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James Leonard Best


Jim Best’s current research concerns the mechanics of sediment transport, the investigation of modern sedimentary environments, and the interpretation of ancient alluvium. Current areas of ongoing research include: interactions between turbulent flows and sediment movement, turbulence modulation in sedimentological flows, bedform dynamics, braided river dynamics and deposits, the morphodynamics of river channel confluences, the sedimentology of large rivers, the application of multibeam imaging within sedimentary environments, basin evolution, paleoenvironments, and sedimentology of the Western Irish Namurian Basin.


  • Ph.D., Birkbeck College, University of London
  • B.S., University of Leeds

Courses Taught

Additional Campus Affiliations

Jack C. Threet and Richard L. Threet Professor, Geology
Professor, Geology
Professor, Geography and Geographic Information Science
Professor, Mechanical Science and Engineering
Department Affiliate, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Professor, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Recent Publications

Delorme, P., Nield, J. M., Wiggs, G. F. S., Baddock, M. C., Bristow, N. R., Best, J. L., Christensen, K. T., & Claudin, P. (2023). Field Evidence for the Initiation of Isolated Aeolian Sand Patches. Geophysical Research Letters, 50(4), Article e2022GL101553.

Morgan, L. A., Shanks, W. C. P., Pierce, K. L., Iverson, N., Schiller, C. M., Brown, S. R., Zahajska, P., Cartier, R., Cash, R. W., Best, J. L., Whitlock, C., Fritz, S., Benzel, W., Lowers, H., Lovalvo, D. A., & Licciardi, J. M. (2023). The dynamic floor of Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming, USA: The last 14 k.y. of hydrothermal explosions, venting, doming, and faulting. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, 135(3-4), 547-574.

Orfeo, O., Stevaux, J., Best, J., Parsons, D., & Szupiany, R. (2023). The Paraná River in the argentine plain: A review of its evolution and contemporary characteristics. Journal of South American Earth Sciences, 121, Article 104115.

Best, J., Ashmore, P., & Darby, S. E. (2022). Beyond just floodwater. Nature Sustainability, 5(10), 811-813.

Best, J. L., Ashworth, P. J., Mosselman, E., Sarker, M. H., & Roden, J. E. (2022). The Jamuna-Brahmaputra River, Bangladesh. In Large Rivers: Geomorphology and Management (pp. 579-640). Wiley-Blackwell.

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