Rowan, John

Professor, Vice-Principal (Research, Knowledge Exchange & Wider Impact) & Personal Chair of Physical Geography

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Personal profile


John was recently appointed as Vice-Principal (Research, Knowledge Exchange and Wider Impact). He is responsible for the overall research strategy of the University, along with growing vibrant relationships bridging the University and diverse partners in Industry, Government and the wider public. These relationships ensure that the superb research in the University achieves its highest potential in innovation and impact throughout society, consistent with our core value of Transforming Lives.

John is a Professor of Physical Geography, with particular expertise in the study of environmental change. His systems-based work on the impacts of climate and land use change - manifested by issues like soil erosion, flooding and biodiversity impacts - has a strong policy focus. His international collaborations extend across multiple countries, e.g., current projects in India, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Turkey. He also has a strong national profile and serves in an advisory capacity to the Scottish Government’s Centres of Expertise in Climate Change (CXC) and Centre for Research on Water (CREW).

John has been at the University of Dundee since 1998. He was Founding Director of the Centre for Environmental Change and Human Resilience (CECHR), a strategic and highly successful partnership with the James Hutton Institute, established to tackle interdisciplinary challenges around food, water, energy and health security. He was the inaugural Dean of the new School of Social Sciences created through restructuring in 2015.


Research expertise on water resources and different aspects of river basin management including erosion and sedimentation issues, environmental change, governance and ecohydrology.



Global resources, ecosystem services and water resources management



  • GB Physical geography
  • GE Environmental Sciences
  • QE Geology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where John Rowan is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 20 Similar Profiles
catchment Earth & Environmental Sciences
sediment Earth & Environmental Sciences
lake Earth & Environmental Sciences
suspended sediment Earth & Environmental Sciences
river Earth & Environmental Sciences
agricultural catchment Earth & Environmental Sciences
soil erosion Earth & Environmental Sciences
sediment budget Earth & Environmental Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2011 2023

Research Output 2000 2019

Developing a standard approach for assessing the hydromorphology of lakes in Europe

Boon, P., Argillier, C., Boggero, A., Ciampittiello, M., England, J., Peterlin, M., Radulović, S., Rowan, J., Soszka, H. & Urbanič, G., Apr 2019, In : Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 29, 4, p. 655-669 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

agricultural catchment
agricultural watersheds
sediment budget
land management
soil erosion

Large-scale risk screening of raw water quality in the context of drinking water catchments and integrated response strategies

Vorstius, C., Rowan, J., Brown, I., Frogbrook, Z. & Palarea-Albaladejo, J., Oct 2019, In : Environmental Science and Policy. 100, p. 84-93 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

drinking water
water quality
ecosystem management
5 Citations (Scopus)
agricultural catchment
agricultural watersheds
87 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
ecosystem service

Activities 2004 2011

  • 1 Participation in conference
  • 1 Participation in workshop, seminar, course
  • 1 Public engagement and outreach - public lecture/debate/seminar

Environmental change and the drive for sustainable futures

John Rowan (Presenter)
7 Jun 2011

Activity: Other activity typesPublic engagement and outreach - public lecture/debate/seminar

Seventh Scientific Assembly of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences

John Rowan (Participant)
3 Apr 20059 Apr 2005

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

5th National Hydrology Seminar 2004: The Water Framework Directive - Monitoring & Modelling Issues for River Basin Management

John Rowan (Participant)
16 Nov 2004

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Press / Media

Anthology celebrates collaboration between scientists, writers and artists

John Rowan & Jean Duncan


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Other


An evaluation of the determinants of resilience to drought in Malawi

Author: Chiroro, C., 2013

Supervisor: Findlay, A. (Supervisor), Rowan, J. (Supervisor) & Gregory, P. J. (External person) (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Investigating the potential of remote sensing for long-term limnological analysis at pan-continental scales

Author: Politi, E., 2010

Supervisor: Cutler, M. (Supervisor) & Rowan, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Linking soil erosion processes with arable weed seedbank dynamics to inform sustainable cropping

Author: Lewis, T. D., 2014

Supervisor: Rowan, J. (Supervisor), McKenzie, B. M. (External person) (Supervisor) & Hawes, C. (External person) (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Natural flood management - an Ecosystem based Adaptation response for climate change

Author: Iacob, O., 2015

Supervisor: Rowan, J. (Supervisor), Brown, I. (External person) (Supervisor) & Ellis, C. (External person) (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy