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    Topics including: Palaeocology, Woodland dynamics, Palaeofire


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    Personal profile

    Research interests

    I am a palaeoecologist who is interested in reconstruction of environmental change, primarily through the Holocene. I am particularly interested in understanding the drivers of environmental change, be that anthropogenic or climatic.  The primary tools of investigation that I apply are palaeoecology (pollen) and stratigraphy (charcoal).  These tools enable research into past-disturbance events, for example fire, storm, tsunami or disease, as well as anthropogenic management of the landscape.  I currently have two research foci: a) Holocene fire records of the British Isles – a database of over 60 charcoal records spanning the Holocene; and b) Stand-scale palaeoecology – application of palaeo-investigative methods to develop a high-spatial resolution record of vegetation change and disturbance.

    I currently supervise two PhD students: Angela Creevy (microbial controls on carbon fluxes in peatland forest-to-bog restoration), Maria del Pilar Martin Gallego (species invasion in Chilean temperate forests). I am also supervisor of an MRes palaeotempestology project with Emma Readitt and have previous supervised to completion two other MRes projects Bethan Price (coastal vegetation regeneration following the building of the Cardiff Bay Barage) and Daniel Knight (topographical influences on pollution deposition).


    Level 4:

    GEO1045 Introducing Physical Geographies (module leader)

    GEO1048 Introduction to Geographical and Environmental Science Research (module leader)

    GEO1140 Science of the Physical Environment (module leader)

    GEO1047 Practical skills in Geography and Environmental Science (contributor)

    GEO1046 Environmental issues (contributor)

    GEO1049 An introduction to Natural Hazards (contributor)

    GEO1051 Geological hazards (contributor)


    Level 5:

    GEO2077 Weather, Climate and Soils (module leader)

    GEO2079 Biogeography (module leader)

    GEO2071 Research methods for Physical Geography and Environmental Science (contributor)


    Level 6:

    GEO3073 Environmental Change (module leader)

    GEO3140 Environmental Monitoring and Management (contributor)

    GEO3071 Natural Hazards (contribution)

    GEO3070 Dissertation (supervisor) I have supervised a wide-range of dissertation projects including Environmental Change (palaeoecology/palaeofire), Vegetation quantification in a variety of landscapes and Meteorology. 

    I have also been involved in many residential field courses to Mallorca and Cumbria (Field Lead). 

    Public/media engagement


    UCLAN hosted the Lancashire Science Festival from 28th to the 30th June 2018, targeting primary school children groups and families. We had an exhibition focusing on water loving organisms and the implications of climate change and anthropogenic activity on these.


    I delivered a talk to the Preston Society in October 2017 entitled ‘Woodland Palaeoecology: from the small to the large scale’. The Preston Society Birdwatching  & Natural History is based in Preston are a group of people who meet weekly sharing an interest in different fields of the natural world.


    NERC into the Blue ran from 25-29th October 2016 and was based at the Runway Visitor Park, Manchester Airport. The event had over 40 exhibitors and focussed on water, air, energy and health.  I helped to organise an exhibit with colleagues from Geography and Biology from Edge Hill University focussing on ‘organisms that live in water’. This involved the use of a freshwater tank, filled with a range of macro-organisms, microscopes to look at micro-organisms (diatoms) and a range of interactive activities and posters.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
    • SDG 13 - Climate Action
    • SDG 15 - Life on Land

    Education/Academic qualification

    Holocene stand-scale forest dynamics of Britain, PhD, Holocene stand-scale forest dynamics of Britain, University of Liverpool

    Sept 2006Sept 2010

    Award Date: 19 Jul 2011

    Environmental Change, MSc, Environment and Climate Change, University of Liverpool

    Sept 2005Aug 2006

    Award Date: 2 Dec 2006

    Geology and Physical Geography, BSc, Geology and Physical Geography, University of Liverpool

    Sept 2002Jul 2005

    Award Date: 21 Jul 2005


    • GB Physical geography
    • GE Environmental Sciences
    • SD Forestry
    • Palaeo


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