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. & European warm-season temperature and hydroclimate since 850 CE. Environmental Research Letters 14(8), 084015
  2. & Tree-ring isotopes suggest atmospheric drying limits temperature–growth responses of treeline bristlecone pine. Tree Physiology 39(6), 983-999.
  3. & 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. & Cloud Cover Feedback Moderates Fennoscandian Summer Temperature Changes Over the Past 1,000 Years. Geophysical Research Letters 46(5), 2811-2819.
  5. & A simple stable carbon isotope method for investigating changes in the use of recent versus old carbon in oak. Tree Physiology 37(8), 1021-1027.

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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.

  • 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.)

  • 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.



    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Giles Young
  • Can image analysis be used to automate counting and measuring annual growth rings in sclerochronology? (current)

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

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

    Student name:
    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