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New Director Appointed at the Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management

Professor James Brasington has been appointed as the new Director of the Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management, a partnership between Lincoln University and the University of Canterbury.  James joins Waterways from the University of Waikato, where he held the inaugural Waikato Regional Council Chair of River Science and brings a wealth of experience from previous positions at Queen Mary, University of London, and the Universities of Cambridge and Wales. 

James is a geomorphologist with research interests in dynamics of alpine and piedmont rivers, in particular understanding the form and function of braided rivers.  His research focuses on novel remote sensing methods, in particular high resolution lidar and photogrammetry along with numerical and geospatial simulation modelling, which is used to investigate how rivers respond to environmental pressures.  This work has taken him across the world, from the Himalaya, to the Pyrenees, the European Alps and the Pacific Northwest.  For the last 15 years, he has worked extensively in the South Island of New Zealand, in what he calls his “natural laboratory” typically involving large teams, working closely with engineers, ecologists, computer scientists and practitioners.  While James is interested in the fundamental processes that drive the behaviour of rivers, his work is increasingly focused on the development of tools and knowledge to inform strategies to manage our rivers sustainably as we confront the growing challenges of climate change and increasing demand for water. 

James is excited to take up the opportunity to lead Waterways; “…innovative thinking and alternative perspectives on how we confront the challenges facing our freshwater resources has never been needed more urgently.  Waterways is uniquely positioned in this regard, bringing together a transdisciplinary whānau of outstanding researchers and students from across the Universities of Canterbury and Lincoln. By working together and in concert with our key stakeholders from iwi, regional government and industry, we have the potential to ‘think radically’ and develop holistic solutions that link the social, natural and cultural dimensions of freshwater.”  For more information about James, visit: Research Gate Profile, LinkedIn Profile, Google Scholar