In College I tutor all aspects of the Physical Geography component of the undergraduate Geography course. In the School of Geography and the Environment I convene and teach 1st year statistics, 2nd year Earth System Dynamics and a final year option course on complex systems, and provide lectures to the Geographical Techniques 2nd year course and the Biodiversity Conservation and Management MSc.

About me

I moved to Oxford in 1998 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, from Royal Holloway (University of London). Between 1998 and 2005 I held various positions including a NERC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Postdoctoral Fellowship at St John’s College, and Stipendiary Lecturership at Catz. After an 18 month period as a Lecturer at Royal Holloway, I returned to Oxford to take up my present position in 2007.


I research the dynamics of natural environmental systems over a range of timescales, with a focus predominantly, although not exclusively, on Africa. I am Director of the Oxford Luminescence Dating Laboratory, where we study basic physical process of luminescence and apply optical dating methods in studying long-term environmental change, earth surface processes and also some aspects of human evolution.  I have a strong interest in Complex Systems research, and this influences my groups’ current efforts in developing quantitative models of landscape systems, for the purpose of assessing landscape/ecological resilience in sub-Saharan Africa.

Graduate supervision

I have formally supervised 10 DPhil students (six completed, four underway), on a variety of topics related to both basic/applied luminescence research and landscape dynamics. Current DPhil projects are focused on long-term records and drivers of environmental change in Southern Africa, modelling aeolian sediment dynamics and associated effects on plant mortality, parametrizing spatially-resolved moisture and nutrient dynamics in dryland ecosystems, and the development/assessment of ‘safe and just operating limits’ for South Africa.

Departmental webpage