Simon Dixon


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Projects are normally linked to three broad themes - i) "unruly" urban environments such as derelict buildings, and unoccupied sites and what their physical, ecological and social effects are, and how these are entangled with each other, ii) managing landscape change for flood mitigation, including rewilding, nature based solutions and river restoration, iii) how plastic pollution interacts with earth system processes, such as transport by rivers, and how plastic becomes waste.

Most PhD projects I am involved with will draw from multiple disciplines and typically will comprise a diverse supervisory team bring a range of knowledge and perspectives to support the project.


Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Simon is an interdisciplinary lecturer in geography with broad interests in the feedbacks between human activities and landscape processes, often using the theoretical lens of “The Anthropocene” to frame research. My research group are looking at: the landscapes of The Anthropocene, the processes which reshape them, and how humans both influence these landscapes and processes, but are in turn influenced by the hybrid physical landscape of the Anthropocene in how they live their lives.

Examples include how waste plastic is being incorporated into sediments and fluvial transport processes, and the effects of geomorphological processes in cities producing hybrid human/natural landforms.

Simon is part of the Birmingham Plastics Network, an interdisciplinary team of more than 40 academics working together to shape the fate and sustainable future of plastics.  This unique team brings together chemists, environmental scientists, philosophers, linguists, economists, and experts in many other fields, to holistically address the global plastics problem.


Simon had a career in financial services working at offices in the UK and India, before undertaking a MSc in River Environmental Management as a mature student at University of Birmingham and then a PhD in Fluvial Geomorphology at University of Southampton. He worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on Large river morphodynamics and Peatland hydrology, before taking up a position as lecturer at University of Birmingham in 2018.

He was awarded the Royal Geographical Society's Area Prize in 2018 for "Ozymandias in the Anthropocene: the city as an emerging landform" a paper introducing the concept of hybrid urban landforms.

He is founder and co-chair of the Neurodiversity Staff Network at University of Birmingham, and founder of the UK Universities Neurodiversity Network. He has ADHD, Autism, four cats and has completed the Pokemon National Pokedex

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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