Heather Viles

Heather Viles is Professor of Biogeomorphology and Heritage Conservation in the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford and a Senior Research Fellow of Worcester College, as well as being a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Sustainable Heritage, UCL. Formerly  Head of the School of Geography and the Environment (2015-2019), and Vice Provost of Worcester College (2012-2014), she is currently Associate Head (Research) for the Social Sciences Division of the University of Oxford. Her research involves studies at the interface of geomorphology with ecology, engineering geology, environmental chemistry and materials conservation. In recent years she has focussed on three specific themes – Biological contributions to geomorphology; Weathering, geomorphology and landscape evolution in extreme environments on Earth (hyper-arid, coastal, and cold) and on Mars; and the deterioration and conservation of historic building materials. Heather was awarded the 2015 Ralph Alger Bagnold Medal by the European Geosciences Union for her role in establishing the field of biogeomorphology, the 2019 Melvin G. Marcus lifetime career award, Geomorphology Specialty Group, American Association of Geographers, and the 2020 Founder’s Medal by the Royal Geographical Society with IBG. In 2019 she was elected President of the British Society for Geomorphology. She leads the interdisciplinary Oxford Resilient Buildings and Landscapes (OxRBL) lab, and is Oxford lead and Co-Director of the EPSRC-funded CDT in SEAHA (Science and Engineering for Arts, Heritage and Archaeology).

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