Dr William Fletcher

Reader in Physical Geography and Quaternary Science

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BA, M.Phil, PhD (Cambridge)

  • Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography Quaternary Science, School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester (Lecturer, 2010-2015, Senior Lecturer from 2015)
  • Postdoctoral research at the Institute of Geosciences, J.W. Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany (2009-2010)
  • Postdoctoral research at UMR-5805 EPOC, Bordeaux 1 University, France (2005-2009)
  • PhD, Quaternary Palaeoenvironments Group, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge (2005)
  • M.Phil Quaternary Science, University of Cambridge (2000)
  • BA (Hons) Archaeology and Anthropology, Trinity College, University of Cambridge (1999)

My specialist area of interest is the detection and characterisation of abrupt environmental and climatic changes in the Mediterranean region using vegetation records from Quaternary terrestrial and marine sediment archives.

Further information

Current administrative responsibilities

At the University of Manchester

  • Undergraduate Admissions Tutor for Geography
  • Academic Lead for Philanthropy for SEED

Wider professional service

  • Member of: APLF (Association des Palynologues de Langue Francaise), PALCOMM (INQUA commission on Palaeoclimate), INTIMATE (INTegration of Ice-core, Marine And TerrEstrial records), Quaternary Research Association (QRA), Royal Geographical Society, IUCN Comission on Ecosystem Management
  • Reviewer for: Quaternary Science Reviews, Geology, Journal of Quaternary Science, Journal of Biogeography, Paleoceanography, Climate Dynamics, Quaternary International, Climate of the Past, Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, Journal of Archaeological Science, Progress in Physical Geography, Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, Journal of African Earth Sciences.

Recent presentations

INQUA Congress Dublin (2019). Stable carbon isotope analysis on fossil Cedrus pollen shows climatic aridification in Morocco during the last 5000 years. B. Bell, W. Fletcher, H. Cornelissen, H. Grant, P. Ryan, C. Zielhofer.

INQUA Congress Dublin (2019). Decadal environmental change in the Marrakech High Atlas: Impacts of snow melt on alpine ecology during the last 500 years. B. Bell, W. Fletcher, P. Hughes presented:

INQUA Congress Dublin (2019). Multidecadal summer drought variability in Northwest Africa during the last 700 years: evidence for a circum-global oscillation in subtropical precipitation. W. Fletcher, K. Copes-Gerbitz, S. Harrison.

INQUA Congress Dublin (2019). Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations: the overlooked factor promoting forest development in southwestern Europe across Termination I? S. Gomes, W. Fletcher, A. Stone, T. Rodrigues, D. Oliveira, M. Sanchez-Goñi, F. Abrantes,  F. Naughton.

Climate Change in Africa: Evidence, mechanisms and Impacts, Past and Present, Marrakesh, Morocco (2017). Timescales and drivers of Holocene environmental change in the Middle Atlas, Morocco: Insights from the Lake Sidi Ali palaeoecological record (Oral presentation: W. Fletcher, J. Campbell, S. Joannin, C. Zielhofer, S. Mischke, A. Mikdad).

MedPalyno, Barcelona, Spain (2017). Centennial-scale vegetation and fire dynamics in the Middle Atlas, Morocco during the last 12,000 years (Oral presentation: W. Fletcher, J. Campbell, S. Joannin).

MedPalyno, Barcelona, Spain (2017). Stable carbon isotope measurements on Cedrus atlantica pollen: first steps towards an independent drought stress proxy (Poster presentation: B. Bell, W. Fletcher, P. Ryan, H. Grant, R. Ilmen)

PAGES Open Science Meeting, Zaragoza, Spain (2017). Biotic  response  to  centennial-scale  climate  variability  in Northwest  Africa:  Were  there  Holocene  analogues  for current Cedrus atlantica dieback? (Oral presentation: W. Fletcher, J. Campbell, S. Joannin, P. Hughes, S. Mischke, C. Zielhofer)

PAGES Open Science Meeting, Zaragoza, Spain (2017). Millennial   shifts   in   Saharan   dust   supply across the decline of the African Humid Period (Co-authored oral presentation: C.   Zielhofer, W. Fletcher, H. von Suchodoletz, B. Schneider, K. Schepanski, A. Mikdad, S. Mischke)

PAGES Open Science Meeting, Zaragoza, Spain (2017). Asynchronous  patterns  of  Quaternary  disappearance of tree taxa from Southern Europe (Co-authored poster presentation: D.  Magri, F.  Di  Rita, J. Aranbarri , W. Fletcher, P. González Sampériz).

PAGES Open Science Meeting, Zaragoza, Spain (2017). Atlantic forcing of Western Mediterranean winter rain minima during the last 12,000 years (Co-authored oral presentation: C. Zielhofer, W. Fletcher, S. Mischke, M. De Batist, J. Campbell, S. Joannin, A. Junginger, B. Schneider, N.  El  Hamouti, A.  Mikdad, T.  Lauer).

PAGES Open Science Meeting, Zaragoza, Spain (2017). From the Mediterranean to the Caspian: palaeoclimate variability, environmental responses and human adaptive strategies (Session co-conveners: A. Moreno, V. Yanko-Hombach, W. Fletcher)

EGU General Assembly, Vienna, Austria (2016). Centennial-scale vegetation and climate changes in the Middle Atlas, Morocco: new insights from multi-proxy investigations at Lake Sidi Ali (Oral presentation: W. Fletcher, J. Campbell, S. Joannin, S. Mischke, C. Zielhofer, M. de Batist, and A. Mikdad)

EGU General Assembly, Vienna, Austria (2016). Stable carbon isotope fractionation in pollen of Atlas cedar: first steps towards a new palaeoecological proxy for Northwest Africa (Poster presentation: B. Bell, W. Fletcher, P. Ryan, H. Grant, and R. Ilmen)

EGU General Assembly, Vienna, Austria (2016). AMS radiocarbon dating of pollen concentrates in a karstic lake system (Poster presentation: W. Fletcher, C. Zielhofer, S. Mischke, J. Campbell, C. Bryant, D. Fink, and X. Xu)

EGU General Assembly, Vienna, Austria (2016). Anthropogenic triggers for Late Holocene soil erosion in the Jebel Toubkal, High Atlas, Morocco. (Poster presentation: W. Fletcher and Philip Hughes).

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