Areas of Expertise

  • Tephrochronology
  • Quaternary Science and palaeoenvironmental change
  • Abrupt and rapid climatic changes
  • Geochronology


  1. et. al. Antarctic ice sheet discharge driven by atmosphere-ocean feedbacks at the Last Glacial Termination. Scientific Reports 7, 39979
  2. & New age constraints for the limit of the British-Irish Ice Sheet on the Isles of Scilly. Journal of Quaternary Science 32(1), 48-62.
  3. & The Lateglacial to early Holocene tephrochronological record from Lake Hämelsee, Germany: a key site within the European tephra framework. Boreas
  4. & Caution in cryptotephra correlation: resolving Lateglacial chemical controversies at Sluggan Bog, Northern Ireland. Journal of Quaternary Science 31(4), 406-415.
  5. & Extracting a primary Holocene crytoptephra record from Pupuke maar sediments, Auckland, New Zealand. Journal of Quaternary Science 31(5), 442-457.

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  • GEG268 Dissertation Preparation

    The module prepares students for their independent research dissertation through dissertation fairs, lectures and a series of tutorials focusing upon the formulation and construction of a research proposal. The module also includes three lectures which explore career opportunities for Geography graduates and skills to enhance graduate employability.

  • GEG333 Geographical Research Frontiers

    This module provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their competence as a Geographer by undertaking a critical analysis of a wide variety of literature-based sources in order to develop a cogent, substantial, and persuasive argument. While the Dissertation in Geography normally focuses on the design and execution of an evidenced-based research project that assesses the capacity of students to undertake effective data analysis and interpretation, the purpose of this module is to assess the extent to which students are capable of engaging with the academic literature at the frontier of a particular part of Geography. Students select from a wide range of research frontiers in Human and Physical Geography that have been identified by the academic staff within the Department. Given that this module emphasizes student-centred learning, none of the frontiers will have been covered in other modules, although in many cases modules will have taken students up to some of these frontiers. However, to orientate students and provide them with suitable points of departure and way-stations, there will be a brief introduction to each frontier and a short list of pivotal references disseminated via Blackboard. (Note: The topic selected by you must not overlap with the subject of your Dissertation. If there is any doubt about potential overlap, this must be discussed with your Dissertation Support Group supervisor and agreed in writing.)


  • A multi-proxy reconstruction of rapid climate change in south Wales between 15,000 and 8,000 years BP (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Neil Loader
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Richard Johnston
  • Protecting our natural resources: an interdisciplinary assessment of human and climatic impacts on Holocene peat bogs in SW Wales (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Bernd Kulessa
  • Protecting our natural resources: an interdisciplinary assessment of human and climatic impacts on Holocene peat bogs in SW Wales. (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Bernd Kulessa

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Director of Recruitment and Marketing - College of Science

    2012 - Present

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2012 Present Professor of Physical Geography Swansea University
2011 2012 Reader Swansea University
2008 2011 Senior Lecturer Swansea University
2004 2008 Lecturer Swansea University
2003 2004 Post-doctoral research assistant University of Copenhagen
2002 2003 Post-doctoral research assistant Stockholm University

External Responsibilities

  • President INQUA International, Tephrochronology and Volcanism

    2007 - 2011

  • Member, Natural Environment Research Council Peer-Review College

    2011 - 2014

  • Awards Officer, Quaternary Research Association

    2010 - 2013

Key Grants and Projects

  • BRITICE-CHRONO Constraining rate and style of marine influenced ice-sheet decay 2012 - 2017

    (NERC Consortium) Principal Investigator: Clark, C (University of Sheffield).

  • TRACE Tephra constraints on RApid Climatic Events 2011 - 2016

    European Research Council (ERC) Independent Starting Grant (Project no. 259253). Principal Investigator. , ERC €1,471,116.80

  • Holocene tephra constraints on the timing of millennial-scale variability in the subpolar North Atlantic. 2011 - 2016

    Principal Investigator: Austin, WEN. Co-Investigators Davies, SM & Cage, AG., NERC Small grant (NE/H012273/1) £51,767

  • Reconstructing 8000 years of Environmental and Landscape change in the Cairngorms. 2011 - 2016

    Principal Investigator: Wilson, R. Co-Investigators: Edwards, KJ & Davies, SM., Leverhulme Trust (F/00 268/BG) £248,715

  • Synchronising marine and ice-core records using tephrochronology (SMART) 2011 - 2016

    Principal Investigator; Co-Investigators: Austin, WEN and Pearce, NJG., NERC Standard grant (NE/F020600/1)

Research Groups

  • Environmental Dynamics

    Our research focuses on environmental variability throughout the Quaternary and the effects of future climatic change. It is centred on regions especially sensitive to environmental change (tropical, cold and wildfire-prone) and also considers interactions between climate change, human disturbance and catastrophic events.


  • 2011 Philip Leverhulme prize in Geography £70,000.
  • 2013 Lyell Fund (Geological Society)