Professor Keith Beven

Professor, Emeritus

Research Interests

Keith Beven has worked at Lancaster University for over 30 years and is now a Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Lancaster Environment Centre. He is the first hydrologist to be elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 50 years, is the most highly cited in the field, and has published 10 books and over 450 papers. Recent books include Environmental Modelling: An Uncertain Future? (2009); a 4th Edition of Shaw’s Hydrology in Practice (with Nick Chappell and Rob Lamb, 2011) and a 2nd Edition of Rainfall-Runoff Modelling: The Primer (2012). Both Environmental Modelling and Rainfall-Runoff Modelling have been translated into Chinese

His main research interests are in hydrological modelling and understanding the prediction uncertainties associated with environmental models (see ). He was the originator with Mike Kirkby of the TOPMODEL Concepts and the originator of the Generalised Likelihood Uncertainty Estimation (GLUE) methodology. GLUE has been applied to a wide variety of fields including rainfall-runoff modelling, flood inundation, water quality modelling, sediment transport, recharge and groundwater modelling, vegetation growth models, aphid populations, forest fire and tree death modelling. Current projects include leading the NERC/ScienceWise Catchment Change Management Hub project ( ), novel modelling of flow and transport on hillslopes and in catchments, modelling the impacts of climate and land management on flood runoff and flood frequency, nonparametric estimation of the rainfall-flow nonlinearity, and flood forecasting. He also an interest in the History of Hydrology and has created a wiki site as a resource for the hydrological community (

His research has resulted in a number of awards including the Robert Horton Medal and Langbein Awards of the American Geophysical Union, the John Dalton Medal and Leonardo Awards of the European Geophysical Union, the IAHS/WMO/UNESCO International Hydrology Prize, the Penman and President’s Awards of the British Hydrological Society; and a DSc from Bristol University. He was also the recipient of the King of Sweden’s Environmental Guest Professorship at Uppsala University, the Francqui Foundation Chair at KU Leuven, and was elected as Fellow of the Royal Society and as a Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Engineering in 2017. He also still likes to try and find time to take some photographs (mostly of water on film, see

  • Centre for Global Eco-innovation
  • Sustainable Catchments
  • Understanding a changing planet