Associate Professor
Telephone: (01792) 295254
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Ph.D. (University of Cambridge); M.S. (Oregon State University); B.S. (Humboldt State University)

Areas of Expertise

  • Long-term ecology
  • Forest ecology
  • Biodiversity and conservation
  • Island restoration ecology
  • Quaternary environmental change
  • Disturbance ecology
  • Natural resources management


  1. & Sensitivity of a tropical montane cloud forest to climate change, present, past and future: Mt. Marsabit, N. Kenya. Quaternary Science Reviews 218, 34-48.
  2. & Chemical composition of wildfire ash produced in contrasting ecosystems and its toxicity to Daphnia magna. International Journal of Wildland Fire
  3. & Plant controls on Late Quaternary whole ecosystem structure and function. Ecology Letters
  4. & Prescribed fire and its impacts on ecosystem services in the UK. Science of The Total Environment 624, 691-703.
  5. & Island biodiversity conservation needs palaeoecology. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1(7), 0181
  6. & Microclimate variability and long-term persistence of fragmented woodland. Biological Conservation 213, 95-105.
  7. & The relative importance of biotic and abiotic processes for structuring plant communities through time. Journal of Ecology 103, 459-472.
  8. & The ecological consequences of megafaunal loss: giant tortoises and wetland biodiversity. Ecology Letters 17(2), 144-154.
  9. & A quantitative framework for analysis of regime shifts in a Galapagos coastal lagoon. Ecology 95(11), 3046-3055.
  10. & Diatoms from isolated islands II: Pseudostaurosira diablarum, a new species from a mangrove ecosystem in the Galápagos Islands. Diatom Research 29(2), 201-211.
  11. et. al. Looking forward through the past: Identification of 50 priority research questions in palaeoecology. Journal of Ecology 102, 256-267.
  12. & The Holocene vegetation cover of Britain and Ireland: overcoming problems of scale and discerning patterns of openness. Quaternary Science Reviews 73, 132-148.
  13. & Lake or bog? Reconstructing baseline ecological conditions for the protected Galápagos Sphagnum peatbogs. Quaternary Science Reviews 52-74.
  14. & Detecting the provenance of Galapagos non-native pollen: The role of humans and air currents as transport mechanisms. The Holocene 22(12)-1383.
  15. & Ecosystem Resilience and Threshold Response in the Galápagos Coastal Zone. PLoS ONE 6(7)
  16. & The pace of Holocene vegetation change – testing for synchronous developments. Quaternary Science Reviews 30(19-20)-2814.
  17. & Diatoms (Bacillariophyta) of isolated islands: new taxa in the genus navicula sensu stricto from the Galápagos Islands. Journal of Phycology 47(4), 861-879.
  18. & When is an invasive not an invasive? Macrofossil evidence of doubtful native plant species in the Galápagos Islands. Ecology 92(4), 805-812.
  19. & Temporal stability in bristlecone pine tree-ring stable oxygen isotope chronologies over the last two centuries. The Holocene 20(1), 3-6.
  20. & Historic fuel wood use in the Galápagos Islands: identification of charred remains. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 19(3), 207-217.
  21. & Climates of the past: evidence from natural and documentary archives. Journal of Quaternary Science 24(5), 411-414.
  22. & Multiple stable isotopes from oak trees in southwestern Scotland and the potential for stable isotope dendroclimatology in maritime climatic regions. Chemical Geology 252(1-2), 62-71.
  23. & Holocene palaeo-invasions: the link between pattern, process and scale in invasion ecology?. Landscape Ecology 23(7), 757-769.
  24. & Fossil Pollen as a Guide to Conservation in the Galapagos. Science 322(5905), 1206-1206.
  25. & Holocene palaeo-invasions: the link between pattern, process and scale in invasion ecology?. Landscape Ecology 23(7), 757-769.
  26. & The impact of tourism and reindeer herding on forest vegetation at Saariselka, Finnish Lapland: a pollen analytical study of a high-resolution peat profile. The Holocene 17(4), 447-456.
  27. & Emerging issues in biodiversity & conservation management: The need for a palaeoecological perspective. Quaternary Science Reviews 27(17-18), 1723-1732.
  28. & How can a knowledge of the past help to conserve the future? Biodiversity conservation and the relevance of long-term ecological studies. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 362(1478)-187.
  29. & Strong correlation between summer temperature and pollen accumulation rates for Pinus sylvestris, Picea abies and Betula spp. in a high-resolution record from northern Sweden. Journal of Quaternary Science 22(7)-658.
  30. & The impact of tourism and reindeer herding on forest vegetation at Saariselka, Finnish Lapland: a pollen analytical study of a high-resolution peat profile. The Holocene 17(4)-456.
  31. Holocene fire in the Scottish Highlands: evidence from macroscopic charcoal records. The Holocene 16(2)-249.
  32. & Long-term ecology of native pinewood communities in East Glen Affric, Scotland. Forestry 79(3), 279-291.
  33. & The potential of the baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) as a proxy climate archive. Applied Geochemistry 21(10)-1680.
  34. Fossil stomata reveal early pine presence in Scotland: implications for postglacial colonization analyses. Ecology 86(3)-586.
  35. & The dating of dipterocarp tree rings: establishing a record of carbon cycling and climatic change in the tropics. Journal of Quaternary Science 19(7)-664.


  • BIO232 Plant Ecology

    This module provides a holistic approach to plant ecology, including both classical ecological theory and practical surveying techniques. Students will become familiar with six major themes; plant formations and biomes, synecology, autecology, plant geography, paleoecology and modern plant ecology. Students will also be trained in plant taxonomy, field surveying techniques, data analysis and report writing that complement a future career in ecology, conservation or consultancy

  • BIO249 Introduction to field ecology

    This residential field course comprises practical work employing ecological techniques appropriate to sample biodiversity and environmental parameters from a range of terrestrial and freshwater habitats (freshwater systems, woodlands, sand dunes). You will learn techniques for the identification of species, practice recording accurate field notes, and gain experience in the analysis and presentation of ecological data. Furthermore, you will be able to recognise different temperate habitats and indicator species associated with them.

  • BIOM32 Ecosystems: Ecology, Conservation & Resource Management

    In this module, the students will learn to identify and understand the diversity and contrasting characteristics of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems with an emphasis on the origin and effects of various human-induced environmental impacts.


  • Thawing permafrost in warming Alpine regions – understanding changes in vegetation patterns and carbon release (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr John Hiemstra
  • Ancient DNA: developing methodologies for tropical and temperate sites (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Sofia Consuegra Del Olmo
  • Detecting forest insect and disease outbreaks within the palaeoecological record (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Sofia Consuegra Del Olmo
  • Vegetation fires and their impacts on ecosystem services in the UK (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Cristina Santin Nuno
    Other supervisor: Prof Stefan Doerr
  • An Investigation of the Variation in the Insect Pollinated Flora of Britain during the Holocene (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr James Bull
  • Biodiversity and resilience of Florida and Georgian sand dunes in urban and wild areas following the aftermath of hurricane Irma (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr John Griffin
  • Development and application of molecular toold estimating spatial and seasonal distribution patterns of freshwater and marine native and invasive species. (awarded 2019)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Carlos Garcia De Leaniz
    Other supervisor: Prof Sofia Consuegra Del Olmo
  • 'A dendroecological assessment of the impact of the balsam wooly adelgid (Adelges piceae) on radial growth of Pacific silver fir (Abies amabilis) in the Pacific Northwest region of North America' (awarded 2018)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Iain Robertson
  • 'Purple moor grass (Molinia caerulea) dominance over time in a ‘degraded’ Welsh peatland' (awarded 2018)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Sofia Consuegra Del Olmo
  • COMPADRE PREDICTS: Demographic traits mediate plant population responses to local land use change (awarded 2018)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Luca Borger

Key Grants and Projects

  • Realising the Natural Capital of Welsh Peatlands, Welsh Government Sustainable Management Scheme Grant 2017 - 2020

    , with Urbanek, E; Davies, S.; Roberts, L.; Neyland, P.; Doerr, S.; Santin, C.; Loader, N.; Kulessa, B

  • C3W: Climate Change Consortium Wales 2009 - 2015

  • Restoring native biological diversity in the Galápagos Islands: determination of baseline ecological conditions 2008

    NERC (NE/C510667/1), with K.J. Willis

  • (Science podcast) 2008

  • Millennium 2006 - 2012

    A palaeoclimate project with the central aim of determining whether the magnitude and rate of 20th Century climate change exceeds the natural variability of European climate over the last millennium.

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2015 Present Senior Lecturer Dept. of Biosciences, Swansea University
2011 2015 Outreach Officer, Climate Change Consortium of Wales (C3W) Dept. of Geography,Swansea University
2005 2011 Postdoctoral Research Assistant University of Oxford
2005 2006 Stipendiary Lecturer in Physical Geography St Catherine’s College, Oxford
2004 2005 Postdoctoral Researcher University of Oulu, Finland
1989 2002 Ecologist, USDA Forest Service Mt. Hood National Forest, Oregon USA