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UK Geographer Wins British Award

by Gail Hairston

(Oct. 6, 2014) — University of Kentucky geography Professor Jonathan Phillips was recently awarded one of the leading recognitions in his field of study, the David Linton Award, from the British Society for Geomorphology (BSG).

The 2014 Linton Award recognizes Phillips’ “lifetime of distinguished and influential contributions to fluvial geomorphology spanning a broad array of topics in over 180 papers, including 10 in Earth Surface Processes and Landforms.”

The BSG announcement added that Phillips’ “career has included a combination of thought-provoking methodological and philosophical contributions to geomorphic system understanding and landscape evolution, and empirical contributions across several branches of geomorphology."

The David Linton Award is given to a geomorphologist who has made a leading contribution to the discipline over a sustained period. Phillips will present the Linton Lecture at the group’s annual meeting.

After professorships at Arizona State University (1986-1988), East Carolina University (1988-1997) and Texas A&M University (1997-2000), Philips came to UK in 2000 and was named a University Research Professor in 2006. His work, published in a range of multidisciplinary journals, has included empirical investigations into pedogeomorphology including soil landscape variability, chaotic evolution of coastal plain soils, and hydrogeomorphology including geomorphic impacts of flash flooding, controls on sediment delivery, avulsion regimes, logjams and avulsions, forest blowdown impacts, geomorphic responses to changes in instream flows, incised valley fills, residence time of alluvium, and Holocene sediment accretion.

His methodological contributions have influenced the development of geomorphology and have included topics of historical contingency, geomorphic systems including synchronization and scale and pseudo-equilibrium in geomorphology, soil system modelling, soils and weathering profiles, human impacts on the environment and the primacy of place, evolutionary geomorphology, and biogeomorphology and landscape evolution.