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Dr Andreas Baas

Dr Andreas Baas

Andreas BaasReader

Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 2421 

Department of Geography
King's College London 
Office: Bush House North East Wing, Room 5.24



Dr Andreas Baas achieved his BSc in Physical Geography and Soil Science and his MSc in Process Geomorphology at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), which included an internship at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada. He held a one-year research position at UvA on a Rijkswaterstaat-funded project for the physical modelling of foredune development. He then moved to Los Angeles and the University of Southern California (USC) where he earned his PhD, supported by a Tyler Environmental Fellowship, two College Dissertation Fellowships, and a Research Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). During his last year in Los Angeles he was an Adjunct Professor at California State University San Bernardino. In 2003 he was appointed lecturer in physical geography at the Department of Geography at King’s College London. Andreas is an editor for Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics, an editorial board member for Geomorphology, on the advisory board for Biaban Journal, and he is a member of the Executive Committee for the Geomorphology Division of the European Geosciences Union (EGU). He has presented invited talks at the Czech Geological Survey and the Geophysical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

Research interests
  • aeolian geomorphology
  • dunes
  • deserts
  • wind
  • turbulence
  • sediment transport processes
  • non-linear dynamics
  • self-organisation

Dr Baas specializes in aeolian geomorphology, with research spanning a range of spatio-temporal scales: 

1) Physics of aeolian sediment transport: formation and behaviour of aeolian streamers and their impact on spatio-temporal transport variability, transport models and field measurements; interaction between turbulence and transport, resolving methodological and conceptual differences between aerodynamics, meteorology and aeolian geomorphology; application of non-linear dynamics, self-organization concepts, entropy and information theory in sediment transport. 

2) Vegetation and sediment transport: interactions between vegetation and transport in coastal and arid landscapes; response of ecotopes to burial and erosion; modelling of coastal foredune evolution; management implications. 

3) Models of landscape development: application of non-linear dynamics and self-organization to models of dune landscapes in coastal and arid environments; testing models using morphological quantification; fundamental issues in modelling and uniting process and form in geomorphology. 

Underlying and supporting the above research efforts is an overall interest in novel instrumentation (e.g. Safires) and techniques for field measurement and data analysis (e.g. wavelet analysis).

Visit: for more details.


Combined LiDAR and Hyper-spectral Remote Sensing of 8 coastal dune fields around England and Wales. NERC, Airborne Research and Survey Facility (ARSF), in-kind support. £15,000 equivalent. 

Secondary airflow patterns under offshore winds over coastal foredunes: implications for aeolian sediment transport. NERC, Investigator for KCL. £470,000 (KCL share £27,610), coordinated by University of Ulster with DWT Jackson (PI) and JAG Cooper (CI). 

Application of a vegetated dune simulation model to real-world landscapes. The Leverhulme Trust. £99,095. Single PI. 

A cellular automaton model for investigating landscape development in vegetated aeolian environments. NERC, New Investigator’s Award. £50,650. Single PI. 

Extreme Events: Causes and Consequences (E2-C2). EU Framework 6 STREP NEST. Co-Investigator for KCL (with BD Malamud and J Wainwright). €1,500,000 (KCL share €113,000), sixteen partners in eight countries. Coordinating institute École Normale Supérieure, Paris, coordinator Michael Ghil. 

The application of thermal imaging to monitoring sand surface moisture conditions in aeolian environments. University of London Scholarship Fund, Central Research Fund. £6,924. Single PI. 

Application of Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) methods to monitoring aeolian sand transport patterns in natural environments. The Nuffield Foundation, Award for Newly Appointed Lecturers in Science, Engineering and Mathematics. £5,000. Single PI. 

PhD topics

Some potential PhD ideas:

  • Turbulence in the wind driving sand transport over beaches and deserts: field experiments, numerical modelling.
  • Formation and development of dunes, both in deserts and coastal/inland environments with vegetation interactions, landuse management and climate-change scenarios: cellular automaton modelling (self-organisation), field monitoring, remote sensing of satellite imagery.
  • Soil erosion by wind on agricultural fields as a consequence of land-use and management practices, technological innovations, decision making by farmers and stake holders, economic incentives and cultural norms: Agent-Based Modelling, field measurements

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you have interests or ideas for PhD research in any area of aeolian geomorphology.

PhD Funding Sources:

Various funding opportunities exist for PhD applicants, including studentships offered by NERC and by the College.

The Geography department - one of the largest Graduate Schools of Geography in the UK - is a vibrant research community with around 100 PhD students, supervised by over 40 academic staff in state of the art accommodation in central London. Research in aeolian geomorphology is supported by robust IT resources for simulation modelling and remote sensing, and by extensive field instrumentation, data acquisition systems, and laboratory experiments.

PhD students

Current - Principal Supervisor

Zoë Lee (2009 - present), Investigating the role of turbulence as a driver of sand transport, with specific focus on comparing sand transport in coastal and desert environments. NERC Quota Award studentship.

Na Yan (2010 - present), Dune Landscape Transformations Driven by Vegetation Changes in Inland Deserts, Northern China. Centre for Doctoral Studies studentship.

Current - Secondary Supervisor

Martin Best (2009 - present); Principal supervisor Professor Sue Grimmond

Ate Poortinga (Wageningen University); Principal supervisor Professor Leo Stroosnijder.

Joep Keijsers (Wageningen University); Principal supervisor Professor Leo Stroosnijder.


Dr Helen Ward (awarded 2013): Principal supervisor Professor Sue Grimmond Quantifying evaporation pathways in the suburban environment 

Tarek Abushufa (awarded 2011); Principal supervisor Professor Nick Drake Study of the sand storm in the Sahara (Libya)    

Thomas Loridan (awarded 2011); Principal supervisor Professor Sue Grimmond Modelling surface atmosphere interaction in urban areas, an off-line evaluation of different urban surface schemes


Erin Eastwood (graduated 2011), University of Texas at Austin. Principal supervisor Professor Gary Kocurek

Ryan Ewing (graduated 2009), University of Texas at Austin; Principal supervisor Professor Gary Kocurek




  • 5SSG2023 Physical Geography: Earth Surface Processes & Landforms: I am the sole lecturer for this 2nd-year core module of the BSc programme, where I bring my extended and varied experience of geomorphology in a variety of environments and across different parts of the world.
  • 6SSG3061 Current Research in Geography: I contribute seminars on Modelling of Geomorphology, an in-depth look at the principles and techniques of computer modelling and simulation of various Earth surface processes and landforms.



  • 7SSG5035 Monitoring Environmental Change: I contribute expertise and experience of a variety of electronic instrumentation and measurement in field experiments and monitoring campaigns, ranging from meteorology and soil hydrology to channel flow and sediment transport.

  • 7SSG5111 Environmental Research Design & Application: I am the overall coordinator for this individually supervised research module where students can conduct a small mini-project, often as a test or pilot for a dissertation research idea.
Impact, innovation and outreach


Editor: Elsevier Treatise on Geomorphology – vol. Quantitative Modeling in Geomorphology

Co-Editor: Elsevier Treatise on Geomorphology – vol. Aeolian Geomorphology (with N Lancaster & DJ Sherman)

Editor: Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics

Editorial Board member: Geomorphology

Advisory Board member for: Biaban Journal

Board member: International Society for Aeolian Research

Member: RGS-IBG/BSG Working Group on Sand Seas and Dune Fields

Member: BSG Foresight Task Force on

50 Challenges for the next 50 years

Convener: conference sessions in the EGU Geomorphology Division

Invited Talks

Agro Environ 2012, Wageningen University (May 2012) keynote address on theme: Innovation of Models Across Agro-Environmental Scales

Wageningen University, Wageningen (February 2011) Practical and Conceptual Considerations of Modeling Ecogeomorphic Systems using Cellular Automata, keynote talk for workshop on Modelling Concepts in Biogeomorphology

University of Southampton, School of Geography, Southampton (March 2009) Complexity in Aeolian Geomorphology: Modelling and Quantifying Coastal Dune Systems, seminar.

University of Hull, Department of Geography, Hull (November 2008) Complexity in Aeolian Geomorphology: Modelling and Quantifying Coastal Dune Systems, seminar.

University of Ulster, School of Environmental Sciences, Coleraine (March 2008) Complexity in Aeolian Geomorphology: Modelling and Quantifying Coastal Dune Systems, seminar.

University of Exeter, Department of Geography, Exeter (February 2008) Complexity in Aeolian Geomorphology: Modelling and Quantifying Coastal Dune Systems, seminar.

University of Texas, Jackson School of Geosciences, Austin (November 2007) Complexity in Aeolian Geomorphology, seminar.

Malvern College, Malvern (March 2007) The Wonderful World of Aeolian Geomorphology, seminar.

University of Sheffield, Department of Geography, Sheffield (April 2006) The Swash of the Wind: Aeolian Sand Transport and Boundary Layer Turbulence, seminar.

Czech Geological Survey, Prague (December 2005) The Swash of the Wind: Aeolian Sand Transport and Boundary Layer Turbulence, seminar.

Geophysical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague (December 2005) Introduction to Complex Systems, 3hr lecture.


For a full list of publications, please visit Dr Baas' research profile.


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