Clare Wilkinson

Studying towards a PhD in Geological Sciences
Location: Ernest Rutherford 262
Clare Wilkinson

Research Interests

I study the response of fluvial systems to major disturbances, such as earthquakes and major rainfalls. I am investigating how three rivers in the Kaikoura region are responding to the massive influx of sediment generated by coseismic landsliding during the 2016 earthquake. Methods for my project include tracing fine landslide material using terrestrial cosmogenic nuclides (TCNs) in fluvial quartz sands, as well as tracing bedload with active radiofrequency identification tags. My aim is to develop an understanding of the dynamic response of river channels to major sediment inputs and determine what it means for a landscape to “heal” in the wake of a major disruption.

Working thesis title

Landscape healing following major disturbances

Academic History

BSc with Honours in Geology, Washington and Lee University (USA), 2017—Summa Cum Laude


Wilkinson, C., Harbor, D.J., Helgans, E., and Kuehner, J., 2018, Plucking phenomena in nonuniform flow, Geosphere: 14(5), p. 2157-2170, doi:


Sensing fluid pressure during plucking events in a natural bedrock channel: Cowpasture River, VA