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Professor Iris Moeller
Professor of Geography 1966/Head of Dept, Geography


Prof Möller is a coastal geomorphologist who researches how physical and biological processes interact at the coast, particularly in the intertidal zone (the area between tidal high and low water). She uses these insights to work with others within and beyond the discipline of Geography to develop integrative solutions for a coastal environment in which people are protected from flooding and erosion whilst also taking advantage of the many benefits healthy ecosystems and dynamic coastal landforms, particularly coastal wetlands, have for humans. The monitoring and understanding of long-term coastal morphodynamics (the link between coastal landforms and the processes shaping them) forms a key component of her work, as does how we use these insights to adapt to a changed environmental future through climate change, sea-level rise, and altered storm frequency/severity.

The coast is home to a vast array of different land forms that can rapidly change in response to external drivers, such as sea level rise, altered sediment fluxes, altered atmospheric composition, and human land use. Given the complexity of the coastal system, field observations are crucial in allowing theories to be verified and tested. Similarly, the ability to control conditions in the laboratory context or in numerical models is important in allowing theory to be developed.

In recent years, Prof Möller has worked closely with specialists in deploying remote sensing methods via remotely controlled airborne vehicles (UAVs) and satellite (e.g. the Copernicus suite of Sentinels). Such methods allow the capture of frequent images of a rapidly changing environment without the logistical difficulties of working in treacherous terrain.

Using all of these methods, Prof. Möller and her team and collaborators have led and contributed to a range of projects funded by national and international governmental funding agencies, including the European Union FP7 and Horizon 2020 Programmes, as well as the private sector and non-government organisations.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Steinigeweg, Charlotte S., Löbel, Swantje, Schröder, Boris, Schoutens, Ken, Reents, Svenja, Evans, Ben R., Temmerman, Stijn, Bouma, Tjeerd J., Möller, Iris, Paul, Maike, Plant trait-mediated drag forces on seedlings of four tidal marsh pioneer species, Frontiers in Marine Science, 10, 2023 Journal Article, 2023 DOI

Pétillon, Julien, McKinley, Emma, Alexander, Meghan, Adams, Janine B., Angelini, Christine, Balke, Thorsten, Griffin, John N., Bouma, Tjeerd, Hacker, Sally, He, Qiang, Hensel, Marc J.S., Ibáñez, Carles, Macreadie, Peter I., Martino, Simone, Sharps, Elwyn, Ballinger, Rhoda, de Battisti, Davide, Beaumont, Nicola, Burdon, Daryl, Daleo, Pedro, D'Alpaos, Andrea, Duggan-Edwards, Mollie, Garbutt, Angus, Jenkins, Stuart, Ladd, Cai J.T., Lewis, Heather, Mariotti, Giulio, McDermott, Osgur, Mills, Rachael, Möller, Iris, Nolte, Stefanie, Pagès, Jordi F., Silliman, Brian, Zhang, Liquan, Skov, Martin W., Top ten priorities for global saltmarsh restoration, conservation and ecosystem service research, Science of The Total Environment, 898, 2023, p165544 Journal Article, 2023 DOI

Solan, Martin, Spencer, Tom, Paterson, David M., Unsworth, Christopher A., Christie, Elizabeth K., Blight, Andrew J., Brown, Jenny, Brooks, Helen, Lichtman, I. Dougal, Wei, Xiaoyan, Li, Xiaorong, Thorne, Pete, Leyland, Julian, Godbold, Jasmin A., Thompson, Charlie, Williams, Megan E., Plater, Andrew, Moller, Iris, Amoudry, Laurent O., Biological"physical interactions are fundamental to understanding and managing coastal dynamics, Royal Society Open Science, 10, (7), 2023 Journal Article, 2023 DOI

Brooks, Helen, Moeller, Iris, Spencer, Tom, Royse, Katherine, Shear strength and erosion resistance of salt marsh substrates: Which method to use?, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 292, 2023, p108452 Journal Article, 2023 DOI

Brooks, Helen, Moeller, Iris, Spencer, Tom, Royse, Katherine, Price, Simon, Kirkham, Matt, How strong are salt marshes? Geotechnical properties of coastal wetland soils, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 2022 Journal Article, 2022 DOI

Möller, Iris, Ionescu, Maria Smaranda, Constantinescu, Adriana Maria, Evans, Ben Richard, Scrieciu, Albert, Stanica, Adrian, Grosu, Dumitru, Bio-Physical Controls on Wave Transformation in Coastal Reed Beds: Insights From the Razelm-Sinoe Lagoon System, Romania, Frontiers in Marine Science, 9, 2022 Journal Article, 2022 DOI

Tom Fairchild, William Bennett, Greg Smith, Brett Day, Martin Skov, Iris Möller, Nicola Beaumont, Harshinie Karunarathna, John Griffin, Coastal wetlands mitigate storm flooding and associated costs in estuaries, 2021 Journal Article, 2021

Pollard J.A., Spencer, T., Brooks, S.M., Christie, E.K., and Möller, I, Understanding spatio-temporal barrier dynamics through the use of multiple shoreline proxies, Geomrphology, 2020 Journal Article, 2020 DOI

Chen L., Zhou Z., Xu F., Moller I., Zhang C., Field Observation of Saltmarsh-Edge Morphology and Associated Vegetation Characteristics in an Open-Coast Tidal Flat, Journal of Coastal Research, 95, (sp1), 2020, p412 - 416, p412-416 Journal Article, 2020 DOI

Brooks H., Moller I., Carr S., Chirol C., Christie E., Evans B., Spencer K.L., Spencer T., Royse K., Resistance of salt marsh substrates to near-instantaneous hydrodynamic forcing, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 2020 Journal Article, 2020 DOI

Olivia Shears, Iris Möller, Tom Spencer, Katherine Royse, Ben Evans, Erodibility of vertically exposed salt marsh sediments, 2020 Journal Article, 2020

Clementine Chirol, Helen Brooks, Simon Carr, Elizabeth Christie, Ben Evans, Jason Lynch, Iris Möller, Kate Royse, Kate Spencer, Tom Spencer, Effect of belowground structure on coastal wetland erosion resistance using X-Ray Computed Tomography, 2020 Journal Article, 2020

Helen Brooks, Iris Moeller, Tom Spencer, Kate Royse, The influence of grain size and frictional/cohesional shear strength components on UK salt marsh substrate stability, 2020 Journal Article, 2020

Joshua Kiesel, Mark Schuerch, Elizabeth K. Christie, Iris Möller, Tom Spencer, Athanasios Vafeidis, Breach the dikes! How to design saltmarsh restoration schemes for mitigating coastal flooding., 2020 Journal Article, 2020

Ben Evans, Helen Brooks, Simon Carr, Clementine Chirol, Elizabeth Christie, Matthew Kirkham, Iris Moeller, Katherine Royse, Olivia Shears, Kate Spencer, Thomas Spencer, Species-dependent variation in geotechnical properties and erodibility of salt marsh sediments, 2020 Journal Article, 2020

Joshua Kiesel, Mark Schuerch, Iris Möller, Tom Spencer, Athanasios Vafeidis, Attenuation of high water levels over restored saltmarshes can be limited. Insights from Freiston Shore, Lincolnshire, UK, Ecological Engineering, 136, 2019, p89--100 Journal Article, 2019

Rendón, Olivia R., Garbutt, Angus, Skov, Martin, Möller, Iris, Alexander, Meghan, Ballinger, Rhoda, Wyles, Kayleigh, Smith, Greg, McKinley, Emma, Griffin, John, Thomas, Merryn, Davidson, Kate, Pagès, Jordi F., Read, Simon, Beaumont, Nicola, A framework linking ecosystem services and human well"being: Saltmarsh as a case study, People and Nature, 1, (4), 2019, p486-496 Journal Article, 2019 DOI

P. W. J. M. Willemsen, B. W. Borsje, S. J. M. H. Hulscher, D. Van der Wal, Z. Zhu, B. Oteman, B. Evans, I. Möller, T. J. Bouma, Quantifying Bed Level Change at the Transition of Tidal Flat and Salt Marsh: Can We Understand the Lateral Location of the Marsh Edge?, Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 2018 Journal Article, 2018

Reef, R, Spencer, T, Mӧller, I, Lovelock, CE, Christie, EK, McIvor, AL, Evans, BR, and Tempest, JA, The effects of elevated CO 2 and eutrophication on surface elevation gain in a European saltmarsh, Global Change Biology, 2016 Journal Article, 2016

Spencer T, Möller I, Rupprecht F, Bouma TJ, van Wesenbeeck BK, Kudella M, Paul M, Jensen K, Wolters G, Miranda-Lange M, Schimmels S, Salt marsh surface survives true-to-scale simulated storm surges, EARTH SURFACE PROCESSES AND LANDFORMS, 2016 Journal Article, 2016

Sue M. Brooks, Tom Spencer, Anna McIvor, Iris Möller, Reconstructing and understanding the impacts of storms and surges, southern North Sea, Earth Surf. Process. Landforms, 41, (6), 2016, p855--864 Journal Article, 2016

Reef, R., Spencer, T., Möller, I., Lovelock, C.E., Christie, E.K., Mcivor, A.L., Evans, B.R., Tempest, J.A., The effects of elevated CO2 and eutrophication on surface elevation gain in a European salt marsh, Global Change Biology, 2016 Journal Article, 2016

F. Rupprecht, I. Möller, B. Evans, T. Spencer, K. Jensen , Biophysical properties of salt marsh canopies Quantifying plant stern flexibility and above ground biomass, COASTAL ENGINEERING, 2015 Journal Article, 2015

James Alexander Tempest, Iris Möller, Tom Spencer, A review of plant-flow interactions on salt marshes: the importance of vegetation structure and plant mechanical characteristics, WIREs Water, 2, (6), 2015, p669--681 Journal Article, 2015

Spencer, T., Brooks, S.M., Evans, B.R., Tempest, J.A., Möller, I., Southern North Sea storm surge event of 5 December 2013: Water levels, waves and coastal impacts, Earth-Science Reviews, 146, 2015, p120-145 Journal Article, 2015

McIvor, A., Spencer, T., Spalding, M., Lacambra, C., Möller, I., Mangroves, Tropical Cyclones, and Coastal Hazard Risk Reduction, Coastal and Marine Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, 2014, p403-429 Journal Article, 2014

Sutherland, W.J., Gardner, T., Bogich, T.L., Bradbury, R.B., Clothier, B., Jonsson, M., Kapos, V., Lane, S.N., Möller, I., Schroeder, M., Spalding, M., Spencer, T., White, P.C.L., Dicks, L.V., Solution scanning as a key policy tool: Identifying management interventions to help maintain and enhance regulating ecosystem services, Ecology and Society, 19, (2), 2014 Journal Article, 2014

Spencer, T., Brooks, S.M., Möller, I., Floods: Storm-surge impact depends on setting, Nature, 505, (7481), 2014 Journal Article, 2014

Friess, D.A., Möller, I., Spencer, T., Smith, G.M., Thomson, A.G., Hill, R.A., Coastal saltmarsh managed realignment drives rapid breach inlet and external creek evolution, Freiston Shore (UK), Geomorphology, 208, 2014, p22-33 Journal Article, 2014

Doswald, N., Munroe, R., Roe, D., Giuliani, A., Castelli, I., Stephens, J., Möller, I., Spencer, T., Vira, B., Reid, H., Effectiveness of ecosystem-based approaches for adaptation: review of the evidence-base, Climate and Development, 6, (2), 2014, p185-201 Journal Article, 2014

Möller, I., Kudella, M., Rupprecht, F., Spencer, T., Paul, M., van Wesenbeeck, B.K., Wolters, G., Jensen, K., Bouma, T.J., Miranda-Lange, M., Schimmels, S., Wave attenuation over coastal salt marshes under storm surge conditions, NATURE GEOSCIENCE, 2014 Journal Article, 2014

Thomas Spencer, Susan M. Brooks, Iris Möller, Ben R. Evans, Where Local Matters: Impacts of a Major North Sea Storm Surge, Eos Trans. AGU, 95, (30), 2014, p269--270 Journal Article, 2014

Spencer, T., Möller, I., Mangrove Systems, Treatise on Geomorphology, 10, 2013, p360-391 Journal Article, 2013

Mark D. Spalding, Anna L. McIvor, Michael W. Beck, Evamaria W. Koch, Iris Möller, Denise J. Reed, Pamela Rubinoff, Thomas Spencer, Trevor J. Tolhurst, Ty V. Wamsley, Bregje K. van Wesenbeeck, Eric Wolanski, Colin D. Woodroffe, Coastal Ecosystems: A Critical Element of Risk Reduction, Conservation Letters, 7, (3), 2013, p293--301 Journal Article, 2013

Munroe, R., Roe, D., Doswald, N., Spencer, T., Möller, I., Vira, B., Reid, H., Kontoleon, A., Giuliani, A., Castelli, I., Stephens, J., Review of the evidence base for ecosystem-based approaches for adaptation to climate change, Environmental Evidence, 1, (1), 2012 Journal Article, 2012

Friess, D.A., Spencer, T., Smith, G.M., Möller, I., Brooks, S.M., Thomson, A.G., Remote sensing of geomorphological and ecological change in response to saltmarsh managed realignment, The Wash, UK, International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 18, (1), 2012, p57-68 Journal Article, 2012

Spencer, T., Friess, D.A., Möller, I., Brown, S.L., Garbutt, R.A., French, J.R., Surface elevation change in natural and re-created intertidal habitats, eastern England, UK, with particular reference to Freiston Shore, Wetlands Ecology and Management, 20, (1), 2012, p9-33 Journal Article, 2012

Feagin, RA, Irish, J.L., Möller, I, Williams, A.M.,Colon-Rivera,R.J., and Mousavi, M.E., Short communication: Engineering properties of wetland plants with application to wave attenuation, Coastal Engineering, 2011 Journal Article, 2011

Möller, I., Mantilla-Contreras, J., Spencer, T., Hayes, A., Micro-tidal coastal reed beds: Hydro-morphological insights and observations on wave transformation from the southern Baltic Sea, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 92, (3), 2011, p424-436 Journal Article, 2011

Turner, R., Möller, I., Spencer, T., Field observations and numerical modelling of wave energy dissipation over a North-West European saltmarsh, Coasts, Marine Structures and Breakwaters: Adapting to Change - Proceedings of the 9th International Conference, 2, 2010, p725-728 Journal Article, 2010

Feagin, RA, Lozada-Bernard, SM, Ravens, TM, Möller, I, Yeager, KM, Baird, AH., Does vegetation prevent wave erosion of salt marsh edges?, PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 2009 Journal Article, 2009

Möller, I., Lendzion, J., Spencer, T., Hayes, A., Zerbe, S., The sea-defence function of micro-tidal temperate coastal wetlands, WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, 126, 2009, p51-62 Journal Article, 2009

Kroon, A., Larson, M., Möller, I., Yokoki, H., Rozynski, G., Cox, J., Larroude, P., Statistical analysis of coastal morphological data sets over seasonal to decadal time scales, Coastal Engineering, 55, (7-8), 2008, p581-600 Journal Article, 2008

Brown, J.D., Spencer, T., Möller, I., Modeling storm surge flooding of an urban area with particular reference to modeling uncertainties: A case study of Canvey Island, United Kingdom, Water Resources Research, 2007 Journal Article, 2007

I. Möller, Quantifying saltmarsh vegetation and its effect on wave height dissipation: Results from a UK East coast saltmarsh, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 69, (3-4), 2006, p337--351 Journal Article, 2006

MINEKE WOLTERS, JAN P. BAKKER, MARK D. BERTNESS, ROBERT L. JEFFERIES, IRIS MÖLLER, Saltmarsh erosion and restoration in south-east England: squeezing the evidence requires realignment, Journal of Applied Ecology, 42, (5), 2005, p844--851 Journal Article, 2005

Möller, I., The sea-defence role of intertidal habitats, Working Paper - Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment, (1), 2004, p72-85 Journal Article, 2004

Smith, G.M., Thomson, A.G., Möller, I. & Kromkamp, J.C., Hyperspectral imaging for mapping sediment characteristics. , Estuarine and Coastal Sciences Association Bulletin, 45, (14), 2004 Journal Article, 2004

Smith, G.M., Thomson, A.G., Möller, I., Kromkamp, J.C., Using hyperspectral imaging for the assessment of mudflat surface stability, Journal of Coastal Research, 20, (4), 2004, p1165-1175 Journal Article, 2004

Iris Möller, Tom Spencer, Jane Rawson, SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL VARIABILITY OF WAVE ATTENUATION OVER A UK SALTMARSH, Coastal Engineering 2002, 2003 Journal Article, 2003

Smith, G., Thomson, A., Möller, I., Kromkamp, J., Potential of hyperspectral imaging to assess the stability of mudflat surfaces by mapping sediment characteristics, Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, 4886, 2002, p330-341 Journal Article, 2002

Thomalla, F., Brown, J., Kelman, I., Möller, I., Spence, R., Spencer, T., Towards an integrated approach for coastal flood impact assessment, Solutions to Coastal Disasters 2002, 2002, p142-158 Journal Article, 2002

Schans, H., Möller, I., Spencer, T., Large-scale classification of the east anglian coastline, UK, Coastal Dynamics 2001, 2001, p683-692 Journal Article, 2001

Möller, I., Spencer, T., French, J.R., Leggett, D.J., Dixon, M., The sea-defence value of salt marshes - a review in the light of field evidence from North Norfolk, Journal of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, 15, 2001, p109 - 116 Journal Article, 2001

Möller, I., Spencer, T., French, J.R., Leggett, D.J., Dixon, M., The Sea-Defence Value of Salt Marshes: Field Evidence from North Norfolk, Journal of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, 15, (2), 2001, p109-116 Journal Article, 2001

Cahoon, D.R., French, J.R., Spencer, T., Reed, D., Möller, I., Vertical accretion versus elevational adjustment in UK saltmarshes: An evaluation of alternative methodologies, Geological Society Special Publication, 175, 2000, p223-238 Journal Article, 2000

Southgate, H.N., Möller, I., Fractal properties of coastal profile evolution at Duck, North Carolina, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 105, (C5), 2000, p11489-11507 Journal Article, 2000

Smith, G.M., Spencer, T., Möller, I., Visualization of coastal dynamics: Scolt Head Island, North Norfolk, England, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 50, (1), 2000, p137-142 Journal Article, 2000

Möller, I., Spencer, T., French, J.R., Leggett, D.J., Dixon, M., Wave transformation over salt marshes: A field and numerical modelling study from north Norfolk, England, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 49, (3), 1999, p411-426 Journal Article, 1999

Moeller, I., Spencer, T., and French, J.R., Wind Wave Attenuation over Saltmarsh Surfaces : Preliminary Results from Norfolk , England, Journal of Coastal Research, 1996 Journal Article, 1996

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Möller, I and Spencer, T, 'Saltmarsh Restoration: An Introduction', Saltmarsh Restoration Handbook, Environment Agency, 2022, - Conservation, restoration work, 2022

Ben R. Evans, Iris Möller, Tom Spencer, Topological and Morphological Controls on Morphodynamics of Salt Marsh Interiors, Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 9, (3), 2021, p311 - 332 Journal Article, 2021 URL


Awards and Honours

Fellow Royal Geographical Society 2018

Fellow of the British Society of Geomorphology (FBSG) October 2023