Dr. Philip Greenwood


Büro 3. Stock, 3-05
Klingelbergstr. 27, 4056 Basel

+41 (0)61 207 07 37
+41 (0)61 207 07 40



After leaving school in 1981, Phil spent the first 18 years of his working life in the construction / civil engineering industry, principally as a plant machine operator. However, a desire to change career, underpinned by a growing interest in environmental matters and inspired by an increasing urge to learn more about the Earth Sciences led him to enroll at his local Tertiary College, where he studied in evening-classes for qualifications in Further Education. Getting good grades, and also thoroughly enjoying the experience, he decided he would like to progress further with his studies. He consequently entered into full-time Higher Education in 1999 as a mature undergraduate at the University of Sussex, UK, where he studied for a Bachelor of Science Degree (BSc) in Geography & Environmental Science (Geog/ES); graduating in 2002. He then went on to study for an Master of Science Degree (MSc) in Environmental Assessment & Management at the University of Brighton; graduating in 2004.

Putting his newly obtained qualifications into practice, he worked for the UK Environment Agency (EA) for approximately 2 years; during which time he was involved in the management of key wetland, coastal and fluvial areas of conservation-concern within the southeast of England.

Keen to continue studying and develop his research skills, however, Phil applied for and was awarded in October 2005 a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) funded PhD. studentship, to study for a doctorate in the Department of Geography at the University of Exeter, UK. Under the supervision of Professors Des Walling and Tim Quine, his research involved developing applications of artificial, gamma-emitting, radionuclides as fine-sediment tracers for use in soil erosion and catchment sediment-source investigations. The work has contributed to providing an improved understanding of some of the more subtle mobilisation mechanisms interposed between upslope erosion and downslope sediment yield. The findings are currently being prepared for publication in appropriate scientific journals.

When not working, Phil has wide ranging interests that include travelling, camping, hiking, reading, skiing and especially photography, particularly wildlife and landscapes. He also enjoys socialising with friends, dining out and generally taking an interest in the world-about-him.

Curriculum Vitae


04/2012 – Present:
Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Department of Physical Geography & Environmental Change, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Switzerland.

09/2005 – 01/2010:
PhD, Physical Geography (Awarded), School of Geography, Archaeology & Earth Resources, University of Exeter, UK.
Doctoral Thesis: “Applications of Active Tracer Techniques in Soil Erosion & Catchment Sediment Source Investigations’’ (unpublished).

09/2002 – 05/2004:
MSc, Environmental Assessment & Management (Merit), School of the Environment, University of Brighton, UK.

09/1999 – 06/2002:
BSc, Geography & Environmental Science (2:1), School of Chemistry, Physics & Environmental Science (CPES), University of Sussex, UK.

Previous Employment

06/2010 – 03/2011:
Hydrology Researcher (self-employed); Greenwood Environmental Solutions;

03/2004 – 10/2005:
Environment Agency (EA);

05/1985 – 09/1999:
Plant Machine Operator: Construction / Civil Engineering Industry; and

05/1981 – 05/1985:
Farm Worker.


  • British Society for Geomorphology (BSG);
  • European Geosciences Union (EGU);
  • International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS);
  • International Association of Sediment & Water Sciences (IASWS); and
  • Swiss Geomorphology Society (SGS).


Research Interests

  • Geomorphology;
  • Quaternary Geomorphology;
  • Landscape Evolution;
  • Hillslope & River Catchment Processes;
  • Land Degradation & Rehabilitation;
  • Soil & Carbon Erosion; and
  • Sediment Tracers.

Research Collaborations

Assessment of Land Degradation, Carbon Storage & Environmental Reconstruction of the Karoo Region, South Africa.


  • Professor John Boardman – University of Oxford (UK);
  • Professor Ian Foster – University of Northampton (UK);
  • Professor Mike Meadows – University of Cape Town (SA).

Elucidating Raindrop-Induced Saltation Processes on Planar Surfaces.


  • Professor Peter Kinnell – University of Canberra (AU).


10/2006 – 01/2010:
Mentor: Physical Geography PhD. Candidates, University of Exeter, UK.
10/2006 – 06/2008:
2nd Yr. Undergraduate Tutor: Research Skills in Physical Geography, University of Exeter, UK.
Tutoring / Support, 2nd yr. Physical Geography Undergraduate Field Trip, Washington State, USA.
Lecturer / Co-convener, 1st yr. Physical Geography Undergraduate Field Trip (Coastal Processes), University of Exeter, UK.

Aktuelle Publikationen

Favis-Mortlock, D; Boardman, J; Foster, I; Greenwood, Philip: 'Local gradient' and between-site variability of erosion rate on badlands in the Karoo, South Africa, in: Earth surface processes and landforms, 2017, S. 1-13.
Greenwood, Philip: A Review of the Radionuclide, Cobalt-60, as a Fine-Sediment Tracer, in: Maaz, K. (Hg.): Cobalt, Croatia 2017, S. 119-155. URL
Kuhn, Nikolaus J.; Hu, Yaxian; Bloemertz, Lena; He, Jin; Li, Hongwen; Greenwood, Philip: Conservation tillage and sustainable intensification of agriculture: regional vs. global benefit analysis, in: Agriculture, ecosystems and environment 216, 2016, S. 155-165. edoc

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