Skip to main content
Dr Daniel Hobley

Dr Daniel Hobley


School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

+44 (0)29 2087 6213
2.52, Main Building, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT
Available for postgraduate supervision


I'm interested in the form and evolution of the Earth's land surface, the processes that create those changes, and how those changes interact with other aspects of the geosciences like climate, tectonics, sediment transport, hydrology, and stratigraphy.

By studying these things, in particular I want to understand exactly what information about the past is recorded in the Earth's landscapes, and how we can recover it.

I spend a lot of my time creating, developing, and working with numerical models of Earth surface processes. I'm always looking for new collaborators!


  • Surface processes
  • Geomorphology
  • Sedimentology
  • Stratigraphy
  • Planetary surfaces


  • Fellow of the Software Sustainability Institute (2019)
  • Lecturer & Sêr Cymru COFUND fellow – School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University (2016-present)
  • Research Associate – Department of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, USA (2013-2016)
  • Research Associate – Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, USA (2011-2012)
  • PhD – School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh (2010)
  • BA MA MSci Natural Sciences (Earth Sciences) – University of Cambridge (2005)

Professional memberships

  • American Geophysical Union
  • European Geosciences Union













At present, I teach the second year course Process Geomorphology to our environmental geographers and environmental geoscientists.

I contribute to the first year module Earth Surface Processes.

I also supervise undergraduate dissertations in the areas of hydrology, geomorphology, and Earth surface processes.

I’m interested in the processes that shape the surface of the Earth, and in the archives they leave in the geological record. In particular, I work on understanding what information about past environments is captured and can be reconstructed, and what is lost. I’ve worked on many different surface processes, including rivers, hillslopes, floods, glacial & icy landscapes, sediment fans, and river deltas, and also have research interests on the other worlds of our solar system.

I use a lot of numerical modelling in my work, and am a key developer of Landlab, a Python-based, open-source software toolkit for modelling Earth surface processes:


I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

  • Landscape response to climato-tectonic changes, and the surface archive of these changes;
  • Fluvial and hillslope erosion processes and their interaction with fluvial sediment dynamics;
  • Development of numerical models of Earth surface processes;
  • Application of geomorphic transport laws to exotic environments elsewhere in the solar system;
  • Any other interesting geomorphologic problem! Get in touch if you have an interesting idea and would like to pursue it with me.

Current supervision

Emanuel Zarate

Research student

Erin Harvey

Erin Harvey

Research student

Oliver Francis

Oliver Francis

Research student

Past projects

  • Co-supervisor (50%) of Oliver Francis, looking at the effects of large earthquakes on landsliding and debris flow dynamics and hazards, and the role of earthquakes in the building of mountain topography.
  • Co-supervisor (50%) of Erin Harvey, looking at the role of grain size in controlling the export of seismically-sourced sediment from tectonically-active mountain belts.
  • Co-supervisor of Manny Zarate, looking at the controls of geomorphology on focused groundwater recharge in dryland environments.


I am a lead developer of Landlab, a Python-based open-source toolbox for the computational modelling of Earth surface processes and hydrology. Landlab is in use by around 150 researchers and teachers across more than 50 different research groups and institutions, including some business users. The Landlab team have collectively trained more than 600 users so far!

Find out more, including how to get Landlab, here.

I am a 2019 fellow of the Software Sustainability Institute. As a fellow, I advocate for good practice in the development of academic software, and reproducibility of scientific results. Contact me if you'd like to learn more.