Rowan, John

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


Research output per year

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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

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Research Output

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

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    6 Downloads (Pure)

    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

    Open Access
  • 1 Downloads (Pure)
  • 6 Citations (Scopus)
    Open Access
  • 127 Downloads (Pure)


    • 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