27th February 2014

Research referenced in Commons debate on Impact of recent weather events in the south west of England - Parliament TV, 26th February 2014

Weather Eye - The Times, 21st February 2014

One West landscape where water's wanted - Western Daily Press, 10th February 2014

Exmoor bogs project cuts storm water by a third - Western Morning News, 8th February 2014

Exmoor peat bogs contain rainfall, say study - WWT Online, 7th February 2014

Flood Defences - BBC Spotlight, 17th January 2014

Recognising the real value of natural capital in the west country landscape Western Morning News, Thursday 27th June, 2013

Moor body calls for pause to work on bogs - Okehampton Times, 20th June 2013

Significant Impact

2009 – present Scientific Advisor and member of the Project Delivery Group for the Mires-on-the-moors initiative, a SWW funded project (£4M) which seeks to restore the upland blanket bogs of Dartmoor and Exmoor to alleviate flooding and sequester carbon

January 2008 - Expert witness for workshop on soil erosion and sediment strategy for the UK – Defra funded

March 2009 - Expert assessor for Defra Integrated Water and Agricultural Management Scheme.

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