James Bathurst

Category: 1970s /  All Harkness Stories /  Environment /  Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths / 

James Bathurst (HF 1977-79) was encouraged to apply for a fellowship by a previous HF while a PhD student.  The fellowship allowed him to undertake post-doctoral research on mountain river hydraulics at Colorado State University (CSU), Fort Collins. An immediate outcome of his fellowship was the co-founding, together with colleagues from CSU and the UK, of what has become an internationally recognized programme of workshops on Gravel-bed Rivers that have been held every five years since 1980. In 1979 James joined the then Natural Environment Research Council’s Institute of Hydrology at Wallingford, Oxfordshire, (now the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology) and became part of a European collaboration to develop an advanced river catchment model (the Système Hydrologique Européen) for use in predicting the impacts of climate and land use change. James also continued his rivers research through a collaboration with the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland.  He was seconded to a research unit at Newcastle University in 1985, and subsequently joined the University as a staff member in 1992.  While there, he carried out technology transfer projects for the catchment model in India and Chile and applications to Mediterranean desertification, landslide hazard and forest impacts on floods in Latin America.  James acquired his knowledge of landslides during a Churchill Fellowship visit to New Zealand in 1990. Most recently he has worked with colleagues in Chile on the impact of forests on floods, an occupation he continues following his retirement from Newcastle University in 2020 as Reader in Erosion and Sediment Transport.