This event took place on Thursday 21 October 2021.
We are proud to present the Inaugural Professorial Lecture of Professor Daniel Conley.
Beaches are the most iconic form of coastal morphology. Present on all continents and observed throughout geologic history, they are not only a popular source of pleasure, recreation and contemplation, but also nature’s most effective form of coastal protection. An unconstrained beach provides a healthy margin between marine and terrestrial environments, reshaping to absorb the erosive power of waves against the coastline.
Gravity’s pull on these collections of loose, mobile sediment that is piled high on the edge of continents suggests that beaches should have a limited lifetime. Yet current research and historic ubiquity shows, clearly, this is not the case.
Join Professor of Nearshore Processes, Daniel Conley, as he takes us on a voyage from the Pacific Ocean to the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea, illuminating the challenges presented by sediment transport under waves compared to the land and river equivalents, and how he resolves these mysteries. He introduces us to why some of the greatest minds in science have been fascinated by sediment transport and how we could improve our understanding of sediment dynamics in the coastal ocean in future.
The event was a celebration of Daniel’s achievements and highlights that have punctuated his impressive 30-year career, from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to the State University of New York, the NATO Undersea Research Centre, and finally to the University of Plymouth. Here, Daniel is a core member of the Coastal Processes Research Group and Coastal and Marine Applied Research consultancy, with extensive knowledge underpinned by field observations, laboratory experiments and numerical models to advance understanding in the field.