Martin Evans

Martin Evans


If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


Martin Evans BA (Oxon), MSc, PhD University of British Columbia

Martin is Professor of Geomorphology at the University of Manchester and Vice Dean and Head of School in the School of Environment, Education and Development. He has 20 years experience working on upland peatlands resarching the impact of erosion and restoration on water carbon and pollutant flux. Peatland carbon balance has been a particular focus. Much of this work has been undertaken in partnership with practitioners and policy makers. He has published extensively in these fields including books on peatland geomorphology and the impact of peatland restoration on ecosystem services. Recent research projects include work on the impact of peatland restoration in the uplands on downstream flood risk, analysis of carbon cycling in upland reservoir systems, and work on the transformation of particulate and organic carbon in river systems.

Martin has a wider interest in the role of geomorphological processes in the terrestrial carbon cycle. He has promoted this area of study through his work with  British Society for Geomorphology and the European Geophysical Union. Recently he held a Leverhulme fellowship working on a project on integrating geomorphological understanding into conceptualisations of the terrestrial carbon cycle and a new book is forthcoming 'Geomorphology and the Carbon Cycle'. Martin also has significant interests in schools geography. he is an editor of Geography Review, the magazine for A-Level Geographers and chaired the ALCAB geography panel which advised government on the content of new Geography A levels. he has been very active speaking to groups of teachers and stakeholders to support the introduction of the new A Level content. Martin also works to promote geography as a discipline more widely through his role as Chair of the Conference of Heads of Geography in Higher Education.

  • Chair of the Conference of Heads of Geography in Higher Education 2016-
  • Chair of the A Level Content Advisory Board Geography panel 2014-2015
  • Editor, Geography Review 2014-
  • Associate Editor, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 2010-2013
  • Core Expert Panel Member IUCN Peatland Enquiry, 2009–2011
  • NERC peer review college, 2008–
  • Invited lead author National Ecosystem Assessment - Mountains and Moorlands, 2011
  • Chair British Society for Geomorphology working group on Geomorphology and Carbon, 2009-2012
  • Member Programme Committee for EGU (Geomorphology), 2011-2012
  • Member BSG Executive Committee, 2008-2011



Postgraduate opportunities

I have supervised 18 PhD students in the last 15 years on topics ranging from remote sensing of peatlands, through peat erosion, peatland carbon cycling, peatland restoration and NFM in peatland environments. I welcome enquiries from potential students interested in any topics linked to my research interests.

I currently have specific ideas for PhD research topics in the areas listed below. Please feel free to contact me to discuss any of these further, or to discuss any ideas you might have in this area.

  • Greenhouse Gas Reduction through enhanced carbon sequestration in peatlands
  • Floodplains as hotspots of carbon cycling in fluvial systems.
  • Understanding microbial controls on carbon cycling in restored peatlands
  • Impacts of peatland restoration on runoff quantity and quality.
  • The role of urban rivers in the terrestrial carbon cycle
  • Applying 14C analysis of peatland waters to understand flow pathways and organic matter decomposition in eroding and restored peatlands
  • Runoff generation in eroding and restored peatlands : the potential for flood mitigation through peatland restoration.

Other research

Current research projects

Protect-NFM: Optimising NFM benefits of moorland restoration to protect downstream communities

This project is one of three funded by NERC to investigate Natural Flood Risk Management approaches in teh UK. Protect is a £1.2m project with academic partners at the Universites of Leeds and Newcastle and lead project partners teh Environment Agency and moors for the Future. The project aims to qunatify Natural Flood Risk Mangement (NFM) benefits from the restoration of degraded peatland landscapes and to optimise restoration approaches to maximise these benefits.

Towards a microbial process-based understanding of the resilience of UK peatland systems

This project was funded by NERC under the Climate Resilience programme. The project convened a series of workshops bringing together peatland scientists, microbiologists, climate modellers and peatland practitioneres. The aim was to define a resaerch agenda to enhance understanding of the role of peatland microbiota in driving peatland function and the develop ways in which this understanding can contribute to the management of peatlands to deliver climate resilience.


Current and previous PhD students

  • Adam Johnstone: NFM and peatland restoration - Geospatial approaches  
  • Dylan Zhang: The role of floodplains in terrestrial carbon cycling  
  •     Sarah Brown: Controls on carbon cycling in blanket peatlands 
  •     Jane Mellor: Impact of peatland restoration on runoff and arsenic mobilisation from upland peatlands (Year 2)
  •     Danielle Alderson: Organic matter quality in floodplain sedimentary records and floodplain cycling of fluvial carbon(Year 4)
  •     Donald Edokpa: Dissolved organic nitrogen dynamics in peatland freshwater systems (Completed 2016)
  •     Andrew Stimson: Fluvial carbon dynamics in degraded peatland catchments (Completed 2016)
  •     Emma Shuttleworth: Applying natural tracers to the study of peatland sediment flux (Completed 2014)
  •     Elizabeth Lowe: High resolution remote sensing for landscape scale restoration of peatland (Completed 2012)
  •     Claire Goulsbra: Monitoring drainage network connectivity (Completed 2010) Laura Liddaman: Approaches to spatial modelling in peatland landscapes (Completed 2009)
  •     Richard Pawson: The role of particulate carbon in upland carbon budgets (Completed 2008)
  •     Eleanor Teague: Fine-grained detrital sediment records from upland lakes in Wales (Completed 2007)
  •     Amer Al-Roichdi: Hyperspectral remote sensing of peat composition (Completed 2007)
  •     Sarah Crowe: Natural revegetation of eroded blanket peat: implications for blanket bog restoration (Completed 2007)
  •     Alan Clarke: Evaluating natural variation in upland lake water acidity: a high resolution study of Llyn Llagi, Snowdonia, North Wales (Completed 2006)
  •     Steve Daniels: Controls on Streamwater Acidity in a South Pennine Headwater catchment (Completed 2006)
  •     James Rothwell: Fluvial export of heavy metals from contaminated and eroding peatlands, Southern Pennines, UK (Completed 2006) (James won the 2006 SED prize for best thesis)
  •     Juan Yang: Monitoring and Modelling sediment flux from an eroding peatland (Completed 2005)


Further information

Additional Information

Administrative experience

  • 2018 - Vice Dean and Head of School, School of Environment, Education and Development
  • 2012- 2015 Head of Geography
  • 2011-2012: Deputy Head of Geography
  • 2009-2011: Post Graduate Research discipline coordinator
  • 2007-2009: Chair Geography PGT committee
  • 2005–2012 : Convenor of the Environmental Processes Research Group
  • 2001–2005: Admissions Officer
  • 2003-2009: Director of MSc in Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction
  • 2007-2009: Director of MSc in Geographical Information Science

Academic websites of interest

Upland Environments Research Unit


Other research

Completed research projects

Making Space for Water

This project in collaboration with Moors for the Future is looking at the impact of moorland restoration on runoff generation. Five intensively instrumented micro-catchments on Kinder Scout and Bleaklow in the south Pennines are being monitored over a five year period during which two of the catchments will be restored.

Funded by DEFRA and the Environment agency

Greenhouse gas emissions associated with non gaseous losses of carbon from peatlands - fate of particulate and dissolved carbon

This project in collaboration with CEH Bangor and the Universities of Leeds and Durham is looking at the fate of fluvial carbon lost from peatland systems, i.e. the degree to which particulate and dissolved carbon are oxidized to atmospheric carbon. The Manchester work is focused on the fate of particulate carbon, particularly on gaseous losses from peat deposited in floodplain situations.

Funded by DEFRA.

Significance of macroscale peat flux for carbon export in upland fluvial systems

This is a joint project with Jeff Warburton at the University of Durham focusing on estimating the importance of peat blocks as a component of fluvial carbon flux in heavily instrumented reaches of the Trout Beck, Moor House NNR, N. Pennines.

Funded by NERC.

Monitoring carbon flux from restoration and wildfire sites on blanket peat

This project examined the impact of moorland restoration on gas flux and fluvial carbon loss from sites across the Bleaklow Plateau in the south Pennines. Joint project with Fred Worrall, University of Durham Funded by Moors for the Future, DEFRA and Natural England
Long term geomorphological monitoring at a Environmental Change. Network Site In collaboration with Jeff Warburton, Geography, Durham University. Looking at changes in peatland gully erosion and fluvial erosion over a 10 year timespan.

Funded by the British Geomorphological Research Group.

Understanding gully blocking in deep peat

This report assessed the effectiveness of different types of gully blocking used for moorland restoration and recommended approaches to the siting and construction of gully blocks.

Funded by Moors for the Future Project.

Hyperspectral remote sensing of blanket peat moorlands

Researchers: Julia McMorrow, Martin Evans, Amer Al-Roichdi in collaboration with University of Dundee. Supported by NERC/BNSC SHAC and SWIR airborne campaigns and Manchester University.



Year 1

GEOG 10402 - The Human Planet

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

External positions

Chair of the Council of Heads of Geography In Higher Education

Editor Geography Review Magazine

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Manchester Environmental Research Institute


Dive into the research topics where Martin Evans is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or