Alan's research focus has been on hydrochemical modelling, in particular the development of models for predicting the impact of air pollution on soils and surface waters. He worked for many years to develop the MAGIC model and this now forms a focus for the assessment of the efficacy of international agreements on emission reductions.
His wider interests include diffuse pollution and the transport of chemicals from soils to surface waters. In his PhD on "The effects of fluvial processes on the dynamics of sanitary bacteria in upland streams", Alan developed a dynamic simulation model for sanitary indicator bacteria in rivers, a field in which he maintains a research interest. He also maintains an interest in large-scale ecosystem manipulation experiments.
Alan coordinated the CLIMEX project which, a major experiment to enclose a whole forested catchment in southern Norway within a greenhouse to increase the CO2 and temperature to assess the biogeochmical impacts. He has also helped to establish major experimental and monitoring studies, both in the UK and further afield (Nepal and India) to assess and quantify hydrological and hydrochemical pathways in relation to anthropogenic influences.
More recently, his attention has turned to focus on establishing new hydrological Climate Services such as the COSMOS UK soil moisture network and the UK Hydrological Outlook.
Alan is Chair of the UK Committee for National and International Hydrology, Head of the UK Delegation to the UNESCO International Hydrology Programme, Hydrological Adviser to the UK Government with the World Meteorological Organization, UK representative to the European Network of Water Research Centres (EurAqua), Leader of the Working Group on Hydro-climatic Extremes in the EU Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Programme, represents the UK on the Governing Board of the EU Joint Programming Initiative on Water and is a member of the Steering Group of the Scottish Government Centre for Research in Water Programme. He is also a member of the UK National Hazards Partnership Steering Committee.
Alan is an Honorary Professor at the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, a Visiting Professor at the Department of Geography, University College London and an Honorary Research Fellow of the James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen.
BSc, University of Leeds
PhD, University of Leeds, "The effects of fluvial processes on the dynamics of sanitary bacteria in upland streams"