Research interests and current activities:
My current research interests and activities fall into five main
Quaternary pollen analysis, vegetational history, quantitative
palaeoecology, and palaeolimnology
Late-Quaternary vegetational and environmental history of Norway,
Finland, Tibet, Qinghai, Switzerland, Scotland, and northern
England. Active collaborators in this research include Andy Lotter
(Utrecht), Heikki Seppä (Helsinki), Brigitta Ammann (Bern),
Steve Brooks (London), Arvid Odland (Bø), Gaute Velle (Bergen),
Anne Bjune (Bergen), Atle Nesje (Bergen), Richard Telford (Bergen),
Jacqueline van Leeuwen (Bern),
Kathy Willis (Oxford), Ulrike Herzschuh (Potsdam), and Yan Zhao
Theory of quantitative palaeoecology, palynological theory and
practical techniques, quantitative reconstruction of past environments
from palaeoecological data, numerical methods for the handling
and analysis of Quaternary biostratigraphical data and of modern
surface samples, and the use of randomisation procedures for testing
palaeoecological hypothesis. Active collaborators include Richard
Telford (Bergen), Gavin Simpson (London), and Steve Juggins (Newcastle).
Ecological palaeoecology and conservation palaeoecology, where
palaeoecological data are used to provide long-term perspectives
to ecological and conservation biological questions. Active collaborators
are Kathy Willis and Shonil Bhagwat (Oxford), Anne Bjune (Bergen),
and Mikael Ohlson (Ås).
Community plant ecology
Phytosociology and vegetational dynamics in Scotland and western
Norway, community-environmental relationships, and the use of
quantitative methods in community ecology, environmental monitoring,
conservation evaluation, and biodiversity research. Active collaborators
include Arvid Odland (Bø),
Des Thompson (Edinburgh), and John-Arvid Grytnes (Bergen).
Impacts of recent climate change on ecological systems, particularly
alpine systems. Collaobrators include Des Thompson (Edinburgh),
Sarah Woodin and Louise Ross (Aberdeen), Gordon Rothero (Dunoon),
David Long (Edinburgh), and John-Arvid Grytnes (Bergen).
Numerical approaches for the analysis of plant-geographical data
from Europe, USA, British Isles, and Norden, the use of null-models
in biogeography, and spatial data analysis. Active collaborators
include Arvid Odland (Bø) and John-Arvid Grytnes (Bergen).
Bryology is now largely a hobby but I still retain some research
interests in the ecology and distribution of western oceanic
bryophytes in the British Isles and western Norway, and in the
bryophyte flora of the Isle of Skye.
In addition to these research activities and interests, I maintain
broad general botanical interests in floristics, plant ecology,
and plant geography beyond the geographical areas of my particular
research activities. In conjunction with Hilary Birks, I have
field experience in the Austrian, Italian, Swiss, and Slovenian
Alps, Mallorca, Portugal, Corsica, Andalucia (Spain), Canary
Islands (Tenerife, Gran Canaria), Iran, Minnesota, Florida, Alaska
and Yukon, the Canadian and American Rockies, the Cascade Mountains
of Washington and Oregon, Northern California, China, Bhutan,
the Drakensberg Mountains in Southern Africa, the Bale Mountains
in Ethiopia, Mount Kenya, NW India, Nepal, Tasmania, SE Australia,
Tibet, South Island, New Zealand, and Patagonia. I have particular
interests in certain plant genera including Saxifraga, Pedicularis,
Draba, Penstemon, Woodsia, Trichomanes, and Carex. Hilary and
I maintain an extensive collection of plant photographs of over
30,000 colour slides of plant portraits and close-ups, and a
collection of over 15,000 colour slides of mountain landscapes
and vegetational communities. Alpine plants are a particular
interest and I have led botanical expeditions for the Alpine
Garden Society to North America, South America, and the Himalaya.
Examples of some of our photographs can be found on this website
under Botanical Expeditions.
Besides being based in Bergen, I regularly visit the Environmental
Change Research Centre, University College London (director Rick
Battarbee) where I teach two graduate courses - Pollen Analysis
(with Sylvia Peglar) and Numerical Analysis of Biological and
Environmental Data (with Gavin Simpson). I am also affiliated
with the PEARL group (director John Smol), Queen's University,
Other personal activities:
I serve on the editorial boards of Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology;
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, and Palaeoecology; Grana;
Journal of Paleolimnology; Acta Palaeobotanica; Journal of Biogeography;
Ecology and Plant Diversity, and Perspectives in Plant Ecology,
Evolution, and Systematics. I am a member of the Advisory Board
for the Development of Palaeoenvironmental Research series published
by Kluwer Academic Publishers, and of the Editorial Board of
the Ecology, Biodiversity and Conservation series published by
Cambridge University Press.
I teach courses on Palaeoecology, Ecology, Pollen Analysis, and
Quantitative Palaeoecology, at the University
of Bergen, as well as occasional seminar series and some lectures
on Introductory Botany.
I also teach two short courses at University College London on
Numerical Analysis of Biological and Environmental Data and on
I currently jointly supervise five doctoral students in Bergen.
Some of this supervision is done jointly with Hilary Birks, John-Arvid
Grytnes, or Torstein Solhøy. I also supervise a doctoral student
Besides field botany and plant photography, my main leisure activities
are collecting and reading books on espionage, conspiracies,
politics, and related topics, listening to baroque and early
classical music, maintaining a massive collection of compact
discs and books, and stamp collecting.
Details of my recent publications
are given on the EECRG web page with links to electronic versions
where permissable. A full
list of my publications since the 1960s
can be found here as a pdf.