I retired from my University of Bergen position at the end of January 2015. As a Professor Emeritus, I hope to continue my research activities for several years.
Research interests and botanical activities:
My research interests and botanical activities fall into four main
Quaternary pollen analysis, vegetational history, quantitative
palaeoecology, and palaeolimnology
Late-Quaternary vegetational and environmental history of Norway,
England, Russia, and Tibet. Active collaborators in this research include Heikki Seppä (Helsinki),
Jacqueline van Leeuwen (Bern),
Kathy Willis (Oxford), Ulrike Herzschuh (Potsdam), LaDuo (Lhasa), Hilary Birks (Bergen), and Alistair Seddon and Florian Muthreich (Bergen: PARASOL and POLLCHEM projects).
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, the use of randomisation procedures for testing
palaeoecological hypothesis, estimating realised niches for northern European trees at different times in the Holocene (NoAClim project), and studying long interglacial sequences as 'natural experiments' in ecological and biodiversity dynamics (IGNEX and IGNEX-eco projects). Active collaborators include Richard
Telford, Vivian Felde, Blas Benito, Joe Chipperfield, Alistair Seddon (Bergen), Henry Hoogheimstra (Amsterdam), Cajo ter Braak (Wageningen), Ulrike Herzschuh (Potsdam), Steve Juggins (Newcastle), Chronis Tzedakis and Anson Mackay (London), Donatella Magri (Rome), Paul Valdes (Bristol), Gavin Simpson (Regina),and Jack Williams (Madison).
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 (Oxford), Alistair Seddon (Bergen), and Des Thompson (Edinburgh).
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 Des Thompson (Edinburgh) and John-Arvid Grytnes (Bergen).
Impacts of recent climate change on ecological systems, particularly
alpine systems. Collaborators include Des Thompson (Edinburgh),
Gordon Rothero (Dunoon),
David Long (Edinburgh), Dave Genney (Inverness), 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, Cyprus, Greece, Crete, Mallorca, Portugal, Corsica, Pyrenees, Andalucia (Spain), Canary
Islands (Tenerife, Gran Canaria), the South African Cape,
the Drakensberg Mountains in Southern Africa, the Bale Mountains
in Ethiopia, Mount Kenya, Turkey, Iran, the Russian Caucasus, the mountains of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Tien Shan and Altai (Kazakhstan), China, NW India, Nepal, Bhutan, Tasmania, SE Australia,
Tibet, South Island, New Zealand, Minnesota, Florida, Alaska
and Yukon, the Canadian and American Rockies, the Cascade Mountains
of Washington and Oregon, Northern California, southern Peru, Chile, 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
40,000 colour slides and several thousand digital images of plant portraits and close-ups, and a
collection of over 20,000 colour slides and many thousand digital images 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 Jonathan Holmes) where I am an Honorary Fellow and Emeritus Visiting Professor.
Other personal activities:
I serve on the editorial boards of Journal of Paleolimnology; Acta Palaeobotanica; Plant Ecology and Diversity; Frontiers in Paleoecology; and The Anthropocene Review. I am a member of the Advisory Board
for the Development of Palaeoenvironmental Research series published
by Springer, and of the Editorial Board of
the Ecology, Biodiversity and Conservation series published by
Cambridge University Press.
Lecturing and teaching:
I give occasional lectures in a seminar series in Bergen on Pioneering Polymaths in Ecology, Biogeography, and Palaeoecology and invited lectures is a graduate student course on Palaeoecology.
I currently supervise two post-doctoral fellows in Bergen.
Besides field botany plant photography, and natural-history books, my main leisure activities
are collecting and reading books on espionage, conspiracies,
politics, and related topics, listening to baroque and early
classical music, particularly in historically informed performances (HIP), maintaining massive collections of CDs 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.