The British Society for Geomorphology is the professional British organisation for geomorphologists. The society aims to advance the science of geomorphology, providing a community and services for those involved in geomorphological teaching, research or practice and promoting wider understanding of the discipline.
Our Statement of Strategy (2018-2022)
The BSG, as the professional British organisation for geomorphologists, will advance the science of geomorphology, and provide a community and services for those involved in teaching, research or practice in geomorphology. It will continue to foster excellence and seek increased support for geomorphology through five main strands:
- The promotion of geomorphological research through supporting the community by sponsoring co-operative and pump-priming research projects and the publication of the results of such research, training of early-career researchers and postgraduates, and supporting and organizing focused meetings and workshops. The BSG also aims to maintain and strengthen research partnerships, specifically through links with the Geological Society and the Royal Geographical Society (RGS-IBG), and enhance our co-operation on an international stage, with European and other international organizations, and with the IAG.
- The promotion of educational activities and the wider public understanding of the science of geomorphology and its contribution to society, its presence in schools, by the preparation and dissemination of training and teaching materials, and the organization of conferences and courses and of related outreach activities.
- The promotion of professional geomorphology by supporting the accreditation of geomorphologists via the CGeog (Geomorph) and other routes, the organization of workshops and conferences for practising geomorphologists, and the development of geomorphological guidance in relation to practice and policy.
- The strengthening of the Society’s Financial base so that it can better carry out 1-3, and ensure resilience of the Society in the coming decades.
- The provision of communications in appropriate formats, for both members and the wider public, in relation to 1-3 and to further ensure 4.
Meet the Committee
The British Society for Geomorphology Executive Committee are trustees of the society in its role as a Charity. The committee run the charity in its aim to promote geomorphology and support geomorphologists across the UK and globally.
The British Society for Geomorphology is led by a President, and managed by the Executive Committee that consists of the Chair, Deputy-Chair, Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer, three Vice-Chairs (who chair the three subcommittees for Research, Publications and Outreach), and three Ordinary Secretaries (secretaries for each of the subcommittees). The postgraduate members are represented by one or more of the three elected postgraduate representatives at Executive meetings. The Executive is responsible for the running of the Society, and if you wish to get involved please get in touch.
The Executive Committee contains the following roles, as well as the Vice Chairs of the sub-committees outlined below.
- President: Heather Viles
- Chair: Louise Callard
- Senior Deputy Chair: Annie Ockelford
- Junior Deputy Chair: Chris Hackney
- Honorary Secretary: Fiona Caithness
- Honorary Treasurer: Matt Westoby
- Membership Secretary: Joshua Ahmed
The Research Sub-Committee drives the research missions of the Society. It co-ordinates the programme of meetings, conference sponsorship, research grants and awards administered by the Society. It makes recommendations on the award of Society grants. It also makes recommendations following the nomination of candidates for the Dick Chorley, Linton Award and Gordon Warwick Award. It recommends the recipient of the Wiley Award and other awards that the Society might from time to time add to its portfolio.
The sub-committee members:
- Vice-Chair: Lucy Clarke
- Ordinary Secretary: Catherine Sanders
- Awards Officer: Stephen Darby
- Grants Office: Seb Pitman
- Ordinary member: Thorsten Balke
The BSG has a thriving postgraduate membership. The postgraduate section of the BSG is focused on providing useful information and support to postgraduate students.
The sub-committee members:
- Vice-Chair: David Whitfield
- Other members:
– Chryssa Brown
– Marcus Buechel
– Holly Chubb
– Erin Harvey
– Ethan Lee
– Ying-Tong Lin
– Gwyneth Rivers
– Guy Tallentire
– David Whitfield
– Sam Woor
The Committee for Professional Geomorphology supports the community of practicing geomorphologists through training and networking events, increasing awareness of the discipline across sectors, and keeps them linked to the latest geomorphic research.
The sub-committee members:
- Vice-Chair: Dr Matilda Biddulph
- Ordinary Secretary: Dr Eleanore Miles and Dr Gez Foster
- Consultancy Rep: Dr Chris Procter
- Academia Rep: Dr Ed Baynes
- Regulatory Rep: Dr Fiona Caithness and Dr Helen Reid
- Postgraduate Rep: Holly Chubb
- Charities & Trusts Rep: Vacancy
The Outreach and Education sub-Committee is here to support members in sharing and promoting geomorphology as widely as possible outside traditional academic circles and our aim is to improve understanding of geomorphology in society. Our two strands cover outreach – the sharing of our science with the public – and education – promoting the teaching of our science at all levels. We aim to assist and equip members to develop and share their own activities and resources, by grant funding, workshops and spaces to share them. We work alongside the BSG’s Committee for Professional Geomorphology, as well as the Royal Geographical Society and Geographical Association. We also manage the Marjorie Sweeting Dissertation Prize for the best undergraduate dissertation in geomorphology each year.
The sub-committee members:
- Vice-Chair: Hywel Griffiths
- Ordinary Secretary: Hannah Williams
- Postgraduate member: Ethan Lee
- Royal Geographical Society representative: Simon Pinfield
- Geological Association representative: Duncan Hawley
- Schools and education officer: currently recruiting
The Communications and Publications Sub-Committee is responsible for all official Society publications and outputs. It is responsible for promoting Earth Surface Processes and Landforms and society liaison with Wiley Publishers. The Publications Sub-Committee is also responsible for the production of the society member’s journal, Geophemera, management of the production of Geomorphological Techniques, and all forms of marketing and publicity for the BSG, including the website and social media.
The sub-committee members:
- Vice-Chair: Stuart Grieve
- Ordinary Secretary: Lizzie Dingle
- Newsletter and Social Media Rep: Josh Ahmed
- Website Rep: Katy Kemble
The origins of the BSG can be traced to a meeting in Sheffield in 1958 where British geomorphologists gathered together to organise a Landform Survey of Britain. By 1959 this group appears to have been referring to itself as the British Universities Geomorphological Research Group. This short-lived group agreed, at its second annual meeting, to disband itself and voted unanimously (all 19 of them) to constitute the British Geomorphological Research Group (BGRG). The first BGRG AGM was held on 1st October 1960.
In 1985 the BGRG celebrated its first twenty five years by hosting the first International Geomorphology Conference in Manchester which led to the formation of the International Association of Geomorphology.
In 2000, 40 years of the BGRG were celebrated by returning to Sheffield: for the Annual Meeting: of those 19 geomorphologists who, by their action, can be regarded as the founders of the BGRG, nine attended this 40th Anniversary Meeting. One of them, Professor Tony Orme, presented the Frost Lecture.
In 2006 the BGRG changed its name to British Society for Geomorphology (BSG) to embrace the changing (and broader) nature of the society. The society, which now has approximately 600 members world-wide, celebrated its 50th Anniversary at the Royal Geographical Society in 2010 with an Annual Meeting that focussed on ‘Grand Challenges’ for geomorphology over the next 50 years, and a photographic retrospective illustrating The Changing Face of the Earth which was open to the public. The Early History of the BGRG was detailed in Geophemera in 2007 by Denys Brunsden.
In 2018, the BSG agreed a change to it’s Constitution, moving to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation Status.
The object of the CIO is the advancement of the science of geomorphology, in research, in all levels of education and in its practical application. This object shall be achieved by, amongst others, the following activities:
- the promotion of geomorphic research through supporting the community by sponsoring co-operative and pump-priming research projects and the publication of the results of such research, training of early-career researchers and postgraduates, and supporting and organizing focused meetings and workshops. The BSG also aims to maintain and strengthen research partnerships, specifically through its affiliations with the Geological Society of London and the Royal Geographical Society (RGS-IBG), and to enhance our co-operation on an international stage, with European and other international organizations, including the International Association of Geomorphologists (IAG);
- the promotion of educational activities and the wider public understanding of the science of geomorphology and its contribution to society, and its presence in schools, by the preparation and dissemination of training and teaching materials, and the organization of workshops and events and of related outreach activities. The BSG also aims to maintain and strengthen teaching partnerships, specifically through links with the Geographical Association, Royal Geographical Society (RGS-IBG), the Geological Society and the Field Studies Council;
- the promotion of professional geomorphology by representing applied geomorphologists, connecting them with each other, and by promoting Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Chartership both via the Royal Geographical Society (RGS-IGB) and via other bodies providing professional accreditation for geomorphologists. The BSG will promote the use and advancement of geomorphological science by linking researchers and practitioners and by working to apply geomorphological science within practice and policy;
- The provision of communications in appropriate formats, for both members and the wider public. The BSG recognizes the ongoing strengths of its major research publication Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, as well as the Geomorphological Techniques series, and will ensure their continued success. Communications with members will ensure that members are fully aware of activities and benefits, and the importance of geomorphology will also be communicated to the broader public and relevant organizations.
- Maintain the health of the Society’s Financial base so that it can better carry out the above, and ensure resilience of the Society in the coming decades. The BSG recognizes the need to maintain a broad portfolio of income and investments, both to support and develop the activities above, but also to allow the Society to respond in an agile way to changes inside the discipline, or changes that affect its broader situation.
Recent chairs of the group include:
- 2022-23 Dr Richard Jeffries and Dr Katy Kemble
- 2021-22 Prof Andy Russell
- 2020-21 Prof Ann Mather
- 2019-20 Prof Stephen Tooth
- 2018-19 Prof Simon Mudd
- 2017-18 Prof Steve Darby
- 2016-17 Prof John Wainwright
- 2014-16 Prof Jo Bullard
- 2011-14 Prof Heather Viles
- 2010-11 Prof Bernie Smith
- 2009-10 Prof Andreas Lang
- 2008-9 Prof Lynne Frostick
- 2007-8 Prof Bob Allison
- 2006-7 Prof Paul Bishop
- 2005-6 Prof Angela Gurnell
- 2004-5 Prof Mark Macklin
- 2003-4 Prof Adrian Harvey
- 2002-3 Prof David Thomas
- 2001-2 Prof Charles Harris
- 2000-1 Prof Janet Hooke
- 1999-2000 Prof Tony Parsons
- 1998-9 Prof Alan Werritty
- 1997-8 Prof Rob Ferguson
- 1996-7 Dr Ian Evans
- 1995-6 Prof Tim Burt
- 1994-5 Prof Keith Richards
- 1993-4 Prof Brian Whalley
- 1992-3 Prof Malcolm Anderson
- 1991-2 Prof David Jones
- 1990-1 Prof Des Walling
- 1989-90 Prof John Lewin
- 1988-9 Prof Andrew Goudie
- 1987-8 Prof John Doornkamp
- 1986-7 Prof John Thornes
- 1985-6 Prof Ken Gregory
- 1984-5 Prof Denys Brunsden
- 1983-4 Prof David Sugden
- 1982-3 Prof Edward Derbyshire
- 1981-2 Prof Mike Thomas
- 1980-1 Prof Ian Douglas
- 1979-80 Prof Robert Price
- 1978-9 Prof Ron Cooke
Interested in joining our ever growing society? Membership allows you to have contact with a world-wide body of geomorphologists, get discounted subscription and free online access to the Earth Surface Processes and Landforms journal, have access to research funding and grants, participate in working groups, training workshops, field trips, conferences and much more.
Meet our Fellows
Fellows of the BSG are members of the Society who have made significant contributions to the advancement of geomorphology through, for example, refereed research publications, professional practice which has produced influential reports and recommendations, influential pedagogic advances in learning and teaching, and service to the activities of the BSG.FIND OUT MORE