My interests in geoarchaeology and environmental history are based on my training as a soil scientist.
I studied at the University of Wales, Bangor and was a Research Officer for a set of major ODA/DfID projects in Northern Nigeria. After holding several fellowships including a prestigious RCUK Academic Fellowship I now lecture on soils-related topics, environmental hazards such as drought and desertification, and landscape-scale heritage issues. I also lecture on environmental history topics as part of cross-Faulty masters' level courses. I work in the Faculty of Natural Sciences and hold positions on the Safety, Employability committees.
My research examines the sustainability of societies in marginal environments and considers the exploitation of natural resources by such societies for agricultural production, for construction of domestic dwellings, and for early industrial activities.
Present research activities include examination of past landscapes in semi-arid Africa with collaborative projects in Ethiopia funded by the Candian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, this follows US National Science Foundation funding. Work in Benin funded by European Research Council is now in the write-up phase. Projects joint with the University of chicago in Niger have been conducted as part of a series of National Geographic Society expeditions.
Furthermore work examining the sustainability of earth-built vernacular architectures and how changes in climate are affecting historical and archaeological buildings is ongoing.
A NESTA awardee in 2004, a long-standing collaboration with Prof Michael Young, formerly at Goldsmiths, London and now at Sunderland investigates new ways of expressing the outputs from scientific studies involving the interaction of people and their environment through periods of environmental change and delivering this to new or wider audiences.