José A. Constantine

José A. Constantine
Assistant Professor of Geosciences
Clark Hall Rm 303
At Williams since 2016


B.S. College of William and Mary
M.S. University of California, Davis
Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara

Areas of Expertise

Geomorphology and Hydrology


Note: courses in gray are not offered this academic year.

GEOS 103 / ENVI 103(F)

Global Warming and the Reshaping of Landscapes

Scholarship/Creative Work

I am the son of an immigrant and the first person in my family to go to college.  I had a general interest in the natural environment, but it was not until I had the opportunity to do research as an undergraduate (REU Internship) that I fell head over heels for science.  I was blown away by the discovery that our planet changes in significant and observable ways each and every day, and I was hungry to learn why.  I have since devoted myself to the study of fluvial geomorphology, where I try to answer questions that might unlock the mysteries of why rivers move, jump, and reshape the landscape.  I apply a range of methods and techniques, including GIS analysis, numerical modeling, and field investigations, to understand the controls on geomorphic processes.  Current work involves studying the evolution of Amazon rivers, the impacts of tropical deforestation in Borneo, and the role of climate change in enhancing soil erosion.

I am eager to share my passion of geomorphology and have plentiful experience in training and supervising young scientists in their efforts to understand the controls on the physical evolution of the environment.

My Current Research Students and Their Projects:

  • Dayana Manrique (’21) – GIS and Environmental Change
  • Daniel Donahue (’19) and Samuel Gowen (’18) – The Environmental Legacy of Channelization on Riverbed Habitats
  • Erikka Olson (’19) – The Impacts of ENSO Variability on Alpine Glaciation
  • Emmett Blau (’18) – The Role of the Floodplain in the Storage of Contaminants along Meandering Rivers
  • Andrew Bloniarz (’18) – The Environmental History of the Mississippi River

Recent Papers (*denotes student author).  Full publication list on Google Scholar.

  1. *Qin, Y., Alves, T.M., Constantine, J.A., Gamboa, D., 2017, The role of mass wasting in the progressive development of submarine channels (Espirito Santo Basin, SE Brazil). Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 87, p. 500-516 (doi: 10.2110/jsr.2017.18).
  2. *Horton, A.J., Constantine, J.A., Hales, T.C., Goosens, B., Lazarus, E.D., 2017, Modification of river meandering caused by tropical deforestation. Geology, v. 45, p. 511-514 (doi: 10.1130/G38740.1).
  3. Parker, R.N., Hales, T.C., Mudd, S.M., Grieve, S.W.D., Constantine, J.A., 2016, Colluvium supply in humid regions limits the frequency of storm-triggered landslides. Scientific Reports, v. 6, no. 34438 (doi: 10.1038/srep34438).
  4. *Qin, Y., Alves, T.M., Constantine, J.A., Gamboa, D., 2016, Quantitative seismic geomorphology of a submarine channel system in SE Brazil (Espírito Santo Basin): scale comparison with other submarine channel systems. Marine and Petroleum Geology, v. 78, p. 455-473 (doi: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2016.09.024).
  5. *Thomas, R., Constantine, J.A., Gough, P., Fussell, B., 2015, Dispersion of a sediment wave following weir removal on the River Monnow, Wales. River Research and Applications, v. 31, p. 1017-1027. (doi: 1002/rra.2803)
  6. Constantine, J.A., Dunne, T., *Ahmed, J., Legleiter, C., Lazarus, E.D., 2014, Sediment supply as a driver of river meandering and floodplain evolution in the Amazon Basin. Nature Geoscience, v. 7, p. 899-903. (doi: 10.1038/ngeo2282)
  7. Lazarus, E.D. and Constantine, J.A., 2013, A generic theory for channel sinuosity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, v. 110, p. 8447-8452. (doi: 1073/pnas.1214074110)
  8. Vaughan, I., Merrix-Jones, F., Constantine, J.A., 2013, Successful predictions of river characteristics across England and Wales based on ordination. Geomorphology, v. 194, p. 121-131. (doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2013.03.036)
  9. *Dieras, P.L., Constantine, J.A., Hales, T.C., Piégay, H., Riquier, J., 2013, The role of oxbow lakes in the off-channel storage of bed material along the Ain River, France. Geomorphology, v. 188, p. 110-119. (doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2012.12.024)
  10. Constantine, J.A., Schelhaas, M.J., Gabet, E., Mudd, S.M., 2012, Limits of windthrow-driven hillslope sediment flux due to varying storm frequency and intensity. Geomorphology, v. 175-176, p. 66-73. (doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2012.06.022)

Current Committees

  • Winter Study Committee
  • Science Executive Committee (rotating member)