A SOUTHAMPTON scientist has been recognised for research into how sacrificing cliff communities could protect low lying coastal areas from flooding.

Robert Nicholls, Professor of Coastal Engineering at the University of Southampton, is the co-author of the study, which has won the 2012 Lloyds Science of Risk prize for Climate Change research.

Professor Nicholls was part of a team from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research which has focused on a 72km stretch of shore along East Anglia.

They looked at the connection between the risks of erosion and flooding which showed that, in some cases, allowing erosion could reduce the impact of flooding problems.

Professor Nicholls said that the research shows that the benefits of protecting our coastline from erosion must be balanced against the impacts of flooding.