Helmholtz-Zentrum Deutsches Geoforschungszentrum

Prof. Dr. Niels Hovius

Prof. Dr. Niels Hovius
Haus F, Raum 420 (Büro)
14473 Potsdam

Funktion und Aufgaben:

Senior scientist Section 4.6 - Geomorphology

Professor, Institute for Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Potsdam

Wissenschaftliche Interessen:

  • Erosion processes and fluxes
  • Natural hazards: process cascades and early warning
  • Landscape evolution
  • Coupling between physical and chemical processes at Earth’s surface
  • Geophysical constraints on geomorphic processes, and vice versa
  • Teleconnections within Earth’s surface system
  • Earth surface processes in the Earth's system
  • Socio-economic costs of Earth surface dynamics


  • 2012  Professor University of Potsdam, Germany

                Head of Section 4.6 - Geomorphology  (2012-2020)

                Speaker Topic Earth Surface and Climate Interactions (PoF 3)  (2017-2020)

                Director Topic Landscapes of the Future (PoF 4)  (2020)

                Acting Scientific Executive Director and Chairman of the Board of Directors (Nov. 2020 - May 2022)

  • 1999-2012  Lecturer University of Cambridge, UK
  • 2003-2012  Fellow Churchill College, Cambridge, UK
  • Visiting professorships at University of Oslo, University of Rennes, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, ETH Zürich

Werdegang / Ausbildung:

  • 1997-1998  Postdoctoral Researcher Pennsylvania State University, USA
  • 1996-1997  Research Fellow, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  • 1995  DPhil University of Oxford, UK
  • 1991  MSc Earth Sciences, University of Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 1990  MSc Physical Geography, University of Utrecht, the Netherlands

Wissenschaftliche Gremien:

  • Past Chair, European Geoscience Union, Outreach Committee
  • Past President , European Geiscience Union, Geomorphology Division
  • Founding Editor, Earth Surface Dynamics


  • American Geophysical Union: Fellow 2021
  • Geological Society of America: Kirk Bryan Award  2019
  • European Geosciences Union: Ralph Alger Bagnold Medal 2016
  • Helmholtz Association: Recruiting Initiative 2012
  • British Society for Geomoprphology: Gordon Warwick Award 2007
  • Trinity College Dublin: University Research Fellowship 1996-97
  • British Council: Scholarship 1992-95

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