EGU events 2015

EGU is coming close and Lucy Clarke arranged some information on upcoming event and sessions interesting for Geomorphologists.

Award lectures:

There are a number of Award lectures not to be missed out on at EGU2015:

  • The Arthur Holmes Medal lecture will be given by Carlo Laj on “Our Magnetic Planet”,
  • Heather Viles is giving the Ralph Alger Bagnold Medal Lecture on “Boulders, biology and buildings: Why weathering is vital to geomorphology”,
  • and Ann Rowan is giving the Penck Lecture on “What can mountain glaciers tell us about climate change? Quantifying past and future discharge variations in the Southern Alps and Himalaya”

Workshops for Young Scientist in Geomorphology at EGU2015:
Session GM11.1 – Meet the Masters: Tues 14th April at 17.30 in room G2. In this session, a successful scientist with many years of experience will give a look back to give a personal perspective of their career. This year we are happy that Tony Brown, Professor in Physical Geography at the University of Southampton has agreed to partake. Tony’s research focuses on floodplain geomorphology and palaeohydrology, alluvial geoarchaeology, forensic palynology and human-environment relationships and, more recently, the Anthropocene. We will discuss how his decisions subsequently affected his career, what problems he had to face, and how research is affected by life and vice versa. His account of his life and work will be fascinating window to how a master scientist works, and there will be an opportunity for questions from the audience to get advice on how to succeed in an academic career.

Session GM11.2 – How to Write a Paper in Geomorphology: Wed 15th April at 17.30 in room G2. In this workshop a panel of Editors from well-known journals in geomorphology (Earth Surface Dynamics, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, and Geomorphology) will discuss the makings of a good scientific paper in geomorphology. Providing advice on how to structure a paper, the review process and how respond to reviewers comments, as well as common pitfalls that authors may encounter. There will also be time for questions from the audience. This workshop will provide a valuable insight into the publication process for Young Scientists.

Session GM11.3 – Quantitative interrogation of high resolution DTMs: Mon 13th April 15.30 in room G2. Digital elevation models (DEMs) are the foundation of many studies in geomorphology. Methods to quantitatively interrogate these data are thus one of the keys to understanding the processes that shape the Earth and their driving forces. River profiles in particular have attracted the attention of geomorphologists as their shape reflects the tectonic and climatic past. Extracting and analysing river profiles from DEMs, however, is challenged by noisy topographic data often affected by artifacts. In this workshop, we will explore various techniques to extract and analyse river profiles from DEMs to account for the problems associated with DEMs in high mountain landscapes. We will use TopoToolbox, a software written in MATLAB language for the analysis of DEMs (Schwanghart and Scherler, 2014) and go through the entire work flow including preprocessing a DEM and deriving and modifying river networks. Finally, we aim at calculating Chi-plots, a new technique to analyse bedrock river profiles and alternative to slope-area plots which is less sensitive to noisy topographic data (Perron and Royden, 2012).

Social events at EGU2015
There are also a number of social events for Young Scientists at EGU2015. The Opening Reception is being held between 18.30-21.00 on Sunday 12 April in Room Foyer E, there will be an area specifically designated for Young Scientists which will be clearly labeled at the event, and provide an opportunity to meet other young scientists attending the meeting. There will also be a Young Scientist Lounge available on the Red Level of the conference centre to take a break, grab a free coffee or soft drink and catch up with colleagues.

Like last year there will be also a social evening for Young Geomorphologists (and those that still feel young!) in the Mozartstube in the 15th district: Wed 15th April 19.30. One of Vienna top 10 recommended authentic night restaurants. We negotiated the beer pricec so please drop by and share in.

The EGU2015 mobile app is now available for iPhones and Android devices. Go to on your smartphone to download. If it is your first time attending the EGU, there is a handy guide that will give you all the information you need that can be found here.

Last but not least 2 new candidates are running to take over the Young Scientist Representative after April this year. You can look at their profiles here and vote for your favourite candidate at the Geomorphology Division Meeting at EGU 2015 (12.15 on Thursday 16 April in Room G2).

If you have any questions about the EGU, the 2015 Annual General meeting or general suggestions for the future then please get in touch by email or Twitter (@DrLucyClarke).

– Lucy  Clarke (Young Scientist Rep. for the EGU Geomorphology Division and Lecturer at the University of Gloucestershire, UK) –

Reflections on the BSG Windsor Workshop, December 2014

PhDs from around Europe attend once a year the Windsor workshop in the reverend halls of the grand Cumbeland Lodge in the Windsor Park. This years attendees Owen King and Fran Falcini from the York University and Lauren Knight from the Portsmouth University describe and advertize in this guest blog the workshop.

Windsor Castle. Credit: BSG homepage.

Windsor Castle. Credit: BSG homepage.

The Windsor Workshop is an annual, 4 day event organised by the British Society for Geomorphology that is designed to welcome first year PhD students into the world of academia, preparing them for the trials and tribulations they may face over the next 3 years of their project.

The Workshop is held at the grand Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Park and is a stunning location, especially on the frosty mornings and under the bright blue skies of our stay. The accommodation, catering (which is superb and plentiful) and entertainment on offer in the Lodge make it the perfect location to work and learn in a relaxed atmosphere. A wander around the Lodge, which contains some weird and wonderful pieces of artwork and statues (see below), and the grounds is highly recommended!

Sfm project at Windsor. Credit: Scott Wilson.

Sfm side project at Windsor. Credit: Scott Wilson.

After a chance to meet all the other attending students on the first evening, our workshop began with a discussion on the philosophy of science; a thought provoking exercise that made us all think carefully about what we can and can’t believe or say as scientists as well as delve into scientific rigour and method! The following few days were filled with a range of tasks including designing a PhD project (unrelated to your own) from scratch and then presenting your design for it, experimenting with models which simulate everything from the greenhouse effect to how many wolves it takes to decimate a flock of sheep, and presenting our preliminary PhD project ideas to others studying similar topics. Lectures and seminars on paper submission, open-access publishing, the peer-review process and how to handle yourself on social media all gave vital information on how to effectively present yourself and your research to the broader scientific community.

As with those that attended in previous years, we would highly recommend the Windsor Workshop to any 1st year PhD students with an interest in any aspect of Geomorphology as it is a great way to meet prominent academics with the field and well as other PhD student. It truly is a great way to help you kick-start your PhD project.

The next BSG Windsor workshop will be held in December 2015 – expect an announcement to be made this October.

By Owen King and Fran Falcini, PhD researchers from the York University and Lauren Knight, PhD researcher from the Portsmouth University

Participants at the Windsor Meeting in December 2014. Credit: BSG homepage.

Participants at the Windsor Meeting in December 2014. Credit: BSG homepage.

Our EGU session died, what went wrong?

Our EGU session died, what went wrong?

Have you ever had this experience? You develop a session which you think could be such a great platform or a subject that definitely interests a lot of people and then only a few people register…this happened to Jan, me, and several others this year and our proposed sessions (GM1.2 Emerging research fields in geomorphology and GM 1.4 Data wealth versus data poverty – new strategies for geomorphic research in a disparate world) died before they really came to life.

Andreas Lang (EGU Geomorphology President) offered advice when he told us the news and we wanted to share his ideas and comments with you and sincerely hope that they will help everyone to kick off his or her session ideas in the future! THANK you Andreas for the interview!!!

1. Our sessions died! What did we do wrong?

Well – probably the only thing that you really did wrong is that you allowed yourself to be too disappointed… sorry – but this is part of the game. Please do continue to come up with great ideas, promote exciting new topics and stimulate high quality contributions. GM runs in a bottom up mode – no pre-set themes but open for any great geomorphology.

There are multiple reasons why this may have happened; some are:
– Authors already committed to other events (see below);
– Not yet the right time: if you are involved in discussing a new idea you may find many people that are happy to engage with the debate but only a handful of which will already have produced presentable material. It may take many years from planting a new idea to seeing the topic in fruition;
– too narrow choice of topic. If you are too specific you may find it difficult to obtain a significant number of abstracts. EGU is for all Geomorphology – not limited by sub-discipline, region, timescale, … (but if you are too generic you may also run in trouble and provide too broad a roof for people to identify). In addition, you need to compete with sessions in other divisions where GM topics are finding increasing attention (this year the ratio of sessions lead organised in GM to session only co-organised in GM is 1 to 2.)
– you didn’t work hard enough…. New sessions can only be successful if you promote abstract submissions. Just sitting and waiting for abstracts to come in will usually not be enough.

2. Why do general topics, like concepts and emerging fields in geomorphology, have such a hard time receiving contributions?

Geomorphology in much of Europe is still treating theory with a lot of respect – as was nicely encapsulated by Chorley (1978) “Whenever anyone mentions theory to a geomorphologist, he instinctively reaches for his soil auger”. So, compared to sessions with an empirical or technical focus you will always find it difficult to stimulate a large volume of abstracts. Also, the majority of geomorphological research is carried out in PGR projects, often set up such that a handful of papers can be published from the work and submitted as a thesis. This is of course is encouraging rather focussed empirical, technological and case study work.

I discussed with Peter van der Beek, my successor at the helm of GM, how we may treat ‘theory’ differently. Probably this will trigger reinstating sessions with a dedicated theory focus and with high-level invited contributions. They would not be constraint by the threshold number of abstracts but will be guaranteed an oral slot. It really is for Peter to decide how he wants to take this forward but I guess he is open to suggestions.

3. What do you think is a good strategy for future session proposals to come to life?

In general: Be prepared to work hard – write directly to people that you want to get involved as advertising via the usual listservers will not always be sufficient. It also seems to help to enrol one or two invited speakers that will act as light-house for your session – but aim at a balance: too many solicited talks and you run out of oral time slots for the other contributors.

4. What would be a good advertisement strategy?

Personal invites to researchers active in that field in addition to wider distributed listserver emails. Have one email early after the call for abstracts has been issued and send a reminder a week or so before the deadline.

5. What current trends do you see in GM session development and what are the future developments to be expected?

There are two things I would like to mention – most importantly, GM is benefiting from a large and growing cohort of very active early career researchers! Thank you all! It has been a great pleasure to see so you all so active with scientific contributions, session organisation and workshop participation. The growing activity is great sign for a discipline and makes me confident that GM will continue to flourish. The second is that more and more co-organisation is happening with other divisions. The Earth surface is a most important interface and is getting attention from a wide range of disciplines. Thanks to the hard work of GM contributors over the past years other disciplines increasingly value what geomorphology has to offer and can contribute to solving their questions.

6. Why, in your opinion, did GM receive less abstracts than during the last years?

In general this is not a bad thing. GM has reached a good size – the largest annual geomorphology event globally. We can now work on further increasing the quality of the contributions – it may not be detrimental to be more selective.

For the reduction in submissions this year a number of reasons have been mentioned: An unfortunate choice of submission deadline that arose from the early meeting date this year that necessitated an early submission deadline. Usual contributors to GM have also mentioned that due to limited resources they needed to give other events priority this year: INQUA, Goldschmidt and the IAG regional conference in Siberia.



9th international Young Geomorphologists’ Workshop

9th international Young Geomorphologists’ Workshop

We’re happy to announce the 9th international young geomorphologists’ workshop, organized by the “Junge Geomorphologen” from Germany.

The workshop will take place on 08.-10. May 2015 in Heimbach-Hergarten, near Aachen, Germany (see flyer).

The meeting will provide an ideal opportunity to present your current work, to discuss problems and receive constructive feedback! We want to highlight our interest in solving problems that occur during the empirical or writing period of your research.


  • Your BSc/MSc and PhD research in a 20 mins presentation (or poster) followed by extensive discussions in a benevolent environment
  • Keynote lectures on river network response to tectonics (Prof. S. Willet, ETH Zurich) AND environmental change in the lower Rhine area (Prof. F. Lehmkuhl, RWTH Aachen)
  • Field trip to geomorphological highlights of the surrounding Eifel Mountains and the „Hohe Venn“ (Prof. W. Römer, RWTH Aachen)
  • Workshop on „Good scientifical practice and ethics in science“

Even though the program is quite dense, you’ll find time to get to know the other young researchers and share a beer with them! No worries!

Logistics: Workshop fee will be 35 € for full board!!!

Registration: Please send the registration form to until Friday, 17th of April 2015.

Save the date! And feel free to register with our mailing list to receive updates on the workshop and additional activities of the Young Geomorphologists! (Email to

Cheers the organization team

Philipp Schulte (RWTH Aachen)
Veit Nottebaum (RWTH Aachen)
Sabine Kraushaar (Uni Vienna)
Jan Blöthe (Uni Bonn)
Julia Meister (FU Berlin)
Steen Pötsch (Uni Greifswald)
David Morche (Uni Halle)
Michael Dietze (GFZ Potsdam)
Martin Weber (Uni Innsbruck)


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