Professor Andrew Binley



Research overview

Andrew’s research focuses on improved understanding of the storage, transport and exchange of fluids within the subsurface environment. Early work targeted the modelling of rainfall runoff processes, which led to the Generalised Likelihood Uncertainty Estimation (GLUE) methodology (Beven and Binley, 1992) for model uncertainty estimation. This triggered his research path in hydrogeophysics, with a core aim of exploiting data rich geophysical techniques for constraining the uncertainty in hydrological models. He has developed and applied geophysical approaches to a wide range of groundwater-related problems from lab- to field-scale. An active theme of his research over the past 20 years is the exchange of groundwater and surface water through fundamental, process-based investigations. These studies have often been driven by the need to understand the fate of legacy nitrate in groundwater. This work has been complemented by a parallel theme on the assessment of large-scale vadose zone nitrate storage and delivery to deep groundwater. Past research also includes the investigation of plant-soil-water interactions – this includes geophysics-based phenotyping of plant root function and the influence of root development on soil hydraulic properties. To exploit the potential of geophysics, Andrew has worked on the development of new methods for data assimilation and inverse modelling. He was written (and made available) several inverse codes for electrical geophysics problems, which continue to be widely used across the world.

His research has been funded by UKRI (NERC, BBSRC and EPSRC), EU, US Dept. Energy, US NSF and various industrial organisations.

Published research

Andrew has published over 200 journal papers. He co-edited the text Applied Hydrogeophysics, published by Springer in 2006. He was also lead author of the text Resistivity and Induced Polarization. Theory and Applications to the Near-Surface Earth, published by Cambridge University Press in 2020.

Andrew's H-index=73 in Google Scholar and H-index=57 in Thompson ISI Web of Science.

Academic service roles

Between 2006 and 2009 Andrew served as Head of Department (Environmental Science) and between 2012 and 2018 was Associate Dean for Resources in the Faculty of Science and Technology.

He is currently Associate Editor for Water Resources Research (18 years service to date) and Vadose Zone Journal (20 years service to date). He has served as Associate Editor for Journal of Hydrology and Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology. Between 2003 and 2006 Andrew was Deputy Chair of the American Geophysical Union Hydrogeophysics Committee. Between 2006 and 2008 he served as Chair of this committee.

He is a past member of the NERC and EPSRC Peer Review panels. Between 2015 and 2017 he served as chair on NERC Discovery Science grant panels.


In 2012 he was awarded the Frank Frischknecht Leadership Award for his long-term contributions to the field of near-surface geophysics. This award is jointly presented by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) and the Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society (EEGS).

In 2013 he was elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), with the citation:“For outstanding contributions toward the fundamental understanding of hydrological model uncertainty and for pioneering the field of hydrogeophysics”.

In 2013 Andrew was recipient of the Vadose Zone Journal, Associate Editor, Excellence Award and in 2019 he was recipient of the Vadose Zone Journal Reviewer Excellence Award. In 2022 he was recipient of the Water Resources Research Outstanding Reviewer award.

In 2018 Andrew was recipient of the Dean’s award for Outstanding Contribution to the Faculty of Science and Technology, Lancaster University.

NERC (External organisation)
Membership of committee

Rutgers University
Visiting an external academic institution

Vadose Zone Journal (Journal)
Editorial activity

Rutgers University
Visiting an external academic institution

University of Wyoming (External organisation)
Membership of committee

Water Resources Research (Journal)
Editorial activity

National Science Foundation (External organisation)
Membership of committee

University of Copenhagen (External organisation)
Membership of committee

Geological Society (External organisation)
Membership of committee

Frank Frischknecht Leadership Award 2012
Prize (including medals and awards)

Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Prize (including medals and awards)

  • DSI - Environment
  • Energy Lancaster
  • Innovation for a better environment
  • Sustainable Catchments
  • Understanding a changing planet
  • Water Science