The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Dr Christopher Hackney

NU Academic Track Fellow (NUAcT)


Chris Hackney is a NUAcT fellow in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology. He obtained his PhD from the University of Southampton in 2013 and was a PDRA on a NERC funded research project investigating sediment transport and erosion in large alluvial rivers until 2015. He then moved to the University of Hull where he was a research fellow until 2020. 

Chris researches sediment and water transport through river and delta systems, particularly in South East Asian deltas such as the Mekong, Red and Irrawaddy systems. He is interested in the way that humans are impacting natural fluvial processes, with a particular focus on sand mining, and how these impacts ultimately affect the populations and communities which make deltaic regions their home. He is a National Geographic Explorer, co-leading the Rivers of Plastic project.

For a full list of publications, please see my Google Scholar page.


Research Interests

Natural and human alterations to sediment and water loads in large rivers and deltas

Flood risk in deltaic regions

The impact of sand mining on flow and sediment transport

Linking physical processes to societal resilience to natural hazards and sustainable livelihoods

The transport and impact of plastic waste through river systems

Current research projects

River of Plastics (National Geographic, co-lead with the Universities of Hull, Panassastra University Cambodia, and the Southern Institute of Water Resources Research in Vietnam) investigating the physical mechanisms of micro plastic transport through the Mekong River and its delta, and social perceptions to plastics waste throughout Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Youth-led adaptation for climate change challenges in Vietnam: social action, inter-generational and inter-cultural learning (British Academy, Co-I) This project will develop creative, youth-led perspectives and action on climate change challenges facing one of the most populous, economically important and ethnically diverse areas in Vietnam, the Red River catchment.

Resilient Mangroves (Newton Fund, led by the University of Leeds and the Vietnam National University) This project is investigating the role that mangroves play in providing and maintaining important ecosystem services along the fringes of the Red River Delta, Vietnam.

Sediment pathways through deltas (Royal Society International Exchanges with Indiana University, PI) This project is mapping and monitoring the flow of sediment and water through an evolving bifurcating delta system, Wax Lake Delta in Louisiana, USA, to assess how changes in flow regime affect the preferential pathways sediment and water take through delta systems.