Greg Sambrook-Smith

Colleges, School and Institutes

Research interests

Professor Sambrook Smith investigates the linkages between river processes and sedimentology at scales ranging from individual pores within a river bed up to km-long bars in large rivers.

The World’s largest rivers suffer from a paucity of knowledge about how they currently function, how they have evolved through time and how they may respond to future environmental changes. This lack of knowledge matters to the millions of people who live and work on their floodplains but also to society more widely as large river deposits from some of the World’s most important water aquifers and the movement of sediment through rivers is key for replenishing downstream deltas to offset sea level rise.  Rivers may also become sinks for emerging pollutants such as microplastics, about which currently very little is known.

As a process-based fluvial sedimentologist, Professor Sambrook Smith has developed river science by blending, field, experimental and numerical methods to generate a new perspective which bridges temporal and spatial scales to provide a holistic framework for understanding both modern and ancient systems. His research generates new, generic and quantitative understanding of how rivers function across these scales. This is facilitated by development of new techniques such as endoscopic particle imaging velocimetry for use in porous media or application of geophysical techniques for fluvial context.

Biography

Professor Sambrook Smith was awarded his BSc in Geography from the University of Leeds in 1991 and completed his PhD at the University of Sheffield in 1994 under the supervision of Rob Ferguson. He was appointed as a Lecturer in Physical Geography at the University of Leeds for the academic year 1994/95. He then spent six years as a Lecturer in the School of Earth Sciences at Liverpool John Moores University before joining the University of Birmingham in 2001.

Qualifications

BSc (University of Leeds) 1991

PhD (University of Sheffield) 1994

Certificate of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (University of Leeds) 1995

Willingness to take PhD students

Yes

PhD projects

Greg Sambrook Smith investigates the links between river processes and sedimentology at scales ranging from individual pores within a river bed up to km-long bars in some of the world’s largest rivers. His research aims to generate new generic and quantitative understanding of how rivers function across these scales. His work is facilitated by the development of new techniques such as endoscopic particle imaging velocimetry, and includes:

Sedimentology of braided rivers (South Saskatchewan project)
Processes and deposits of the world's biggest rivers
Interactions between permeable beds and open channel flows
Development of novel experimental and geophysical methods
Morphodynamics and sedimentology of the tidally-influenced fluvial zone
Channel-floodplain interactions and basin-scale alluvial architecture
Microplastics in freshwater systems

He welcomes enquiries from prospective students in these areas.