Dr Brian Irvine

Dr Brian Irvine


Brian has over 20 years' experience in the field of biophysical modelling and GIS. He has a specific interest in hydrology and the role landscape and sustainable land management (SLM) can play in buffering climate impact (flood and drought). Brian's work in this area focuses on the application and development of the PESERA model in semi-arid regions across Europe, Africa and China. He maintains his interest and involvement in UK hydrology through BSc and MSc dissertations and teaching.

Current/Recent Projects

  • North Yorkshire Moors Climate Impact Assessment (2022-2024):  Assessing how climate change will impact land-use resilience in the North York Moors.
  • SOILSTATE (Proposal) EU HORIZON EUROPE (2022-2027): The approach of Soilstate combines physical, biological, chemical and land use/land management indicators to form a soil health index to establish the status and changes in soil health adapted to the different land use systems and pedoclimate zones in Europe.
  • RECARE EU Framework VII (2014-18): Assessment of current soil threats and innovative measures to protect soil function and ecosystem services. Developement of integrated bio-physical and social-economic model, supported by field work, to inform potential of mitigation measures across the EU.
  • WAHARA EU Framework VII (2011-16): Selection and evaluation of local water harvesting solutions to inform, innovate and develop appropriate technologies that are replicable in rainfed agriculture across Africa. 
  • DESIRE EU Framework VI (2007-12): Based on a close collaboration with scientists and local stakeholder groups the project identified promising alternative conservation strategies in areas affected by land degradation and desertification
  • SUSTAINABLE UPLANDS DEFRA/NERC: Rural Economy and Land Use Programme (RELU) (2005-8): Combining knowledge from local stakeholders, policy-makers and social and natural scientists to anticipate, monitor and sustainably manage rural change in UK uplands.
  • DESURVEY EU Framework VI (2005-10) 'Global change and ecosystems' Defining a compact set of integrated procedures of desertification assessment and forecasting.
  • TEMPQSIM EU Framework V (2002-6) 'Sustainable management and quality of water'. (Contract no: EVK1-CT-2002-00112) Evaluation and improvement of water quality models for application to temporary waters in Southern European catchments.
  • DESERTLINKS EU Framework V (2001-5)(Contract no: EVK2-CT-2001-00109) Combating Desertification in Mediterranean Europe: Linking Science with Stakeholders.
  • PESERA EU Framework V (2000-3) (Contract no. QLK5-CT-1999-01323) Pan-European Soil Erosion Risk Assessment.

Present Position

  • Lecturer

Previous Posts

  • 2021 - present: Lecturer - School of Geography, University of Leeds.
  • 2001-2021 Research Fellow - School of Geography, University of Leeds.
  • 1998-2001 Senior Hydrologist, Bullen Consultants (AECOM), Bradford.
  • 1994-1998 Research Student, Department of Geography, Lancaster University.
  • 1993-1994 Research Assistant, School of Civil Engineering, Bolton Institute of Higher Education.
  • 1991-1993 Structural Engineer, Consafe Engineering (UK) Ltd, Aberdeen

Qualifications & Education

  • February 2002: Phd. Diffuse and acute sediment runoff during upland afforestation: Assessment and proposed management guidelines; CASE study funded by Natural Environment Research Council Studentship (GT4/94/X2/G) and the Forestry Commission Research Division.
  • July 1991: BSc Civil Engineering, City University, London

Membership of Learned Societies

  • 1996 - Member of the British Hydrological Society
  • 1994 - Member of the British Geomorphological Research Group

Other Details

I have been involved in integrated EU projects over the last 20 years, specialising in course scale spatial modelling at the European scale (PESERA). This work has concentrated primarily on the application of and the development of the PESERA model, incorporating future climate and land use/management scenarios.  Recent applications have centred on the downscaling of the coarse scale application to target areas where finer resolution data exists and more detailed processes can be parameterised.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p> <h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>