Dr William Fletcher

Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography and Quaternary Science

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Research interests

Areas of expertise

  • Palynology
  • Palaeoecology
  • Palaeoclimatology
  • Abrupt climate changes
  • Quaternary vegetation dynamics
  • Mediterranean biogeography
  • Geoarchaeology

Research interests and activities

  • Continental-scale environmental responses to rapid climate variability (including Dansgaard-Oeschger and Heinrich Events) through the synthesis of European high-resolution pollen data for the last glacial period
  • Long-term and millennial-scale environmental changes in the Mediterranean region, during the last and preceding glacial-interglacial cycles, with foci on the western Mediterranean (Iberian Peninsula, northwestern Africa and the Atlantic façade) and eastern Mediterranean (northern Aegean) using high-resolution pollen analysis in the context of multi-proxy investigations of marine and terrestrial sediment archives
  • Holocene palaeoenvironmental change in response to climatic variability, human impact and sea-level change, with foci on the Iberian peninsula and northern Adriatic, using palynology, anthracology (macroscopic charcoal analysis), and sedimentology of estuarine, alluvial and cave sedimentary deposits.
  • Environmental change in the Middle and High Atlas, Morocco, including vegetation history, timing and extent of glacier advances, human-environment interactions and human exploitation of the mountain environments.


Other research

Ongoing and recent collaborations

  • International project partner for DINAMO3 (Dynamic, Monitoring and Calibration of Mediterranean vegetation in response to Global Warming using long-term records), with Dr Blas Valero Garcés and Dr Penélope Gonzalez-Sampériz, Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología, Zaragoza, Spain (Spanish Ministry of the Economy and Competivity Award CGL2015-69160-R, 2016-2019)
  • Impacts of abrupt glacial and deglacial climate events on vegetation and fire regime in the Middle Atlas, Morocco (PI: W. Fletcher, NERC New Investigator funded)
  • Millennial-scale vegetation and climate dynamics at Tenaghi Philippon, NE Greece  (PI: Prof. Joerg Pross, J.W. Goethe University Frankfurt)
  • Land-sea correlation on the Iberian margin (high-resolution palynology of Quaternary marine sediment cores) (in collaboration with Prof. M.F Sanchez Goñi, Bordeaux 1 University)
  • QUEST-DESIRE (Quantifying and Understanding changes in the Earth System, Dynamics of the Earth System and the Ice-core Record) Working Group on Abrupt Climate Change. (Working group co-coordinator) (PI: Prof. Sandy Harrison, University of Bristol)
  • PICC (Intégration des contraintes Paléoclimatiques pour réduire les Incertitudes sur l’évolution du Climat pendant les périodes Chaudes), Agence Nationale de la Recherche project ANR-05-BLAN-0312-02. (Director, Dr Valérie Masson-Delmotte, Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement)
  • RESOLuTION (Rapid climatic and environmental shifts during oxygen isotope stages (OIS) 2 and 3 -linking high-resolution terrestrial, ice core and marine archives), European Science Foundation (ESF) Eurocores project FP33. (PI: Prof. Barbara Wohlfarth, University of Stockholm).