Professor Paul Whitehead

paul-whitehead, wra , water resource associates, oxford-university
River and reservoir water quality modelling, catchment hydrochemistry, acidification. Has over 35 years experience of water quality and pollution issues including the development of dynamic, stochastic and planning models. Applications include simulation of catchments, rivers and reservoirs with environmental impact assessment of effluent discharges, land use change, acid deposition and non-point source pollution.
Full Name
Prof. Paul Geoffrey Whitehead
Year of Birth
Hydrologist and Water Quality Modeller
Range of Experience
Professor Whiteheads’ expertise lies in surface water quality, hydrochemistry and water quality modelling. Paul; was Head of Environmental Hydrology at the Institute of Hydrology (now CEH) and then moved to the University of Reading as Professor and Director of the Aquatic Environments Research Centre. He is currently a Director of WRA, a Professor at the University of Oxford and managing the NERC Macronutrient Cycles Programme. His research interests have focused on dynamic behaviour of river, lakes, wetlands and catchments and the interactions between hydrology, water quality and ecology. He has developed the INCA suite of dynamic models which have been applied widely across the world in many countries and in all continents. Model applications include simulation of catchments, rivers and reservoirs with environmental impact assessment of effluent discharges, land use change, acid deposition and non-point source pollution. Paul has extensive experience of a range of climatic and environmental regimes having worked in many countries in Europe, the Far East, Australia, Africa and North and South America. He was an Executive Director of the EU Eurolimpacs Project, assessing impacts of climate change on Ecosystems across Europe. His research has been funded by the UK Government (DEFRA, DTI, DFID), The UK Environment Agency, English Nature, NERC, EPSRC, ESRC, BBSRC, the EU in 5 framework research programmes from 1982 to the present, Water companies and other industrial partners. He has published widely with over 200 papers in the refereed literature as well as being guest speaker at a wide range of conferences and meetings.
Career Summary
  • 1995 - Present, Managing Director, Water Resource Associates Ltd
  • 2008 - Present, Professor of Water Research, University of Oxford
  • 1995 - 2008 Professor and Head of the Aquatic Environments Research Centre, University of Reading
  • 1994 - 2001 Professor, Imperial College London, Civil and Env. Eng. Department
  • 1978 - 1994 Head of Environmental Hydrology, Institute of Hydrology, UK
  • 1975 -1978 Research Fellow, Australian National University
  • 1972 - 1975 Research Officer, Cambridge University 1966-2001
  • 1970  B.Sc. Chemical Engineering, University of Loughborough
  • 1972  M.Sc. Control and Systems Theory, University of Manchester
  • 1975  PhD   University of Cambridge, ‘Dynamic Analysis of Water Resource Systems’
Professional Affiliation
  • British Hydrological Society  
  • Member of CIWEM
Key Assignments
  • Impacts of climatic change on water quantity and quality
  • Development of the INCA model for dynamic flow and quality modelling of river systems.
  • Assessment in point and non-point source pollution in catchments
  • Modelling radionuclides in catchments
  • Impacts of Climate change on water resources
  • Modelling algal growth and transport in rivers and reservoirs
  • Distributed models for nitrate and phosphorus
  • Nepal land use change study
  • Impacts of acid mine drainage on river quality
Country Experience
China, United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Norway, Thailand, India, Bahrain, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Australia, Austria, Nepal, Taiwan, Turkey, Russia, USA, Brazil, Romania, Spain, Finland, India, Bangladesh, Ghana.
Fluent in English and a good knowledge of French
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