Photo of David RobinsonDavid Robinson
Emeritus Reader


David has pursued two distinct fields of research throughout his career at Sussex.
These are:

i) rock weathering and landform evolution, which in recent years has focused on coastal environments in particular.

ii) soil erosion and land degradation

In rock weathering and landform evolution, David has collaborated extensively, both in the field and in the laboratory with his colleagues Drs Rendel Williams (now retired), Cherith Moses and Julian Murton. He has undertaken field studies of weathering processes and landforms in a wide variety of environments in Britain, mainland Europe, Africa and North America, and conducted numerous laboratory simulation experiments into processes mechanical rock weathering. He is a member of SWAPNET, an interdisciplinary network of international researchers who study various aspects of stone weathering. He is a member of the Coastal and Esturine Research Group at Sussex (CERAS) whose research in recent years has been supported by the EU, EA and DEFRA. He has collaborated and published extensively with Dr. Uwe Dornbusch, a former post-Doc researcher at Sussex, who is now a coastal specialist at the Environment Agency. His current research interests in rock weathering and coastal processes include:

  • Sub-aerial weathering of natural rock outcrops; building and monumental stones.
  • Weathering and erosion of sea cliffs, shore platforms and beach shingle
  • Sandstone weathering and the evolution of sandstone landforms

Coastal research has in recent years focussed in particular on the impacts of environmental and climatic change on weathering and erosion processes and on the sustainability of beaches and coastal management practices


In soil erosion, David has undertaken research and published papers on aspects of soil erosion and land degradation in Africa, southern Europe and southern Britain, work that has been funded at various times by British Council, Leverhulme, NERC/MAFF and the EU.  Current research interest is focused on:

  • the relationships between soil crusting and erosion;
  • the influence of the stone content of soils on erosion processes
  • the influence of farming practices and farmers attitudes to erosion on arable land