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Dr Georgie Bennett

Dr Georgie Bennett

Associate Professor in Physical Geography

 01392 72 5866

 Amory D439b


Amory Building, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4RJ , UK


I am a geomorphologist using a combination of remote sensing, environmental sensor networks, and numerical modeling to investigate earth surface dynamics and hazards, predominantly in mountainous regions. I am the 2020 EGU Outstanding Early Career Scientist in Geomorphology. 

My passion for geomorphology really started during a BSc and MSc in Geography at Durham University, where I studied glacial landsystems and paraglacial dynamics in Iceland with Dave Evans. In 2009 I moved to Switzerland to do my PhD with Peter Molnar at ETH Zurich. My PhD research focused on landslide and debris flow processes in a Swiss alpine catchment and culminated in a new model, SedCas, now being applied in other catchments to model sediment cascades and debris flow hazard. Following my PhD, I moved to the USA where I worked with Josh Roering at the University of Oregon on longer term landscape evolution in northern California and particularly the role of slow moving landslides. In a second postdoc at the US Forest Service and Colorado State University (2015 – 2016), I investigated the response of catchments in the Colorado Front Range to an extreme flood event and learned a lot about fluvial geomorphology whilst roaming around the Rockies with Sandra Ryan and Sara Rathburn.

I returned to the UK in 2017 as Lecturer in Physical Geography of Natural Hazards at UEA where I took advantage of the rich, interdisciplinary nature of the School of Environmental Sciences and started to build a research group. Since late 2019, I am a Lecturer and now Associate Professor in Physical Geography at the University of Exeter.  I am currently a Co I on EXCESS: the role of excess topography and peak ground acceleration on earthquake preconditioning of landslides, SUPERSLUG: Deconstructing sediment superslugs as a legacy of extreme flows and on EvoFlood: The Evolution of Global Flood Hazard and Risk. I was previously PI on SENSUM: Smart SENSing of landscapes Undergoing hazardous hydrogeologic Movement; PI on BOULDER, investigating boulder hazard cascades in Nepal, and SCaRP, investigating cascading landslide hazards in the Philippines and a Co I on Project GLOP investigating glacial lake outburst hazard in Peru. You can read more about these projects and my geomorphology group at my external website.

Broad research specialisms:
Mountain and Coastal Geomorphology, Landslide hazards, Environmental Sensors and Remote Sensing


PhD in Environmental Engineering, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
BSc and MSc in Geography, Durham University


Research group links

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Research interests

My Landslides Group at the University of Exeter studies earth-surface dynamics, hazards and sediment cascades predominantly in mountain landscapes. We use a range of techniques to quantify and monitor earth surface processes operating in these landscapes including remote sensing to detect landslides and passive and active sensors to track bedload transport in rivers. We are also actively developing spatially lumped, probabilistic models for simulating mountain basin sediment cascades and hazards. We are particularly interested in the response of landscapes to disturbances, whether that be a single extreme flood, an earthquake or longer-term climate change. We aim to both further understanding of earth surface processes and hazards and produce impactful research to enhance resilience to natural hazards. To that end, much of our research is based in developing countries, where populations are particularly vulnerable to natural hazards (e.g. past SCaRP and BOULDER projects and current EXCESS and SUPERSLUG projects).

Research projects

Current projects

EXCESS: the role of excess topography and peak ground acceleration on earthquake
preconditioning of landslides (NERC PtF, PI Sarah Boulton, Uni Plymouth) Co I

SUPERSLUG: Deconstructing sediment superslugs as a legacy of extreme flows (NERC PtF, PI Matt Westoby, Uni Plymouth) Co I

Tracking sediment waves through Himalayan fluvial cascades following extreme debris flows (NERC Seedcorn, PI Matt Westoby, Uni Plymouth) Co I

EvoFlood: The Evolution of Global Flood Hazard and Risk, (NERC Large Grant, PI Dan Parsons) CoI

Past projects

SENSUM: Smart SENSing of landscapes Undergoing hazardous hydrogeomorphic Movement, PI

BOULDER: Accounting for BOUlders in Landslide-flood Disaster Evaluation and Resilience, PI 

SCaRP: Simulating Cascading Rainfall-triggered landslide hazards in the Philippines, PI

GLOP: Glacial Lake Outburst floods in Peru, CoI

Research grants

  • 2024 NERC Std Grant
    SUPERSLUG: Deconstructing sediment superslugs as a legacy of extreme flows
  • 2023 NERC Std Grant
    EXCESS: the role of excess topography and peak ground acceleration on earthquake preconditioning of landslides
  • 2021 NERC
    EvoFlood: Evolution of Global Flood Hazard and Risk
  • 2020 NERC
    SENSUM: smart SENSing of landscapes Undergoing hazardous hydrogeologic Movement
  • 2019 NERC Newton Agham
    SCaRP: Simulating Cascading Rainfall-triggered landslide hazards in the Philippines
  • 2018 NERC
    BOULDER: Accounting for BOUlders in Landslide-flood Disaster Evaluation and Resilience
  • 2018 NERC
    Project GLOP: Glacial lakes in Peru: Evolution, Hazards and impacts of climate change
  • 0 NERC
    Tracking sediment waves through Himalayan fluvial cascades following extreme mass flows

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Journal articles

Abancó C, Asurza FA, Medina V, Hürlimann M, Bennett GL (2024). Modelling antecedent soil hydrological conditions to improve the prediction of landslide susceptibility in typhoon-prone regions. Landslides, 1-17.
Panici D, Bennett G, Boothroyd R, Abancó C, Williams R, Tan F, Matera M (2024). Modelling channel geomorphic change from landslide sediment delivery during Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines.
Panici D, Bennett GL, Boothroyd RJ, Abanco C, Williams RD, Tan F, Matera M (2024). Observations and computational multi-phase modelling in tropical river settings show complex channel changes downstream from rainfall-triggered landslides. EARTH SURFACE PROCESSES AND LANDFORMS  Author URL.
Newby K, Bennett G, Roskilly K, Sgarabotto A, Luo C, Manzella I (2024). Smart boulders for real-time detection of hazardous movement on landslides.
Gebrechorkos S, Leyland J, Slater L, Wortmann M, Ashworth PJ, Bennett GL, Boothroyd R, Cloke H, Delorme P, Griffith H, et al (2023). A high-resolution daily global dataset of statistically downscaled CMIP6 models for climate impact analyses. Sci Data, 10(1). Abstract.  Author URL.
Jones JN, Bennett GL, Abancó C, Matera MAM, Tan FJ (2023). Multi-event assessment of typhoon-triggered landslide susceptibility in the Philippines. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 23(3), 1095-1115. Abstract.
Abancó C, Asurza FA, Hürlimann M, Medina V, Bennett G (2023). The role of rainfall infiltration on landslide occurrence at regional scale.
Emmer A, Wood JL, Cook SJ, Harrison S, Wilson R, Diaz-Moreno A, Reynolds JM, Torres JC, Yarleque C, Mergili M, et al (2022). 160 glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) across the Tropical Andes since the Little Ice Age. Global and Planetary Change, 208 Abstract.
Abancó C, Medina V, Bennett GL, Matthews AJ, Hürlimann M (2022). Analysis of landslide-triggering rainfalls in a typhoon-prone region of the Philippines.
Sgarabotto A, Manzella I, Roskilly K, Luo C, Clark M, Franco AMA, Bennett GL, Raby A (2022). Investigating boulder motions with smart sensors in lab experiments.
Hirschberg J, McArdell BW, Bennett GL, Molnar P (2022). Numerical Investigation of Sediment-Yield Underestimation in Supply-Limited Mountain Basins with Short Records. GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, 49(7).  Author URL.
Clark MJ, Bennett GL, Ryan-Burkett SE, Sear DA, Franco AMA (2022). Untangling the controls on bedload transport in a wood-loaded river with RFID tracers and linear mixed modelling. EARTH SURFACE PROCESSES AND LANDFORMS, 47(9), 2283-2298.  Author URL.
Jones JN, Boulton SJ, Stokes M, Bennett GL, Whitworth MRZ (2021). 30-year record of Himalaya mass-wasting reveals landscape perturbations by extreme events. Nat Commun, 12(1). Abstract.  Author URL.
Shobe CM, Bennett GL, Tucker GE, Roback K, Miller SR, Roering JJ (2021). Boulders as a lithologic control on river and landscape response to tectonic forcing at the Mendocino triple junction. GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA BULLETIN, 133(3-4), 647-662.  Author URL.
Hirschberg J, Fatichi S, Bennett GL, McArdell BW, Peleg N, Lane SN, Schlunegger F, Molnar P (2021). Climate Change Impacts on Sediment Yield and Debris-Flow Activity in an Alpine Catchment. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 126(1). Abstract.
Wood JL, Harrison S, Wilson R, Emmer A, Yarleque C, Glasser NF, Torres JC, Caballero A, Araujo J, Bennett GL, et al (2021). Contemporary glacial lakes in the Peruvian Andes. Global and Planetary Change, 204 Abstract.
Dini B, Bennett GL, Franco AMA, Whitworth MRZ, Cook KL, Senn A, Reynolds JM (2021). Development of smart boulders to monitor mass movements via the Internet of Things: a pilot study in Nepal. Earth Surface Dynamics, 9(2), 295-315. Abstract.
Jones JN, Boulton SJ, Bennett GL, Stokes M, Whitworth MRZ (2021). Temporal Variations in Landslide Distributions Following Extreme Events: Implications for Landslide Susceptibility Modeling. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 126(7). Abstract.
Abanco C, Bennett GL, Matthews AJ, Anthony M. Matera M, Tan FJ (2021). The role of geomorphology, rainfall and soil moisture in the occurrence of landslides triggered by 2018 Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 21(5), 1531-1550. Abstract.
Shobe CM, Turowski JM, Nativ R, Glade RC, Bennett GL, Dini B (2021). The role of infrequently mobile boulders in modulating landscape evolution and geomorphic hazards. Earth-Science Reviews, 220 Abstract.
Jones JN, Stokes M, Boulton SJ, Bennett GL, Whitworth MRZ (2020). Coseismic and monsoon-triggered landslide impacts on remote trekking infrastructure, Langtang Valley, Nepal. QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING GEOLOGY AND HYDROGEOLOGY, 53(2), 159-166.  Author URL.
Wood J, Harrison S, Wilson R, Yarleque C, Bennett G, Caballero A, Castromonte J, Emmer A, Garay D, Garrido H, et al (2020). Mapping glacier lakes in Peru.
Dini B, Bennett G, Franco A, Whitworth MRZ, Senn A, Cook K (2020). Monitoring boulder movement using the Internet of Things: towards a landslide early warning system.
Abancó C, Bennett G, Briant J, Battiston S (2020). Towards an automatic landslide mapping tool based on satellite imagery and geomorphological parameters. A study of the Itogon area (Philippines) after Typhoon Mangkhut.
Finnegan NJ, Broudy KN, Nereson AL, Roering JJ, Handwerger AL, Bennett G (2019). River channel width controls blocking by slow-moving landslides in California's Franciscan melange. EARTH SURFACE DYNAMICS, 7(3), 879-894.  Author URL.
Handwerger AL, Fielding EJ, Huang M, Bennett GL, Liang C, Schulz WH (2019). Widespread Initiation, Reactivation, and Acceleration of Landslides in the Northern California Coast Ranges due to Extreme Rainfall. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 124(7), 1782-1797. Abstract.
Rathburn SL, Bennett GL, Wohl EE, Briles C, McElroy B, Sutfin N (2017). The fate of sediment, wood, and organic carbon eroded during an extreme flood, Colorado Front Range, USA. Geology, 45(6), 499-502.
Bennett GL, Roering JJ, Mackey BH, Handwerger AL, Schmidt DA, Guillod BP (2016). Historic drought puts the brakes on earthflows in Northern California. Geophysical Research Letters, 43(11), 5725-5731. Abstract.
Bennett GL, Miller SR, Roering JJ, Schmidt DA (2016). Landslides, threshold slopes, and the survival of relict terrain in the wake of the Mendocino Triple Junction. Geology, 44(5), 363-366.
Roering JJ, Mackey BH, Handwerger AL, Booth AM, Schmidt DA, Bennett GL, Cerovski-Darriau C (2015). Beyond the angle of repose: a review and synthesis of landslide processes in response to rapid uplift, Eel River, Northern California. Geomorphology, 236, 109-131.
Bennett GL, Molnar P, McArdell BW, Burlando P (2014). A probabilistic sediment cascade model of sediment transfer in the Illgraben. Water Resources Research, 50(2), 1225-1244.
Bennett GL, Molnar P, McArdell BW, Schlunegger F, Burlando P (2013). Patterns and controls of sediment production, transfer and yield in the Illgraben. Geomorphology, 188, 68-82.
Bennett GL, Molnar P, Eisenbeiss H, McArdell BW (2012). Erosional power in the Swiss Alps: characterization of slope failure in the Illgraben. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 37(15), 1627-1640. Abstract.
Bennett GL, Evans DJA, Carbonneau P, Twigg DR (2012). Evolution of a debris-charged glacier landsystem, Kvíárjökull, Iceland. Journal of Maps, 6(1), 40-67.
Bennett GL, Evans DJA (2012). Glacier retreat and landform production on an overdeepened glacier foreland: the debris‐charged glacial landsystem at Kvíárjökull, Iceland. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 37(15), 1584-1602. Abstract.
Bennett GL (2012). The debris-charged glacier landsystem, a new landsystem model, based on Kvíárjökull, Iceland. Quaternary International, 279


Sgarabotto A, Manzella I, Roskilly K, Clark M, Bennett G, Luo C (In Press). Evaluating the use of smart sensors in ground-based monitoring of landslide movement with laboratory experiments. EGU Sphere.
Roskilly K, Bennett G, Clark M, Franco A, Luo C, Manzella I (2023). Smart cobbles and boulders for monitoring movement in rivers and on hillslopes. 2023 EGU General Assembly. 24th - 28th Apr 2023.
Alessandro S, Irene M, Ruby A, Roskilly K, Bennett G, Luo C (2023). Smart sensors to detect movements of cobbles and large woody debris dams. Insights from lab experiments. 25th EGU General Assembly. 23rd - 28th Apr 2023.
Sgarabotto A, Majtan E, Manzella I, Raby A, Fourtakas G, Rogers BD, Roskilly K, Panici D, Bennett GL, Luo C, et al (2023). Using Smart Sensors to Track Woody Debris in Flume Experiments. Proceedings of the 40th IAHR World Congress. Rivers � Connecting Mountains and Coasts.
Panici D, Bennett GL (2022). Multi-phase Modelling of Landslide-flood Cascading Hazards: a Case-study from the 2013 Great Colorado Flood. Abstract.

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External Engagement and Impact


EGU 2020 Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award in Geomorphology

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I convene and teach part of GEO2233 Landscape Response to Environmental Change: from Source to Sink and contribute to GEO2334 Research Design in Physical Geography and GEO3321 BSc Dissertation

I also teach on the new GIS MSc at Exeter. I convene GEOM185 Applied Project (Academic) and contribute to GEOM183 Spatial Data Science.

I supervise dissertations mainly on topics related to landslide hazards and coastal erosion. 

At UEA in my past lectureship, I contributed to modules on Geohazards, Geomorphology and Research Topics in Earth Science. 



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Supervision / Group

Postdoctoral researchers

Postgraduate researchers

  • Kate Newby


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Office Hours:

Term 3. 2023/2024-

Office hours in Amory D439b or on Teams*:

Wednesdays 10.00 - 11.00. Please book a 15 minute slot here*

Thursday 10.00 - 11.00. Please book at 15 minute slot here*

*I will assume you are coming in person, but if you would like to meet online, just send me an email and I will send you a Teams link. 

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