Robert Nicholls

University of Southampton


Professor Nicholls is currently Co-Leader of Tyndall's Cities and Coasts research programme. He is a long-term member of the Tyndall Centre researching the consequences of climate change for coastal areas and led the development of the Tyndall Centre's coastal processes simulator. His research also looks at managing and adapting to the consequences of coastal change, particularly flood and erosion management.

Research Interests
Robert leads research and education in coastal engineering at Sothampton University. His research is focussed on long-term coastal engineering and management, especially the issues of coastal impacts and adaptation to climate change, with an emphasis on sea-level rise. This work occurs at all scales from local research in the Solent, up to global assessments. A major recent theme of research is the future of deltaic areas which are the most threatened coastal setting in the coming century. He has also been involved in a number of international assessments, and in particular the International Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), who were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He was awarded the Roger Revelle Medal by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission in 2008. This recognises 'outstanding contributions to the ocean sciences by inspired researchers who communicate their knowledge and global vision of the challenges facing our Planet in order to shape a better future for humankind'.  Currently, he is co-lead of the World Climate Research Programme Grand Challenge on 'Regional sea-level change and coastal impacts' which will organise 'Sea Level 2017' at Columbia University in July 2017.


Muis, S., Verlaan, M., Nicholls, R.J., Brown, S., Hinkel, J., Lincke, D., Vafeidis, A.T., Scussolini, P., Winsemius, H.C., Ward, P.J. "A comparison of two global datasets of extreme sea levels and resulting flood exposure" (2017) Earth's Future, . Article in Press. DOI: 10.1002/2016EF000430

Spatial-temporal changes of coastal and marine disasters risks and impacts in Mainland China - Fang, Jiayi, Liu, Wei, Yang, Saini, Brown, Sally, Nicholls, Robert, Hinkel, Jochen, Shi, Xianwu and Shi, Peijun
Published: 2017 Publication: Ocean and Coastal Management

Spatial and temporal analysis of extreme sea level and storm surge events around the coastline of the UK - Haigh, Ivan D., Wadey, Matthew P., Wahl, Thomas, Ozsoy, Ozgun, Nicholls, Robert J., Brown, Jennifer M., Horsburgh, Kevin and Gouldby, Ben
Published: 2016 Publication: Scientific Data Volume: 3 Page Range: 160107 doi: 10.1038/sdata.2016.107

Contemporary migration intentions in the Maldives: the role of environmental and other factors - Speelman, Laurens, Nicholls, Robert and Dyke, James
Published: 2016 Publication: Sustainability Science Page Range: 1-19 doi: 10.1007/s11625-016-0410-4

Making SDGs work for climate change hotspots - Szabo, Sylvia, Nicholls, Robert, Neumann, Barbara, Renaud, Fabrice G., Matthews, Zoe, Sebesvari, Zita, AghaKouchak, Amir, Bales, Roger, Ruktanonchai, Cori, Kloos, Julia, Foufoula-Georgiou, Efi, Wester, Phillipus, New, Mark, Rhyner, Jakob and Hutton, Craig Published: 2016 Publication: Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development Volume: 58, (6) Page Range: 24-33 doi: 10.1080/00139157.2016.1209016

Projected changes in area of the Sundarban mangrove forest in Bangladesh due to SLR by 2100 - Payo Garcia, Andres, Mukhopadhyay, Anirban, Hazra, Sugata, Ghosh, Tuhin, Ghosh, Subhajit, Brown, Sally, Nicholls, Robert, Bricheno, Lucy, Wolf, Judith, Kay, Susan, Lazar, Attila and Haque, Anisul. Published: 2016 Publication: Climatic Change Volume:139, (2) Page Range: 279-291 doi: 10.1007/s10584-016-1769-z

Further publications:

Role at Council
Partner Representative and Theme Co-ordinator: Cities and Coasts


Contact information

School of Civil Engineering & the Environment University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ UK.

University website: