I am a Professor of Geography at Swansea University, in the UK, and a climate change scientist. My research focuses on the past climate records stored in the rings of ancient trees, and on exploring how environmental change is impacting forests. I am passionate about public science and outreach, and co-run Swansea University’s Science for Schools Scheme, an EU and Welsh Government funded science outreach programme working with communities and schools to support greater diversity in school science. 

Research science:

 
  • Exploring the paleoclimate potential of ancient rainforest trees in lowland tropical rainforest in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.

  • Working to improve our understanding of Oak Decline Syndromes in UK ancient oak woodland.

  • Developing palaeocloud records from ancient sub-fossil pine trees in the Boreal forests of Fennoscandia

  • Research is funded by Research Council’s UK, National Geographic, the European Union, The Welsh Government, Forest Research UK, Woodland Heritage.

Public Science:

 

I am passionate about science education, outreach and inclusivity.  You can read more about Swansea University Science for Schools Scheme here. I am a National Geographic Explorer, and you can hear more about my research via this Swansea University ‘Exploring Global Problems’ podcast on climate change.  

Research Themes

Palaeoclimate studies. Studying changes in climate over the recent and distant past in order to contextualise the climate changes we observe today.
Dendroclimatology. Exploring past climate information in tree rings. Measurements of tree ring width, wood density and stable isotope variability are investigated as past climate archives.
Tree response to environmental change. Exploring the physical and chemical changes trees undergo as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rise.
Forest health under climate change. Oak decline syndromes are becoming more widespread in the UK; we are exploring tree growth histories to improve our understanding of the tee growth response to these complex disease syndromes.
Cloudy records from ancient trees. Developing palaeocloud records from the annual rings of sub-fossil pine trees in high latitude lakes and bogs.
Tropical dendroclimatology. Exploring methods for accessing the palaeoclimate information stored in ancient tropical trees.
Water use efficiency of trees. Exploring how tree water use patterns are changing in response to rising CO2 and climate change.