My name is Chris Skinner (I publish under Christopher J Skinner), and I am a PostDoctoral Research Assistant in Modelling Fluvial Geomorphology at the University of Hull. I work on the NERC funded project SINATRA, part of NERC-FFIR. The purpose of the project is to learn more about what causes and what happens during flash flooding, and to use this information to better forecast and provide warnings of such events. My little part of the project is to learn more about how the dirt, pebbles and rocks are moved by the events, and how the way rivers are changed during and afterwards changes the risks involved with flooding.
The research in my career so far has spanned many related fields. I started with Geomorphology (looking at how landscapes change) with my undergraduate dissertation, but I took a side step into Hydrometeorology (the study of rainfall) for my PhD. Towards the end of my PhD I moved downstream into Hydrology (the study of how rivers flow), and then in my first research post I used numerical modelling to reproduce the tidal flows and sediment processes within the Humber Estuary. In my current post I have come full circle back to Geomorphology but set to use the expertise I have learned previously to inform my research.
It is in this intersection of fields where my research interests lie. To model the development of landscapes you need to model the river flows, and to model the river flows you need to estimate the rainfall that is falling within the river catchment. Variations in one impact upon the others and I hope to investigate and understand these interactions better and deliberately keep a part of a foot within each field.
I joked with my Foundation Science students that I could describe myself as a Sociogeohydrometeoroestuarinemorphologist, but I prefer to describe myself as a Geographer.
In addition to my research, I am passionate about communicating science. To this end I founded SeriousGeoGames (SGG) with the broad remit to investigate how games, and gaming technology, can be used to advance geographic research, teaching and communication. The first SGG project was Humber in a Box which has proven very successful – I was awarded a University of Hull Prize for Excellency in Public Engagement for my work on Humber in a Box and Hull Science Festival in 2015.