Contact Dr Robert Grabowski

Areas of expertise


Robert's background lies in quantitative aquatic ecology. He received a BSc in Biology (Illinois Wesleyan University) and an MSc in Marine Biology (University of Maine - Orono). His interests in benthic ecology and biological-physical interactions led him to the field of fluvial geomorphology and a PhD investigating fine sediment transport processes in vegetated chalk streams (Queen Mary, University of London).

Prior to joining Cranfield, Robert was a Research Fellow on the EU-funded project REFORM (REstoring rivers FOR effective catchment Management), where he helped develop an open-ended, pan-European framework to assess and monitor river hydromophology in line with the Water Framework Directive.

Current activities

Robert is a fluvial geomorphologist, and as such is interested in how the flow of water and sediment within a catchment affects the form and behaviour of rivers. His current research investigates:

  • Sediment transport dynamics in rivers - the deposition, consolidation, storage and erosion of fine sediment (i.e. silt) within lowland rivers channels and its impact on water quality, aquatic ecology and flood hazard.
  • Mechanics of cohesive sediment erosion - the role of biological, chemical and geophysical sediment properties on the erodibility (e.g. erosion thresholds and rates) of cohesive sediment deposits
  • Interactions between aquatic and riparian ecology and fluvial geomorphological forms and processes
  • Multi-scale assessment of hydromorphology to characterise the current condition of a river, quantify rates of geomorphic processes and channel adjustment, identify underlying causes of change, and predict future evolutionary trajectories to support the development of integrated, sustainable solutions to river management and restoration.


  • Affinity Water
  • Canal and River Trust
  • Environment Agency
  • Leeds City Council / Arup
  • NERC (Advanced Training Short Course)
  • European Commission (Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN)


Articles In Journals