Photograph of Professor Stephen Tooth.Professor Stephen Tooth

Geography BSc degree from the University of Southampton
PhD in Physical Geography from the University of Wollongong, Australia.


Office: E4
Phone: +44 (0)1970 622 361
Personal Web Site:


  • DGES Director of Learning and Teaching

Teaching Areas

Modules Taught

Module coordinator for:

  • Climate Change: Impacts, Perceptions, Adaptations (GG10810)
  • Sedimentary Environments (GG23410)

Contributes to:

  • Research Design and Techniques in Physical Geography (GG20130/GG20230)
  • Palaeoenvironmental Change Beyond the Ice Sheets (GG33120)
  • Geography Dissertation (GG39130)


Group Affiliation

Research Interests

Geomorphology and sedimentology, especially in the drylands of Australia and southern Africa. Particular research themes include: anabranching rivers; floodplains and floodouts; wetlands in drylands; channel-vegetation interactions; bedrock-influenced rivers; controls on gully erosion; long-term fluvial landscape development; palaeoenvironmental change; global climate change and the Anthropocene; and the use of drylands on Earth as analogues for Martian surface environments.

Current PhD Students

  • Debra Colarossi
  • Richard Williams


Dr Stephen Tooth graduated with a Geography BSc degree from the University of Southampton and completed a PhD at the University of Wollongong, Australia. He undertook post doctoral work at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, before joining DGES (formerly IGES) in April 2000.

Staff Links



Keen-Zebert, A., Tooth, S., Stuart, F.M. 2016. Cosmogenic 3HE Measurements Provide Insight into Lithologic controls on Bedrock Channel Incision: Examples from the South African Interior. Journal of Geology 124 (3) 10.1086/685506


Colarossi, D., Duller, G.A.T., Roberts, H.M., Tooth, S., Lyons, J.R. 2015. Comparison of paired quartz OSL and feldspar pIRIR dose distributions in poorly bleached fluvial sediments from South Africa. Quaternary Geochronology 30 (B) pp. 233-238. 10.1016/j.quageo.2015.02.015

Duller, G.A.T., Tooth, S., Barham, L., Tsukamoto, S. 2015. New investigations at Kalambo Falls, Zambia: Luminescence chronology, site formation, and archaeological significance. Journal of Human Evolution 85 pp. 111-125. 10.1016/j.jhevol.2015.05.003

Craddock, R.A., Tooth, S., Zimbelman, J.R., Wilson, S.A., Maxwell, T.A., Kling, C. 2015. Temporal observations of a linear sand dune in the Simpson Desert, central Australia: Testing models for dune formation on planetary surfaces. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets 120 (10) pp. 1736-1750. 10.1002/2015JE004892


Lyons, J.R., Tooth, S., Duller, G.A.T. 2014. Late Quaternary climatic changes revealed by luminescence dating, mineral magnetism and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy of river terrace palaeosols: a new form of geoproxy data for the southern African interior. Quaternary Science Reviews 95 pp. 43-59. 10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.04.021

Irwin III, R.P., Tooth, S., Craddock, R.A., Howard, A.D., Baptista de Latour, A. 2014. Origin and development of theater-headed valleys in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile: Morphological analogs to martian valley networks. Icarus 243 pp. 296-310. 10.1016/j.icarus.2014.08.012


Lyons, J.R., Tooth, S., Duller, G.A.T. 2013. Chronology and controls of donga (gully) formation in the upper Blood River catchment, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: Evidence for a climatic driver of erosion. Holocene 23 (12) pp. 1875-1887. 10.1177/0959683613508157

Tooth, S., Hancox, P.J., Brandt, D., McCarthy, T.S., Jacobs, Z., Woodborne, S. 2013. Controls On the Genesis, Sedimentary Architecture, and Preservation Potential of Dryland Alluvial Successions In Stable Continental Interiors: Insights from the Incising Modder River, South Africa. Journal of Sedimentary Research 83 (7) pp. 541-561. 10.2110/jsr.2013.46

Tooth, S. 2013. Dryland fluvial environments: assessing distinctiveness and diversity from a global perspective. In J. Shroder (ed), Treatise on Geomorphology. 1st edn, Elsevier pp. 612–644. 10.1016/B978-0-12-374739-6.00257-8

Griffiths, H., Tooth, S., Richardson, J. 2013. Ffurf a phroses ar safleoedd craigwely afonydd gorllewin Cymru a'u potensial ar fel safleoedd geo-dreftadaeth. Cynhadledd Wyddonol y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 10/06/2013. Other

Griffiths, H., Tooth, S. 2013. Floods, drought and human-environment interactions in the writing of the Welsh diaspora in Patagonia. Future Climate Dialogues, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 13/06/2013. Other

Tooth, S., Griffiths, H. 2013. Floods, drought and human-environment interactions in the writing of the Welsh diaspora in the new geographical frontier of Patagonia. 2013 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) Annual Meeting, London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 27/08/2013 - 30/08/2013. Other

Tooth, S. 2013. Google EarthTM in geomorphology: re-enchanting, revolutionising, or just another resource? In J. Shroder (ed), Treatise on Geomorphology. Elsevier

Keen-Zebert, A., Tooth, S., Rodnight, H., Duller, G.A.T., Roberts, H.M., Grenfell, M. 2013. Late Quaternary floodplain reworking and the preservation of alluvial sedimentary archives in unconfined and confined river valleys in the eastern interior of South Africa. Geomorphology 185 pp. 54-66. 10.1016/j.geomorph.2012.12.004

Griffiths, H., Tooth, S., Richardson, J. 2013. Pothole growth dynamics in mixed bedrock-alluyvial rivers: Importance for fluvial landscape development under changing environments. 2013 BSG Annual Conference, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 01/09/2013.

Richardson, J., Tooth, S., Griffiths, H. 2013. Processes and rates of bedrock erosion in Welsh rivers and the implications for long-term landsacpe development. 8th IAG International Conference on Geomorphology, Paris, France, 27/08/2013 - 31/08/2013. pp. 286. Other

Brown, A.G., Tooth, S., Chiverrell, R.C., Rose, J., Thomas, D.S.G., Wainwright, J., Bullard, J.E., Thorndycraft, V.R., Aalto, R., Downs, P. 2013. The Anthropocene: is there a geomorphological case? Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 38 (4) pp. 431–434. 10.1002/esp.3368


Tooth, S. 2012. Arid geomorphology: Changing perspectives on timescales of change. Progress in Physical Geography 36 (2) pp. 262-284. 10.1177/0309133311417943

Craddock, R.A., Howard, A.D., Irwin III, R.P., Tooth, S., Williams, R.M.E., Chu, P. 2012. Drainage network development in the Keanakāko‘i tephra, Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i: Implications for fluvial erosion and valley network formation on early Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets 117 (E8) E08009 10.1029/2012JE004074

Tooth, S., McCarthy, T., Rodnight, H., Keen-Zebert, A., Rowberry, M., Brandt, D. 2012. Late Holocene development of a major fluvial discontinuity in floodplain wetlands of the Blood River, eastern South Africa. Geomorphology 205 pp. 128–141. 10.1016/j.geomorph.2011.12.045

Paillou, P., Tooth, S., Lopez, S. 2012. The Kufrah paleodrainage system in Libya: A past connection to the Mediterranean Sea? Comptes Rendus Geoscience 344 (8) pp. 406-414. 10.1016/j.crte.2012.07.002


Tooth, S., Nanson, G.C. 2011. Distinctiveness and diversity of arid zone rivers. In D. Thomas (ed), Arid Zone Geomorphology: Process, Form and Change in Drylands. 3rd edn, Wiley pp. 269-300.

McCarthy, T.S., Tooth, S., Jacobs, Z., Rowberry, M.D., Thompson, M., Brandt, D., Hancox, P.J., Marren, P.M., Woodborne, S.M., Ellery, W.N. 2011. The origin and development of the Nyl River floodplain wetland, Limpopo Province, South Africa: trunk–tributary river interactions in a dryland setting. South African Geographical Journal 93 (2) pp. 172-190. 10.1080/03736245.2011.619324


Macklin, M., Tooth, S., Brewer, P., Noble, P.L., Duller, G.A.T. 2010. Holocene flooding and river development in a Mediterranean steepland catchment: The Anapodaris Gorge, south central Crete, Greece. Global and Planetary Change 70 (1-4) pp. 35-52. 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2009.11.006 Other

Woodward, J.C., Tooth, S., Brewer, P., Macklin, M. 2010. The 4th International Palaeoflood Workshop and Trends in Palaeoflood Science. Global and Planetary Change 70 (1-4) pp. 1-4. 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2009.11.002 Other

McCarthy, T., Ellery, W., Backwell, L., Marren, P., Klerk, B.d., Tooth, S., Brandt, D., Woodborne, S. 2010. The character, origin and palaeoenvironmental significance of the Wonderkrater spring mound, South Africa. Journal of African Earth Sciences 58 (1) pp. 115-126. 10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2010.02.004 Cadair

McCarthy, T.S., Tooth, S., Kotze, D.C., Collins, N., Wandrag, G., Pike, T. 2010. The role of geomorphology in evaluating remediation options for floodplain wetlands: the case of Ramsar-listed Seekoeivlei, eastern South Africa. Wetlands Ecology and Management 18 (2) pp. 119-134. 10.1007/s11273-009-9153-7 Cadair


Tooth, S. 2009. Arid geomorphology: emerging research themes and new frontiers. Progress in Physical Geography 33 (2) pp. 251-287. 10.1177/0309133309338135 Cadair

Tooth, S. 2009. Invisible geomorphology? Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 34 (5) pp. 752-754. 10.1002/esp.1724 Cadair

Tooth, S., Rodnight, H., McCarthy, T.S., Duller, G.A.T., Grundling, A. 2009. Late Quaternary dynamics of a South African floodplain wetland and the implications for assessing recent human impacts. Geomorphology 106 (3-4) pp. 278-291. 10.1016/j.geomorph.2008.11.009 Cadair

Paillou, P., Schuster, M., Tooth, S., Farr, T., Rosenqvist, A., Lopez, S., Malezieux, J. 2009. Mapping of a major paleodrainage system in eastern Libya using orbital imaging radar: The Kufrah River. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 277 (3-4) pp. 327-333. 10.1016/j.epsl.2008.10.029 Cadair

Ellery, W., Grenfell, M.C., Grenfell, S., Kotze, D., McCarthy, T.S., Tooth, S., Grundling, P.L., Beckendahl, H., Le Maitre, D., Ramsay, L. 2009. WET-origins: Controls on the distribution and dynamics of wetlands in South Africa: Water Research Commission (WRC) Report . Wetland Management Series Water Research Commission


Tooth, S. 2008. Arid geomorphology: recent progress from an Earth System Science perspective. Progress in Physical Geography 32 (1) pp. 81-101. 10.1177/0309133308089500 Cadair Other

Tooth, S., Jansen, J.D., Nanson, G.C., Coulthard, T.J., Pietsch, T. 2008. Riparian vegetation and the late Holocene development of an anabranching river: Magela Creek, northern Australia. Geological Society of America Bulletin 120 (7-8) pp. 1021-1035. 10.1130/B26165.1 Cadair


Tooth, S. 2007. Arid geomorphology: investigating past, present and future changes. Progress in Physical Geography 31 (3) pp. 319-335. 10.1177/0309133307079057 Cadair

Tooth, S., Rodnight, H., Duller, G.A.T., McCarthy, T.S., Marren, P.M., Brandt, D. 2007. Chronology and controls of avulsion along a mixed bedrock-alluvial river. Geological Society of America Bulletin 119 pp. 452-461. 10.1130/B26032.1 Cadair

Tooth, S., McCarthy, T.S. 2007. Wetlands in drylands: geomorphological and sedimentological characteristics, with emphasis on examples from southern Africa. Progress in Physical Geography 31 (1) pp. 3-41. 10.1177/0309133307073879 Cadair Other


Marren, P.M., McCarthy, T.S., Tooth, S., Brandt, D., Stacey, G.G., Leong, A., Spottiswoode, B. 2006. A comparison of mud- and sand-dominated meanders in a downstream coarsening reach of the mixed bedrock-alluvial Klip River, eastern Free State, South Africa. Sedimentary Geology 190 (1-4) pp. 213-226. 10.1016/j.sedgeo.2006.05.014 Cadair

Rodnight, H., Duller, G.A.T., Wintle, A.G., Tooth, S. 2006. Assessing the reproducibility and accuracy of optical dating of fluvial deposits. Quaternary Geochronology 1 (2) pp. 109-120. 10.1016/j.quageo.2006.05.017 Cadair

Springer, G.S., Tooth, S., Wohl, E.E. 2006. Theoretical modeling of stream potholes based upon empirical observations from the Orange River, Republic of South Africa. Geomorphology 82 (1-2) pp. 160-176. 10.1016/j.geomorph.2005.09.023 Cadair


Rodnight, H., Duller, G.A.T., Tooth, S., Wintle, A.G. 2005. Optical dating of a scroll-bar sequence on the Klip River, South Africa, to derive the lateral migration rate of a meander bend. Holocene 15 (6) pp. 802-811. 10.1191/0959683605hl854ra


Tooth, S., McCarthy, T.S. 2004. Anabranching in mixed bedrock-alluvial rivers: the example of the Orange River above Augrabies Falls, Northern Cape Province, South Africa. Geomorphology 57 (3-4) pp. 235-262. 10.1016/S0169-555X(03)00105-3 Cadair

Tooth, S., McCarthy, T.S. 2004. Controls on the transition from meandering to straight channels in the wetlands of the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 29 (13) pp. 1627-1649. 10.1002/esp.1117 Cadair

Tooth, S., Nanson, G.C. 2004. Forms and processes of two highly contrasting rivers in arid central Australia, and the implications for channel-pattern discrimination and prediction. Geological Society of America Bulletin 116 (7-8) pp. 802-816. 10.1130/B25308.1 Cadair

Tooth, S., Brandt, D., Hancox, P., McCarthy, T. 2004. Geological controls on alluvial river behaviour: a comparative study of three rivers on the South African Highveld. Journal of African Earth Sciences 38 (1) pp. 79-97. 10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2003.08.003


Tooth, S., McCarthy, T.S., Brandt, T., Hancox, P.J., Morris, R. 2002. Geological controls on the formation of alluvial meanders and floodplain wetlands: the example of the Klip River, eastern Free State, South Africa. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 27 (8) pp. 797-815. 10.1002/esp.353 Cadair