Professor Emeritus
University of Toronto, BA
Durham University, 2008, DSc


My research interests focus on the morphodynamics of rivers at all scales from steepland streams to large rivers. I am engaged in long-term studies of sediment transport and stability in Fraser River. Sediment transport is also studied in an experimental program conducted in the stream dynamics laboratory at Simon Fraser University in association with Professor Jeremy Vendittti. In addition, I am interested in world fluvial sediment yield, fluvial landscape evolution over intermediate time scales (order 10,000 years), and in the history and methodology of geomorphology. I am a registered Professional Geoscientist in the Province of British Columbia.


Honours: Order of Canada; Fellow of The Royal Society of Canada; Fellow of the American Geophysical Union; Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science



Dudill, A., Frey, P. and Church, M. 2017. Infiltration of fine sediment into a coarse mobile bed: a phenomenological study. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 42: 1171-11185. doi: 10.1002/esp.4080.

Church, M. and Haschenburger, J. 2017. What is the active layer? Water Resources Research 53: 5-10. doi: 10.1002/2016WR019675.

Church, M. 2017. Fraser River: history in a changing landscape. Chapter 27 in O. Slaymaker, editor, Landscapes and Landforms of Western Canada. Cham, Switzerlanld, Springer: 381-393. doi: 10.1007/3-319-44595-3_27.

Gitto, A., Venditti, J.G., Kostaschuk, R.A. and Church, M. 2017. Representative Point-Integrated Suspended Sediment Sampling in Rivers. Water Resources Research 53: 2956-2971. doi: 10.1002/2016WR019187.

Church, M. 2017. Reconstructing periglacial geomorphology: the contribution of J. Ross Mackay. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes 28: 517-522. doi: 10.1002/ppp.1867. (invited)

Church, M. 2017. Interpreting sediment yield scaling. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 42: 1895-1898. doi: 10.1002/esp.4165.

Hassan, M., Roberge, L., Church, M., More, M.,, Donner, S.D., Leach, J. and Ali, F. 2017. What are the contemporary sources of sediment into the Mississippi River? Geophysical Research Letters 44: 8919-8924. doi: 10.1002/2017GL074046.


Hendershot, Megan L., Venditti, Jeremy G., Bradley, Ryan, Kostaschuk, Ray A., Church, Michael and Allison, Mead A. 2016. Response of low-angle dunes to variable flow. Sedimentology 63: 743-760. doi: 10.1111/sed.12236.

Venditti, J.G., Church, M., Attard, M.E. and Haught, D. 2016. Use of ADCPs for suspended sediment transport monitoring: an empirical approach. Water Resources Research 52: 1715-1736. doi: 10.1002/2015WR017348.

Church, M. and Slaymaker, O. 2016. Signatures of sediment yield in the world’s mountains. In Mainali, K. and Sicroff, S., editor, Jack D. Ives, Montologist: Festschrift for a Mountain Advocate. Himalayan Association for the Advancement of Science. Lalitpur, Nepal, Font Press: 67-93.

Dudill, A., Frey, P., Church, M., Lafaye de Micheaux, H. 2016. Exploring the influence of a mobile surface upon infiltration. In Constantinescu, G., Garcia, M., Hanes, D., eds., River Flow 2016: Proceedings of the International Conference on Fluvial Hydraulics, St Louis, USA, 11-14 July. CRC Press, Taylor and Frances Group: 338-339 (extended abstract: full paper on CD.


Church, M. 2015. The regulation of Peace River: a case study for river management. Chichester, U.K., John Wiley and Sons: 278pp + online supplements.

Strickland, L. and Church, M. 2015. Leibniz’s Observations on Hydrology: An Unpublished Letter on the Great Lombardy Flood of 1705. Annals of Science 72: 517-536. doi: 10.1080/00033790.2014.989542.

Reid, D. and Church, M. 2015. Geomorphic and ecological consequences of riprap placement in river systems. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 51: 1043-1059. doi: 10.1111/jawr.12279.

Jakob, M., Clague, J. and Church, M. 2015. Rare and dangerous: recognizing extra-ordinary events in stream channels. Canadian Water Resources Journal 40: Published online 20 May, 2015, doi: 10.1080/07011784.2015.1028451.

Church, M. and Ferguson, R. 2015. Morphodynamics: rivers beyond steady state. Water Resources Research 51: 1883-1897, doi: 10.1002/2014/WR 016862 (Invited contribution to 50th Anniversary volume).

Venditti, J.G., Domarad, N., Church, M. and Rennie, C. 2015. The gravel-sand transition: sediment dynamics in a diffuse extension. Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface 120; 943-963. doi: 10.1002/2014JF003328.

Church, M. 2015. Channel stability: morphodynamics and the morphology of rivers. Ch.12, pp.281-322 in Rowinski, P. and Radecki-Paulik, A., editors, Rivers – physical, fluvial and environmental processes. Cham, Switzerland, Springer International (Series Geoplanet Earth and Planetary Sciences): 613pp. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-17719-9.

Ferguson, R.I., Church, M., Rennie, C.D. and Venditti, J.G. 2015. Reconstructing a sediment pulse: modeling the effect of placer mining on Fraser River, Canada. Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface 120: 1436-1454. doi: 10.1002/2015JF003491.

Tunnicliffe, J. and Church, 2015. M. Postglacial fluvial incision in Chilliwack Valley: a 1-D morphodynamic model of postglacial valley incision. Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface 120, Paper 2014JF003370: 2253-2279. doi:10.1002/2014JF003370.

Saletti, M., Molnar, P., Zimmermann, A., Hassan, M. and Church, M. 2015. Temporal variability and memory in sediment transport in an experimental step-pool channel. Water Resources Research 51: 9325-9337. doi: 10.1002/2015WR016929.


Black, M., Carbonneau, P., Church, M. and Warburton, J. 2014. Mapping sub-pixel fluvial grain sizes with hyperspatial imagery. Sedimentology 61: 691-711 .doi: 10.1111/sed.12072.

Attard, M.E., Venditti, J.G. and Church, M. 2014. Suspended Sediment Transport in Fraser River at Mission, British Columbia: new observations and comparison to historical records. Canadian Water Resources Journal 39: 356-371. doi: 10.1080/07011784.2014.942105.

Jakob, M., Holm, K., Lazarte, E. and Church, M. 2014. A flood risk assessment for the City of Chilliwack on Fraser River, British Columbia. International Journal of River Basin Management. In print. doi: 10.1080/15715124.2014.903259.

Haught, D.W., Venditti, J. and Church, M. 2014. Acoustic sediment flux observations on the Fraser River, Canada. In . A.J. Schleiss, G. de Cesare, M.J. Franca and M. Pfister, editors, RiverFlow 2014. CRC Press/ Balkema, Leiden.

Dudill, A., Frey, P. and Church, M. 2014. Experimental investigations on vertical size sorting using spherical glass beads. A.J. Schleiss, G. de Cesare, M.J. Franca and M. Pfister, editors, RiverFlow 2014. CRC Press/Balkema,Leiden: 379-384.

Venditti, J.G., Rennie, C.D. Bomhof, J., Bradley, R.W., Little, M. and Church, M. 2014. Flow in a bedrock canyon. Nature 513: 534-537 + 5pp SOM. doi: 10.1038/nature13779. News and Views commentary by N. Gasparini, ibid. 490-491.

Venditti, J.G. and Church, M. 2014. Morphology and controls on the position of a gravel-sand transition: Fraser River, British Columbia. Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface 119: 1959-1976. doi : 10.1002/2014JF003147.


Church, M. 2013, Steep headwater channels. Chapter 9.28 in Shroder, J.F., editor, Treatise on Geomorphology: vol. 9, Wohl, E., editor, Fluvial Geomorphology. San Diego, Academic Press: 528-549.

Church, M. 2013. Refocusing the view: field work in four acts. Geomorphology 200 (Special Issue for 43rd Binghamton Symposium): 184-192. doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2013.01.014. (invited)

Creyts, T.T., Clarke, G.K.C. and Church, M. 2013. Glaciofluvial sediment redistribution across basal overdeepenings and the relation to glaciohydraulic supercooling. Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface 118. doi: 10.1002/jgrf.20033: 423-446.

Bradley, R.W., Venditti, J.G., Kostaschuck, R.A., Hendershot, M., Church, M. and Allison, M.A. 2013. Flow and sediment suspension events over low-angle dunes, Fraser estuary, Canada. Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface 118: 1693-1709. doi: 10.1002/jgrf20118: 17pp. Published online 6 September, 2013.

Venditti, J.G., Hardy, R.J., Church, M. and Best, J.L. 2013. What is a coherent flow structure in geophysical flows? Ch. 1, pp.1-16 in Venditti, J.G., Best, J.L., Church, M. and Hardy, R.J., editors. Coherent Flow Structures in Geophysical Flows at Earth’s Surface. Chichester, John Wiley and Sons.