Contact Dr Robert Grabowski
Areas of expertise
- Natural capital
- Sustainable Land Systems
- Water Science and Engineering
Dr Robert (Bob) Grabowski is an interdisciplinary
scientist specialising in the interactions between physical processes,
ecological communities and humans within river-floodplain systems. Bob leads a
variety of pure and applied research projects in fluvial geomorphology, aquatic
ecology, and integrated land and water management. His expertise lies in fine
sediment transport, for which he uses a broad range of tools and approaches to
quantify erosion from land surfaces, transport fluxes and dynamics through
river networks, and ecological impacts in rivers and floodplains, including
remote sensing data, field surveys and monitoring, laboratory experiments, and
hydrological and hydraulic modelling.
He received a BSc in Biology (Illinois Wesleyan University), an MSc in Marine Biology (University of Maine – Orono), and a PhD in Physical Geography (Queen Mary, University of London). He was a Research Fellow on the EU-funded project REFORM (Restoring rivers FOR effective catchment Management), before joining Cranfield as Lecturer in Catchment Science in 2014. He has received funding from NERC, EPSRC, European Commission H2020, and industry. For more details, see the Current Activities section.
For funded research opportunities, please see the University's current listing (https://www.cranfield.ac.uk/research/research-degrees/research-opportunities).
The Water Science Institute welcomes visiting students and academics. If you are interested in a short internship or secondment and have funding to cover your travel and living expenses, please get in touch by email. We have hosted numerous students and researchers as part of their university studies or research projects.
Bob and his research students are working on a range of topics in fluvial geomorphology, aquatic ecology and catchment science. Current and recent projects include:
- Improved prediction of cohesive sediment erosion based on inter-particle forces (PI, EPSRC, 2020-2022)
- Social, economic and environmental trade-offs in managing the land-river-interface (PI, NERC, Towards a Sustainable Earth, 2019 - 2021) - The project is investigating how land and river management can be harnessed to achieve sustainable development goals.
- HypoTRAIN: Hyporheic Zone Processes – A training network for enhancing the understanding of complex physical, chemical and biological process interactions (CoI, 2015-2018, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network, European Commission)
Current research students
- Ben Exton - Transport, fate and aquatic ecological impact of airport de-icers (PhD, Heathrow Airport, CENTA2 DTP, NERC, 2019-2023)
- Katy Wiltshire - Tracing the origin of sediments and carbon across the terrestrial-aquatic continuum (PhD, STARS CDT, NERC/BBSRC, 2018-2022)
- Selena Zang - Hydrological and contaminant transport modelling of permeable paving sustainable urban drainage systems (PhD, 2017-2020)
- Emily Dowdeswell - Feedback mechanisms on soil susceptibility to erosion processes in a changing climate (PhD, STARS CDT, NERC/BBSRC, 2016-2020)
- Charles Mazivanhanga - Near real-time correction of flood forecasting using high-resolution satellite data for multi-hazard risk assessment in lowland tropical regions (PhD, DREAM CDT, NERC/ESRC, 2016 – 2019)
Previous research students
- Dr Mickaël Dubois - Eco-hydromorphology applied to fish communities of chalk stream and management perspectives (PhD, Affinity Water and Environment Agency, 2016-2019)
- Dr Chiara Magliozzi - Hydroecological investigations on the hyporheic zone to support river management from reaches to catchments (PhD, Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN, 2015-2018). First position: National Research Council of Italy CNR-Pisa
- Dr Kim Vercruysse - Processes controlling the sources and transport dynamics of suspended sediment in rivers (PhD, Arup and Leeds City Council, 2014-2017). First position: Postdoctoral research, University of Leeds
- Affinity Water
- Anglian Water
- Canal and River Trust
- Environment Agency
- European Commission (Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN)
- Leeds City Council / Arup
- Luton Borough Council
Articles In Journals
- Vercruysse K, Grabowski RC, Hess T & Lexartza-Artza I (2020) Linking temporal scales of suspended sediment transport in rivers: towards improving transferability of prediction, Journal of Soils and Sediments, Available online 29 May 2020. Dataset/s: 10.17862/cranfield.rd.5903923
- Magliozzi C, Meyer A, Usseglio-Polatera P, Robertson A & Grabowski RC (2020) Investigating invertebrate biodiversity around large wood: taxonomic vs functional metrics, Aquatic Sciences - Research Across Boundaries, 82 (4) Article No. 69. Dataset/s: https://doi.org/10.17862/cranfield.rd.7539305.v1
- Cornacchia L, Wharton G, Davies G, Grabowski RC, Temmerman S, van der Wal D, Bouma TJ & van de Koppel J (2020) Self-organization of river vegetation leads to emergent buffering of river flows and water levels, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 287 (1931) Article No. 20201147.
- Vercruysse K & Grabowski RC (2019) Temporal variation in suspended sediment transport: linking sediment sources and hydro-meteorological drivers, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 44 (13) 2587-2599. Dataset/s: 10.17862/cranfield.rd.5903923
- Grabowski R, Gurnell A, Burgess-Gamble L, England J, Holland D, Klaar M, Morrissey I, Uttley C & Wharton G (2019) The current state of the use of large wood in river restoration and management, Water and Environment Journal, 33 (3) 366-377.
- Cornacchia L, Folkard AM, Davies G, Grabowski R, van de Koppel J, van der Wal D, Wharton G, Puijalon S & Bouma T (2019) Plants face the flow in V-formation: a study of plant patch alignment in streams, Limnology and Oceanography, 64 (3) 1087-1102.
- Lewandowski J, Arnon S, Banks E, Batelaan O, Betterle A, Broecker T, Coll C, Drummond JD, Gaona Garcia J, Galloway J, Gomez-Velez J, Grabowski RC, Herzog SP, Hinkelmann R, Höhne A, Hollender J, Horn MA, Jaeger A, Krause S, Prats AL, Magliozzi C, Meinikmann K, Mojarrad BB, Mueller BM, Peralta-Maraver I, Popp AL, Posselt M, Putschew A, Radke M, Raza M, Riml J, Robertson A, Rutere C, Schaper JL, Schirmer M, Schulz H, Shanafield M, Singh T, Ward AS, Wolke P, Wörman A & Wu L (2019) Is the hyporheic zone relevant beyond the scientific community?, Water (Switzerland), 11 (11) Article No. 2230.
- Magliozzi C, Usseglio-Polatera P, Meyer A & Grabowski RC (2019) Functional traits of hyporheic and benthic invertebrates reveal importance of wood-driven geomorphological processes to rivers, Functional Ecology, 33 (9) 1758-1770. Dataset/s: 10.17862/cranfield.rd.7539305.v1
- Magliozzi C, Coro G, Grabowski R, Packman AI & Krause S (2019) A multiscale statistical method to identify potential areas of hyporheic exchange for river restoration planning, Environmental Modelling and Software, 111 (January) 311-323.
- Magliozzi C, Grabowski R, Packman AI & Krause S (2018) Toward a conceptual framework of hyporheic exchange across spatial scales, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 22 (12) 6163-6185.
- Vercruysse K & Grabowski RC (2018) Using source-specific models to test the impact of sediment source classification on sediment fingerprinting, Hydrological Processes, 32 (22) 3402-3415. Dataset/s: 10.17862/cranfield.rd.5903923
- Janes VJ, Grabowski R, Mant J, Allen D, Morse JL & Hayes H (2017) The impacts of natural flood management approaches on in-channel sediment quality, River Research and Applications, 33 (1) 89-101. Dataset/s: 10.17639/nott.29
- Vercruysse K, Grabowski RC & Rickson RJ (2017) Suspended sediment transport dynamics in rivers: multi-scale drivers of temporal variation, Earth-Science Reviews, 166 (March) 38-52.
- Marcinkowski P, Grabowski R & Okruszko T (2017) Controls on anastomosis in lowland river systems: towards process-based solutions to habitat conservation, Science of the Total Environment, 609 (December) 1544-1555.
- Camenen B, Grabowski RC, Latapie A, Paquier A, Solari L & Rodrigues S (2016) On the estimation of the bed-material transport and budget along a river segment: application to the Middle Loire River, France, Aquatic Sciences - Research Across Boundaries, 78 (1) 71-81.
- Grabowski RC & Gurnell AM (2016) Hydrogeomorphology-ecology interactions in river systems, River Research and Applications, 32 (2) 139-141.
- Gurnell AM, Corenblit D, Garcia de Jalon D, Gonzalez del Tanago M, Grabowski RC, O'Hare MT & Szewczyk M (2015) A conceptual model of vegetation-hydrogeomorphology interactions within river corridors, River Research and Applications, 32 (2).
- Gurnell AM, Rinaldi M, Belletti B, Bizzi S, Blamauer B, Braca G, Buijse AD, Bussettini M, Camenen B, Comiti F, Demarchi L, Garcia de Jalon D, Gonzalez del Tanago M, Grabowski RC, Gunn IDM, Habersack H, Hendriks D, Henshaw AJ, Klosch M, Lastoria B, Latapie A, Marcinkowski P, Martinez-Fernandez V, Mosselman E, Mountford JO, Nardi L, Okruszko T, O’Hare MT, Palma M, Percopo C, Surian N, van de Bund W, Weissteiner C & Ziliani L (2015) A multi-scale hierarchical framework for developing understanding of river behaviour to support river management, Aquatic Sciences - Research Across Boundaries, 78 (1).
- Grabowski RC & Gurnell AM (2015) Diagnosing problems of fine sediment delivery and transfer in a lowland catchment, Aquatic Sciences - Research Across Boundaries, 78 (1) 1-12.
- Bizzi S, Demarchi L, Grabowski RC, Weissteiner CJ & Van de Bund W (2015) The use of remote sensing to characterise hydromorphological properties of European rivers, Aquatic Sciences - Research Across Boundaries, 78 (1) 1-14.
- Gurnell AM & Grabowski RC (2015) Vegetation-hydrogeomorphology interactions in a low-energy, human-impacted river, River Research and Applications, 32 (2).
- Summers MF, Holman IP & Grabowski RC (2015) Adaptive management of river flows in Europe: A transferable framework for implementation, Journal of Hydrology, 531 (3) 696-705.
- Grabowski RC, Surian N & Gurnell AM (2014) Characterizing geomorphological change to support sustainable river restoration and management, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, 1 (5) 483-512.
- Grabowski RC, Wharton G, Davies GR & Droppo IG (2012) Spatial and temporal variations in the erosion threshold of fine riverbed sediments, Journal of Soils and Sediments, 12 (7) 1174-1188.
- Grabowski RC, Droppo IG & Wharton G (2011) Erodibility of cohesive sediment: The importance of sediment properties, Earth-Science Reviews, 105 (3-4) 101-120.
- Grabowski RC, Droppo IG & Wharton G (2010) Estimation of critical shear stress from cohesive strength meter-derived erosion thresholds, Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, 8 678-685.
- Grabowski RC, Windholz T & Chen Y (2005) Estimating exploitable stock biomass for the Maine green sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis) fishery using a spatial statistics approach, Fishery Bulletin, 103 (2) 320-330.
- Grabowski R & Chen Y (2004) Incorporating uncertainty into the estimation of the biological reference points F0.1 and Fmax for the Maine green sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis) fishery, Fisheries Research, 68 (1-3) 367-371.
- Grabowski RC & Gurnell AM (2016) Using historical data in fluvial geomorphology. In: Tools in fluvial geomorphology. G.M. Kondolf and H. Piegay (ed.), Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, p. 56-75.
- Gurnell AM, Gonzalez del Tanago M, Rinaldi M, Grabowski R, Henshaw A, O’Hare M, Belletti B & Bujise AD (2014) Development and application of a multi-scale process-based framework for the hydromorphological assessment of European rivers. In: Engineering Geology for Society and Territory, Springer International Publishing Switzerland, p. 339-342.
- Grabowski RC (2014) Measuring the shear strength of cohesive sediment in the field. In: Geomorphological techniques, Oxford: British Society for Geomorphology, ed. Online.