BA, MSc, PhD, FSA Scot
- 2007-present: Lecturer in Geography, Department of Geography & Environment, School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen; 2015-present, Adjunct Lecturer in Archaeology within the same School
- 2004-07: PDRF, Department of Geography & Environment, University of Aberdeen
- 2002-04: PDRA, School of Earth Sciences and Geography, Kingston University
- 2002: RA, Wetland Archaeology and Environments Research Centre (WAERC), University of Hull
- 1996-2001: PhD Vegetation Succession in the Humber Wetlands
- 1995-1996: MSc Environmental Analysis & Dynamics, University of Hull
- 1991-1994: BA (Hons) Geography, University of Hull
Memberships and Affiliations
- Internal Memberships
- Course co-ordinator for GG1510 (Global Worlds, Local Challenges)
- Library Representative for Geography & Environment
- Member of the Teaching Committee for Geography & Environment
- External Memberships
- Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (FSA Scot).
- Book review editor for the international journal Environmental Archaeology.
- Scottish Archaeological Research Framework (ScARF): Science in Scottish Archaeology panel member 2010-12 (based at the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Edinburgh). Contribution to the Science Report on Pollen Analysis.
- Reconstructing past environments (specialising in palynology)
- Viking settlement across the North Atlantic islands, with an emphasis on the Norse colonisation of Greenland
- Human-environment relationships through prehistory and into the late Medieval period
- Vegetation history and plant succession in British wetlands
I am currently pursuing interests that connect directly with the University of Aberdeen's strategic theme of The North. In this respect, my core research activities continue to focus upon the impacts of Norse settlement on the vegetation and landscapes of southwest Greenland. The colonisation (landnám) of Greenland by people of Scandinavian origin - the Norse, or 'Vikings' of popular culture - took place around AD 985 following the arrival of settlers from Iceland led by Erik the Red. Settlement continued for a period of around 400 years before the colonies collapsed for various economic, social and climatic reasons which are still being debated. My research in this field is centred upon the characterisation of signatures for Norse activity in palaeoecological records from Greenland using pollen analysis and associated proxies (such as microscopic charcoal, fungal spores, radiocarbon dating, and peat geochemistry).
(Above) The ruins of Hvalsey church and farm, Eastern Settlement, Greenland (June 2011, photograph by J.E.Schofield). The last definite (written) record to emerge from Norse Greenland is a letter reporting a wedding at Hvalsey church in AD 1408.
Funding and Grants
- Leverhulme Trust Standard Grant (2014-17) Calving glaciers: long-term validation and evidence (CALVE) (Co-investigator)
- AHRC Standard Grant (2014) Bennachie landscapes: investigating communities past and present at the Colony site (Co-investigator)
- SNH 'Year of Natural Scotland' (2013) A stratigraphic survey and pollen analysis of peat deposits at Bennachie, Aberdeenshire (in collabaration with the Scottish Sculpture Workshop)
- Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland Research Grant (2010) The potential of the Norse Middle Settlement of Greenland for a major interdisciplinary research project (joint with Prof. K Edwards)
Course co-ordinator for Level 1 Geography (Semester 2)
- GG1510 Global Worlds, Local Challenges
...with teaching contributions on the following Geography modules:
- GG1008 Global Worlds, Global Challenges
- GG2508 Skills & Techniques in Geosciences
- GG3069 Remote sensing and GIS
- GG3575 Techniques in Physical Geography
- GG4571 Environmental Change
...plus guest lectures, lab practicals and seminars for various modules in Archaeology.
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Agricultural systems regulate plant and insect diversity and induce ecosystem noveltyAnthropocene, vol. 41, 100369Contributions to Journals: Articles
Greenland tidewater glacier advanced rapidly during era of Norse SettlementGeology, vol. 50, no. 6, pp. 704–709Contributions to Journals: Articles
Environmental challenges for the medieval North Atlantic worldEnvironmental Archaeology, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 123-126Contributions to Journals: Editorials
Palynological evidence for pre-agricultural reindeer grazing and the later settlement history of the Lycksele region, northern SwedenArchaeological and Anthropological Sciences, vol. 13, 42Contributions to Journals: Articles
Landnám and the North Atlantic FloraBiogeography in the Sub-Arctic: The Past and Future of North Atlantic Biota. Panagiotakopulu, E., Sadler, J. P. (eds.). Wiley, pp. 187-214, 28 pagesChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
The Eurasian Modern Pollen Database (EMPD), version 2Earth System Science Data, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 2423-2445Contributions to Journals: Articles
Thule Inuit environmental impacts on Kangeq, southwest GreenlandQuaternary International, vol. 549, pp. 176-190Contributions to Journals: Articles
Pushing the Limits: Palynological Investigations at the Margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet in the Norse Western SettlementEnvironmental Archaeology, pp. 1-15Contributions to Journals: Articles
Palaeoecological research in the Department of Geography and Environment, University of AberdeenScottish Geographical Journal, vol. 135, no. 3-4, pp. 287-315Contributions to Journals: Articles
Biodiversity of Kelp Forests and Coralline Algae Habitats in Southwestern GreenlandDiversity, vol. 10, no. 4, 117Contributions to Journals: Articles