John was recently appointed as Vice-Principal (Research, Knowledge Exchange and Wider Impact). He is responsible for the overall research strategy of the University, along with growing vibrant relationships bridging the University and diverse partners in Industry, Government and the wider public. These relationships ensure that the superb research in the University achieves its highest potential in innovation and impact throughout society, consistent with our core value of Transforming Lives.
John is a Professor of Physical Geography, with particular expertise in the study of environmental change. His systems-based work on the impacts of climate and land use change - manifested by issues like soil erosion, flooding and biodiversity impacts - has a strong policy focus. His international collaborations extend across multiple countries, e.g., current projects in India, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Turkey. He also has a strong national profile and serves in an advisory capacity to the Scottish Government’s Centres of Expertise in Climate Change (CXC) and Centre for Research on Water (CREW).
John has been at the University of Dundee since 1998. He was Founding Director of the Centre for Environmental Change and Human Resilience (CECHR), a strategic and highly successful partnership with the James Hutton Institute, established to tackle interdisciplinary challenges around food, water, energy and health security. He was the inaugural Dean of the new School of Social Sciences created through restructuring in 2015.