Dr Peter Downs, PhD, CGeog (Geomorph), SFHEA

Principal Consultant – Geomorphology

Peter has over 30 years’ experience in the fields of fluvial geomorphology, sustainable river management and restoration and science and policy in river basin management. His career has combined university lecturing (Nottingham and Plymouth) with a decade in consulting, during which he directed, managed and provided technical input to catchment-scale projects in a variety of river habitats across the UK and western USA. Management objectives for these projects included river channel conservation and restoration, salmonid fisheries improvement, riparian habitat restoration, flood risk management and channel stability. This work was usually multidisciplinary and with stakeholder participation in developing solutions. His research interests and publication record focus on applying geomorphology to river restoration and sustainable environmental management.

Peter currently serves as a Conservation Member of the South West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee. Previously, he served on the Project Advisory Group for the Environment Agency R&D project ‘Working with Natural Processes to Reduce Flood Risk’. In the USA, he was lead scientist on the California Bay-Delta Authority’s Environmental Water Program (2002–2005) and sat on the United States Bureau of Reclamation’s subcommittee for dam removal (2008–2010). He was granted Chartered Geographer (Geomorphology) status by the Royal Geographical Society in 2005 (he now assesses applications) and a Senior Fellowship by the UK Higher Education Authority in 2019 for strengths focused on developing employability-framed teaching. In 2004, he was the lead author of River Channel Management: Towards sustainable catchment hydrosystems (with Ken Gregory), the first textbook dedicated to reviewing approaches and techniques in the management and restoration of river channels.

Meet the team