Keith Beven was educated at Bristol University and completed his PhD at the University of East Anglia. He worked at the Universities of Leeds and Virginia, and the Institute of Hydrology at Wallingford before joining Lancaster University in 1985. He is one of the most highly cited hydrologists in the world and has published 10 books and over 450 papers. His books include Environmental Modelling: An Uncertain Future? (2009); and Rainfall-Runoff Modelling: The Primer (2nd edition, 2012), both of which have been translated into Chinese.
His main research interests are in hydrological modelling and understanding the prediction uncertainties associated with environmental models. He was the originator with Prof. Mike Kirkby at Leeds of the TOPMODEL concepts, and the originator of the Generalised Likelihood Uncertainty Estimation (GLUE) methodology. GLUE has been applied to a wide variety of fields including rainfall-runoff, flood inundation, and water quality modelling; sediment transport, recharge and groundwater modelling; vegetation growth and land surface models; aphid populations, forest fires, and tree death modelling.
His research has resulted in a number of awards including the Robert Horton Medal and Langbein Awards of the American Geophysical Union, the John Dalton Medal and Leonardo Awards of the European Geophysical Union, the IAHS/WMO/UNESCO International Hydrology Prize, the Penman and President’s Awards of the British Hydrological Society; and a DSc from Bristol University. He was also the recipient of the King of Sweden’s Environmental Guest Professorship at Uppsala University, the Francqui Foundation Chair at KU Leuven, and was elected as a Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Engineering. He still likes to find time to take photographs (mostly of water on film).
Professor of Hydrology, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University Royal Society Representative, Freshwater Biological Association
Interest and expertise
Earth and environmental sciences
History of science, Scientific information provision
Hydrological modelling and forecasting, uncertainty estimation, water quality