Telephone: (01792) 602501
Room: Academic Office - 239
Second Floor
Wallace Building
Singleton Campus

I am a broadly trained physical geographer with a research specialism in climate change. I am interested in exploring how environmental change impacts our planet’s forests, and the elements of the carbon and water cycles played out in forests, and in the records of past global change that ancient trees contain. I currently carry out research in the northern Boreal forest areas of Fennoscania and in lowland tropical rainforest in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. My research is funded by Research Council’s UK, National Geographic, the European Union and Welsh Government.

I teach a broad physical geography curriculum at foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate level. subject areas include: climate of the last thousand year, techniques in palaeoenvironmental reconstruction, dendroclimatology and stable isotope methods. I also teach key skills for scientists and run a work placement module for geography students. I am interested in educational outreach activities and run Swansea’s College of Science outreach programme S4, funded by the Welsh Government’s National Science Academy.

Areas of Expertise

  • palaeoclimate
  • climate change
  • tree ring science
  • Dendroclimatology
  • Carbon isotopes


  1. Davies, R., Gagen, M., Pope, E., Bull, J., Pope, E. Maze learning and memory in a decapod crustacean Biology Letters 15 10 20190407
  2. Ljungqvist, F., Seim, A., Krusic, P., González-Rouco, J., Werner, J., Cook, E., Zorita, E., Luterbacher, J., Xoplaki, E., Destouni, G., García-Bustamante, E., Aguilar, C., Seftigen, K., Wang, J., Gagen, M., Esper, J., Solomina, O., Fleitmann, D., Büntgen, U. European warm-season temperature and hydroclimate since 850 CE Environmental Research Letters 14 8 084015
  3. Gagen, M., Matthews, N., Denman, S., Bridge, M., Peace, A., Pike, R., Young, G. The tree ring growth histories of UK native oaks as a tool for investigating Chronic Oak Decline: An example from the Forest of Dean Dendrochronologia 55 50 59
  4. Young, G., Gagen, M., Loader, N., McCarroll, D., Grudd, H., Jalkanen, R., Kirchhefer, A., Robertson, I. Cloud Cover Feedback Moderates Fennoscandian Summer Temperature Changes Over the Past 1,000 Years Geophysical Research Letters 46 5 2811 2819
  5. Wolfe, A., Reyes, A., Royer, D., Greenwood, D., Doria, G., Gagen, M., Siver, P., Westgate, J. Middle Eocene CO2and climate reconstructed from the sediment fill of a subarctic kimberlite maar Geology 45 7 619 622

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  • GEG252MB Geographical Field Work Skills: Malaysian, Borneo

    The module is concerned with identifying and defining geographical questions within the tropical rainforest environment of the Sabah, Malaysian Borneo and applying relevant geographical skills, knowledge and techniques to these questions. This fieldwork-based module focuses on the physical geography of wet tropical environments, hydrological and geomorphological processes, the nature and dynamics of tropical rainforest vegetation and ecology and the impacts of logging and conversion to agriculture, and particularly oil palm and current and predicted climatic change. Land policy and land management practices are a key theme. Some aspects of the human environment are also covered. The fieldweek module introduces students to all aspects of project work (identifying and defining geographical problems; formulation of aims, research questions and hypotheses; formulation of an appropriate research design to answer these questions; choice and use of field measurement techniques and field observation; data analysis and interpretation; oral presentation of findings; and structuring and production of academic written reports). A key aim is to prepare students to be able to undertake a final-year dissertation in physical geography. The module comprises preparatory meetings, a 14 day field course, which typically runs immediately prior to Easter, and 2 hours of analytical classes during Teaching Block 2 prior to submittal of project reports.

  • GEG358 Climate of the last 1000 years

    The aim of this module is to provide the participants with the relevant skills to place the widely reported anthropogenic influences upon climate into the perspective of a naturally changing climatic system. The module focuses upon the techniques used to reconstruct changes in climate over the last 1000 years and presents reconstructions at differing temporal scales. The module is directed towards students with a basic scientific and mathematical background.


  • IDENTIFYING PREDISPOSING FACTORS TO OAK DECLINE DISEASE IN THE UK«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /» (current)

    Other supervisor: Prof Neil Loader
  • Improving the efficiency of increment measurement in schlerochronology (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Geraint Owen
  • Non-climatic trends in stable isotopes from UK Oak trees (awarded 2019)

    Other supervisor: Prof Danny Mccarroll
  • '''''Spatial learning in a decapod crustacean''''' (awarded 2018)

    Other supervisor: Dr Ed Pope

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2012 Present Senior Lecturer in Physical Geogrpahy Swansea University
2011 2012 Lecturer in Physical Geography Swansea University
2006 2010 Research Councils UK Fellow, Department of Geography Swansea University
2006 2010 Team Leader and co-PI: MILLENNIUM Project Swansea University
2004 2005 Senior Research Officer: PINE Project Swansea University
2002 2004 Lecturer in Physical Geography University of Sheffield
2001 2002 Research co-coordinator, National University of Ireland Galway
2001 2002 Adjunct lecturer, National University of Ireland Galway
1997 2002 Ph.D. Geography Swansea University
1994 1997 B.Sc. (Hons) Geography and Geology University of Birmingham

Key Grants and Projects