Professor Giles Wiggs

On 1 October 2022, Professor Giles Wiggs became the new Head of the School of Geography and the Environment. Giles succeeds Professor Gillian Rose who was Head of School from 2019 to 2022.

Giles is a Fellow, Tutor and former Dean at Brasenose College, Oxford, and has previously held positions as Reader and Senior Lecturer at the University of Sheffield, UK. At the School of Geography and the Environment at Oxford he has previously held key administrative roles including Director of Graduate Studies, Chair of the International Graduate School, Chair of the Final Honours School Examinations Board, Chair of the Preliminary Examinations Board, and Director of Undergraduate Admissions.

Giles is a desert geomorphologist specialising in the physical processes controlling aeolian sediment transport and landform dynamics. His research focuses on establishing the impact of environmental, climatic, and anthropogenic changes on sand dune dynamics, regional sand sea stability, desert dust emission, and agricultural wind erosion. He has specific expertise in quantifying airflow and sediment transport in dryland systems including cutting-edge research on the role of wind turbulence in desert landscape development, and determinations of erosion thresholds in natural and human-influenced aeolian systems. His research utilises field measurements, wind tunnel modelling, and mathematical simulations with projects spanning northern and southern Africa, the USA, Central Asia, China, the Middle East, Australia, and the UK. Major research grants are funded by NERC, EU Horizon 2020, Royal Society, National Science Foundation (USA), and Médecins Sans Frontières.

"I want to say thank you to Gillian for her work as Head of School over the last 3 years, and congratulate her on so ably steering us through such difficult and emotionally draining times. Despite the enormous challenges in managing the department during the course of a global pandemic, Gillian is handing over SoGE in excellent condition with financial stability, an outstanding result in the REF, and a continuing global reputation for overall excellence."