Michael Ellis

Dr Michael Ellis

Director, BGS International Catchment Observatories
BGS Keyworth


Dr Ellis leads the development of international catchment observatories, designed in conjunction with international partners and implemented in the context of helping to deliver the UN Sustainable Goals.

Catchment observatories are co-designed to focus on environmental issues that operate over human and planning time-scales, at scales that have a direct impact on and are impacted by human activities.

Catchment observatories are designed to marry first-order, cutting-edge environmental and earth science with the application of that science to stakeholders and decision-makers on site. They allow scientists to tackle the dynamic interaction of multiple processes in the face of similarly multiple external forcings (climate change, land-use change, water management policies, energy policies, urbanisation, etc.) to better understand the response and resilience of catchments.

Importantly, we choose to develop catchment observatories in places where human activities are significant, and so our target observatories engage the human process in megacities that are both the receptor and filter of catchment processes as well as the source of environmental issues.

Research interests

  • Active tectonics and tectonic geomorphology
  • Coupling earth surface processes to the human process
  • Environmental response and resilience to future forcings at human and planning time-scales
  • The Anthropocene, writ large

ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-6613-3565

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