Academic Profile

Prof. Smith is past President of the INQUA Shorelines Subcommission on northwestern Europe shorelines. He has been coordinator and lead scientist for four major research contracts funded by the European Union, involving up to 21 universities and institutes in Europe, as well and having been closely involved in three other EU research contracts; has been a committee member for the design of the EU third, fourth, fifth and sixth frameworks and for the evaluation of funding proposals to the EU in the field of the environment. He also serves on awards committees for the EU. He was Leverhulme Emeritus Fellow at Oxford from 2002 - 2005. He recently served on the ad hoc NERC Arctic Climate Committee, and is an advisor on tsunami impact on coastal infrastructure for the Climate Change Risk Management consultancy. He has been a staff member of the universities of Queen's, Kingston, Ontario, Canada; Columbia, New York, USA, and Coventry, UK. He is a graduate of Manchester and Edinburgh universities.

Current Research

Professor Smith's research interests include the reconstruction of former relative sea levels, especially in areas of glacio-isostatic uplift, and associated patterns and processes of deglaciation; tsunami, especially past records of tsunami activity; and climate change. Most of his research has concentrated upon Scotland and northern Europe. At present, he is working on evidence for the Holocene Storegga tsunami in northern Britain and on Late Devensian and Holocene relative sea level changes in Scotland, deriving information on the patterns of land uplift which those features and associated deposits indicate. He is also working on neotectonic activity in western Scotland. In recognition of his research achievements, Prof. Smith received the Murchison Award of the Royal Geographical Society in 2003 and was made an Honorary Member of the Quaternary Research Association in 2008.


Selected Publications

Publications are those that were listed on the old website. Publications database integration forthcoming.
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  • De la Vega Leinert, A.C., Smith, D.E. and Jones, R.L. (2012) Holocene coastal barrier development at Bay of Carness, Mainland Island, Orkney, Scotland. Scottish Geographical Journal, 128(2): 119-147.
  • Smith, D.E., Hunt, N., Firth, C.R., Jordan, J.T., Fretwell, P.T., Harman, M., Murdy, J., Orford, J.D. and Burnside, N.G. (2012) Patterns of Holocene relative sea level change in the North of Britain and Ireland. Quaternary Science Reviews, 54: 58-76.
  • Smith, D.E., Harrison, S., Firth, C.R. and Jordan, J.T. (2011) The early Holocene sea level rise. Quaternary Science Reviews, 30: 1846-1860.
  • Smith, D.E., Davies, M.H., Brooks, C.L., Mighall, T.M., Dawson, S., Rea, B.R., Jordan, J.T. and Holloway, L.K. (2010) Holocene relative sea levels and related prehistoric activity in the Forth lowland, Scotland, UK. Quaternary Science Reviews, 29(17-18): 2382-2410.
  • Jordan, J.T., Smith, D.E., Dawson, S. and Dawson, A.G. (2010) Holocene relative sea level changes in Harris, Outer Hebrides, Scotland, UK. Journal of Quaternary Science, 25(2): 115-134.
  • Smith, D.E., Stewart, I.S., Harrison, S. and Firth, C.R. (2009) Late Quaternary neotectonics and mass movement in South East Raasay, Inner Hebrides, Scotland. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, 120: 145-154.
  • Jaffe, B.E., Morton, R.A., Kortekaas, S., Dawson, A.G., Smith, D.E., Gelfenbaum, G., Foster, I.D.L., Long, D. and Shi, S. (2008) Reply to Bridge (2008) Discussion of articles in "Sedimentary features of tsunami deposits". Sedimentary Geology, 211: 97.
  • Harrison, S. and Smith, D.E. (2008) Pre-Younger Dryas glacial cirques on Raasay, western Scotland? Quaternary Newsletter, 116: 14-23.
  • Fretwell, P.T., Smith, D.E. and Harrison, S. (2008) The Last Glacial Maximum British-Irish Ice Sheet: a reconstruction using Digital Terrain Mapping. Journal of Quaternary Science, 23: 241-248.
  • De la Vega-Leinert, A., Smith, D.E. and Jones, R.L. (2007) Holocene coastal environmental changes on the periphery of an area of glacio-isostatic uplift: an example from Scapa Bay, Orkney, UK. Journal of Quaternary Science, 22: 755-772.
  • McCabe, A.M., Clark, P.U., Smith, D.E. and Dunlop, P. (2007a) A revised model for the deglaciation of eastern Scotland. Journal of the Geological Society of London, 164: 313-316.
  • McCabe, A.M., Clark, P.U., Smith, D.E. and Dunlop, P. (2007b) Discussion on "A revised model for the deglaciation of eastern Scotland": Reply. Journal of the Geological Society of London, 164: 1261-1263.
  • Selby, K.A. and Smith, D.E. (2007) Late Devensian and Holocene relative sea level changes on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, UK. Journal of Quaternary Science, 22: 119-139.
  • Soulsby, R.L., Smith, D.E. and Ruffman, A. (2007) Reconstructing tsunami run-up from sedimentary characteristics - a simple mathematical model. In Kraus, N.C. and Rosati, J.D. (eds.) Coastal Sediments '07. American Society of Civil Engineers, 1075-1088.
  • Smith, D.E., Cullingford, R.A., Mighall, T.M., Jordan J.T. and Fretwell, P.T. (2007) Holocene relative sea level changes in a glacio-isostatic area: new data from south-west Scotland, United Kingdom. Marine Geology, 242: 5-26.
  • Smith, D.E., Foster, I.D.L., Long, D. and Shi, S. (2007) Reconstructing the pattern and depth of flow onshore in a palaeotsunami from associated deposits. Sedimentary Geology, 200: 362-371.
  • Smith, D.E., Fretwell, P.T., Cullingford, R.A. and Firth, C.R. (2006) Towards improved empirical isobase models of Holocene land uplift for mainland Scotland, UK. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 364: 949-972.
  • Smith, D.E. (2005) Evidence for secular sea surface level changes in the Holocene raised shorelines of Scotland, UK. Journal of Coastal Research, 42: 26-42.
  • Smith, D.E. (2005) Tsunami: a research perspective. Geology Today, 21(2): 64-68.
  • Tooley, M.J. and Smith, D.E. (2005) Relative sea-level change and evidence for the Holocene Storegga Slide tsunami at a site in Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom. Quaternary International, 113/114: 107-119.
  • Fretwell, P., Peterson, I.R. and Smith, D.E. (2004) The use of Gaussian Trend Surfaces for modelling glacio-isostatic crustal rebound. Scottish Journal of Geology, 40(2): 175-179.
  • Dawson, S., Smith, D.E., Jordan, J. and Dawson, A.G. (2004) Late Holocene coastal sand movements in the Outer Hebrides, N.W.Scotland. Marine Geology, 210: 281-306.
  • Smith, D.E., Shi, S., Brooks, C.L., Cullingford, R.A., Dawson, A.G., Dawson, S., Firth, C.R., Foster, I.D.L., Fretwell, P.T., Haggart, B.A., Holloway, L.K. and Long, D. (2004) The Holocene Storegga Slide tsunami in the United Kingdom. Quaternary Science Reviews, 23/24: 2295-2325.
  • Smith, D.E., Haggart, B.A., Cullingford, R.A., Tipping, R.M., Wells, J.M., Mighall, T.M. and Dawson, S. (2003) Holocene relative sea-level change in the lower Nith valley and estuary. Scottish Journal of Geology, 39(2): 97-120.
  • Smith, D.E., Wells, J.M., Mighall, T.M., Cullingford, R.A., Holloway, L.K., Dawson, S. and Brooks, C.L. (2003) Holocene relative sea levels and coastal changes in the lower Cree valley and estuary, SW Scotland, U.K. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Earth Sciences, 93: 301-331.
  • Holloway, L.K., Peacock, J.D., Smith, D.E. and Wood, A.M. (2002) A Windermere Interstadial sequence: Environmental and relative sea level interpretations for the Western Forth valley, Scotland. Scottish Journal of Geology, 38: 41-54.
  • Smith, D.E., Firth, C.R. and Cullingford, R.A. (2002) Relative sea level trends during the early-middle Holocene along the eastern coast of mainland Scotland, UK. Boreas, 33: 185-202.
  • Dawson, A.G., Hickey, K., Holt, T., Elliott, L., Dawson, S., Foster, I.D.L., Wadhams, P., Jonsdottir, I., Wilkinson, J., McKenna, J., Davis, N.R. and Smith, D.E. (2002) Complex North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) Index signal of historic North Atlantic storm-track changes. The Holocene, 12: 363-369
  • Smith, D.E. and Holloway, L.K. (2000) The geomorphological setting of Flanders Moss. Forth Naturalist and Historian, 23: 3-20.
  • Selby, K.A., Smith, D.E., Dawson, A.G. and Mighall, T. (2000) Late Devensian and Holocene relative sea level and environmental changes from an isolation basin in southern Skye. Scottish Journal of Geology, 36: 73-86.
  • De la Vega-Leinert, A.C., Keen, D.H., Jones, R.L., Wells, J.M. and Smith, D.E. (2000) Mid-Holocene environmental changes in the Bay of Skaill, Mainland Orkney, Scotland: an integrated geomorphological, sedimentological and stratigraphical study. Journal of Quaternary Science, 15: 509-528.
  • Smith, D.E., Cullingford, R.A. and Firth, C.R. (2000) Patterns of isostatic land uplift during the Holocene: evidence from mainland Scotland. The Holocene, 10: 489-501.
  • Dawson, S. and Smith, D.E. (2000) The sedimentology of middle Holocene tsunami Facies in northern Sutherland, Scotland, UK. Marine Geology, 170: 69-79.
  • Smith, D.E., Raper, S.B., Zerbini, S. and Sanchez-Arcilla, A. (eds.) (2000) Sea Level Change and Coastal Processes: Implications for Europe. European Commission, Brussells. pp. 247.
  • Wells, J.M., Mighall, T.M., Smith, D.E. and Dawson, A.G. (1999) Brighouse Bay, Southwest Scotland: Holocene vegetational history and human impact on a small coastal valley mire. In: Andrew,P. and Burnham,P. (eds.) Late Cenozoic Environment and Human Evolution: a tribute to Bill Bishop. The Geological Society, London. pp. 217-234.
  • Smith, D.E., Firth, C.R., Brooks, C., Robinson, M. and Collins, P.E.F. (1999) Relative sea level rise during the Main Postglacial Transgression in NE Scotland, UK Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences, 90: 1-27.
  • Dawson, A.G., Smith, D.E., Dawson, S., Foster, I.D.L., Brooks, C. and Tooley, M.J. (1999) Lateglacial coastal processes and climate change in western Jura, Scotland, Geologie en Mijnbouw, 77: 225-232.
  • Dominey-Howes, D.T.M., Dawson, A.G. and Smith, D.E. (1998) Late Holocene coastal tectonics at Falasarna, western Crete: a sedimentary study. Geological Society of London Special Publication, 146: 341-350.
  • Dawson, S. and Smith, D.E. (1997) Holocene relative sea level changes on the margin of a glacio-isostatically uplifted area: an example from northern Caithness, Scotland. The Holocene, 7: 59-77.
  • Smith, D.E. (1997) Sea level change in Scotland during the Devensian and Holocene. In, Gordon, J.E. (ed.) Reflections on the Ice Age in Scotland. Scottish Natural Heritage, Edinburgh. pp. 136-151.