Neil Macdonald


Dr Macdonald is a lecturer at the University of Liverpool, his interests focus on four principal themes: (i) flood and drought frequency; (ii) the reconstruction of long hydrological and meteorological series from multiple sources, including proxy datasets; (iii) development of novel approaches and techniques to better understand and manage flood risk; and, (iv) the implementation of strategic drainage approaches, which focus on the practicalities of interdisciplinary collaboration across traditional boundaries (social, physical and environmental sciences). He has worked within the UK and EU. He current sits on the main committee of the British Hydrological Society and the British Institute at Ankara (British Academy) and is the UK representative on the EU eCOST Floodfreq programme. 


  • PhD “The application of historical flood information in reassessing flood frequency in Britain” 2004 University of Dundee
  • MSc 2000 Environmental Assessment and Monitoring in Drylands, University of Sheffield
  • BSc 1999 Geography, University of Salford

Professional Activities

  • British Hydrological Society
  • International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS)
  • British Society for Geomorphology
  • European Society of Environmental History
  • British Institute at Ankara
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

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Editorial Work

  • Forthcoming special issue of Hydrology Research

Organization of Conferences / Workshops

  • BHS-RMS National meeting. Droughts: Research and Management, sponsored by the British Hydrological Society, 28th September 2011

  • INQUA2011. Co-chairing session: ‘Palaeofloods in earth’s history’ Bern, Switzerland, 20-27 July 2011

  • BSG Extreme events: shaping the surface of the Earth, University of Liverpool, 28th-30th June 2011

  • QRA2010, Palaeofloods, University of Liverpool, 4-6 January 2011

  • BHS National meeting. Bridging Troubled Waters – Hydrology and Spatial Planning, sponsored by the British Hydrological Society, 14th January 2010

  • BHS National meeting. Peter Wolf Young Hydrologists Symposium, British Hydrological Society, 18-19th June 2009

  • EGU. Flooding and climate during the last two millennia, British Hydrological Society/British Society for Geomorphology sponsored session, April 2009

  • BHS National meeting. Hydromorphology and the Water Framework Directive, sponsored by the British Hydrological Society and the British Society for Geomorphology, 8th January 2009

Scientific Committees and Boards of Conferences

  • eCOST floodfreq
  • Trustee of the British Institute at Ankara (2011-14)
  • British Hydrological Society
    • Executive Committee (2007-11)
    • Pennines regional representative (2009-)

Scientific Services


  • Applied Geography
  • Area
  • Climatic Change
  • Enviornment and History
  • Fresenius Env.Bulletin
  • Geomorphology
  • Global & Planetary Change
  • Hydrological Processes
  • Hydrological Sciences Journal
  • Hydrology Research Journal
  • Irish Geographer
  • Journal of Environmental Management
  • Journal of Hydrology
  • Natural Hazards
  • Physics & Chemistry of the Earth
  • Water & Environment Journal

Research Bodies:

  • British Hydrological Society
  • Economic and Social Research Council
  • South African Research Council
  • Leverhulme Trust

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Teaching Areas

Programme Director for Environmental Sciences BSc & MSc

Programme Director for Environment and Climate Change MSc

  • Hydrology
  • Climatic reconstruction
  • Geomorphology
  • GIS

Research Interests

  • Flood and drought frequency
  • The reconstruction of long hydrological and meteorological series from multiple sources, including proxy datasets
  • The development of novel approaches and techniques to better understand and manage flood risk
  • The implementation of strategic drainage approaches

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Selected Publications

  1. Macdonald N., (2012), Trends in flood seasonality of the River Ouse (northern England), from archive and instrumental sources since AD 1600, Climatic Change, 110(3): 901-923 (DOI: 10.1007/s10584-011-0117-6)

  2. Macdonald N., Chester D., Sangster H., Todd B. and Hooke J.M. (2012), The significance of Gilbert F. White’s 1942 paper ‘Human Adjustment to Floods’ in the development of risk and hazard management, Progress in Physical Geography, 36(1): 125-133 (DOI: 10.1177/0309133311414607)

  3. Castellarin A., Kohnová S., Gaál L., Fleig A., Salinas J.L., Toumazis A., Kjeldsen T.R. & Macdonald N.  (2012) Review of applied statistical methods for flood frequency analysis in Europe, COST action ES0901: European procedures for flood frequency estimation (FloodFreq), (WG2): Assessment of statistical methods for flood frequency estimation, Wallingford, UK
  1. Macdonald N., Phillips I.D. & Bale G., (2010), Spatial and temporal variability of flood seasonality in Wales, Hydrology Processes, 24 (13):1806-1820 (DOI: 10.1002/hyp.7618)

  2. Macdonald N. & Black A.R., (2010), Reassessment of flood frequency using historical information for the River Ouse at York, UK, Hydrological Sciences Journal,55 (7): 1152-1162 (DOI: 10.1080/02626667.2010.508873)

  3. BrázdilR., DemaréeG.R., DeutschM., GarnierE., Kiss A., LuterbacherJ., Macdonald N., Rohr C., Dobrovolný P., Kolář P. & Chromá K. (2010), European floods during the winter 1783/1784: scenarios of an extreme event during the ‘Little Ice Age’, Theoretical and Applied Climatology,100 (1-2):163-189 (DOI 10.1007/s00704-009-0170-5)

  4. Brázdil R., Kundzewicz Z.W., Benito G, Demarée G., Macdonald N., Roald L.A., (2012), Historical floods in Europe in the past millennium, In: Changes of Flood Risk in Europe, Kundzewicz Z.W. (Ed.), Chapter 6, xxx-xxx, IAHS Press, Wallingford, UK

  5. Ward S., Potter K., Shaw D., Macdonald N., White I., Fischer T., Butler D., & Kellagher R., (2011) Engineers and planners: sustainable water management alliances, ICE Proceedings: Engineering Sustainability, Vol. 164, Issue ES4 (Dec'11)

  6. Macdonald N., Black A. R., Werritty A. & McEwen L. J., (2006), Historical and pooled flood frequency analysis for the River Tay at Perth, Scotland, Area, 38(1):34-46

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