1990 - 1993 PhD - NERC Research Studentship, University of Aberdeen
1987 - 1990 BA (Hons) Geography, University of Birmingham
Bob obtained his first degree in Geography (1987-1990) in what is now the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham and where he was first introduced to the wonders of pollen analysis (palaeoecology).
He then undertook his PhD, supervised by Professors Chalmers Clapperton and David Sugden at Geography and the Environment, University of Aberdeen (and also at the Institute of Geography, University of Edinburgh, 1990-1993), his thesis is entitled "Palaeoenvironmental evidence for the late Wisconsin/Holocene transition in the Strait of Magellan, southern Patagonia.
Bob then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Geography, Edinburgh, where he continued to develop his research interests in the vegetation and landscape history of southern Patagonia and also branched out to include Mexico and, more closer to home, Scotland. He also designed and managed the Physical Geography facilities, including the Palaeoecology laboratory and the first Cosmogenic Isotope extraction laboratory in Scotland at Edinburgh.
In 2002 Bob took a change of career direction and qualified as a nurse specialising in Cardiology and worked at the Coronary Care Units in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and Stirling Royal Infirmary.
In 2007 Bob joined Biological & Environmental Sciences at the University of Stirling and is the Programme Director for the most popular degree programme of Environmental Geography. He continues to pursue his research interests in southern Patagonia and Scotland outlined below. Bob is also Convener of Theme 1: Landscape Dynamics, Scottish Alliance for Geosciences, Environment and Society.
Research interests and collaboration
Current research interests and research collaborations are: 1) The timing and extent of the first human settlers in Fuego-Patagonia and their potential role in increased frequency of fire versus the role of climate. Collaborators: Flavia Morello and Dr Alfredo Prieto (Universidad de Magallanes), Dr Luis Borrero (Buenos Aires). 2) The timing and nature of inter-hemispheric climate reorganisation during the Last glacial / inter-glacial transition and its role in driving glacier and vegetation changes. Collaborators: Prof. David Sugden (Edinburgh), Dr Michael Bentley (Durham), Dr Ross Purves (Zurich), Professor Tasuku Akagi (Kyushu, Japan), Aloys Borys (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory / Lille). 3) The timing and nature of pre- and post-Hispanic environmental change from multi-proxy lake records in central Mexico. Collaborators: Prof. Sarah Metcalfe (Nottingham), Dr Sarah Davies (Aberystwyth), Dr Anthony Newton (Edinburgh). 4) The Holocene vegetation history of northern and upland Britain, with particular regard to the timing and nature of prehistoric and historic human activities and their impacts. Collaborators: Prof. Ian Simpson, Dr Eileen Tisdall (Stirling) and Dr Jane Downes (ORCA - UHI). 5) The application of tephrochronology, Spheroidal Carbonaceous Particles and 210Pb to establish regional correlations and to test radiometric dating methods. Collaborators: Dr Andrew Dugmore, Prof. Charles Stern (Boulder) and Dr Eileen Tisdall (Stirling)..