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Thomas Lawrence

Dr Thomas Lawrence


Tutor in Geomorphology

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Main Building, Room 1.74A, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT


I'm an early-career academic with an interest in estuary geomorphology and hydrology. My research focuses on sediment structure and transport, particularly in terms of porosity and contamination (e.g. microplastics). My teaching covers a broad range of geomorphology including hillslope processes, fluvial processes and landforms, general geographical skills and fieldwork. 

My PhD project examined, for the first time, directly 3D-quantified suspended sediment porosity and pore space networks, leading to a more thorough understanding of flocculated sediment structure. Using micro-computed tomography and 3D scan reconstruction analysis allowed the production of interactive 3D models of the internal structure of flocculated sediments. This enables us to contribute more extensive input data to sediment transport models, without relying on indirect or proxy data for porosity (e.g. density). Emerging contaminants, like microplastics or legacy landfill content, are transported by the sediment in estuary systems, so accurate modeling of the movement behaviour of these sediments is vitally important. 






My research centres around understanding the response of estuarine and coastal sediments to climate change.

This can involve the impacts of increases in storm frequency and intensity, release of emerging contaminants such as microplastics, implementation of flood management strategies (e.g. managed realignment), saltmarsh establishment or expansion, and commerical port dredging. 



I contribute to the following modules:

  • Geography Field Skills (Year 1) - Lead
  • Fundamentals of Geographical Science (Year 1)
  • Geographical Data Analysis, Field and Professional Skills (Year 2) - Lead
  • Environmental Geomorphology (Year 3)
  • Environmental Hazards in a Changing World (MSci)

I also undertake supervision of undergraduate dissertations. 


Professional memberships

British Society of Geomorphology

Academic positions

  • Tutor in Geomorphology - Cardiff University (2021-Present)
  • PhD Physical Geography - Queen Mary University of London (2015-2021)
  • Teaching Associate - Queen Mary University of London (2016-2019)
  • Postgraduate Demonstrator - Queen Mary University of London (2015-2019)
  • BSc Physical Earth Science - Swansea University (2012-2015)

Committees and reviewing

I have reviewed for publications including the Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, and the Journal of Soils and Sediments.