Sarah Davies

BA Geography (1995), University of Sheffield MRes (1996), PhD (2000), University of Edinburgh, Prof

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Personal profile


I joined DGES in September 2002 as a lecturer in Physical Geography and Environmental Science. I was appointed Senior Lecturer in October 2008 .My research focuses on reconstructing climatic and environmental change using evidence from lake sediments. I am particularly interested in the interactions between people, climate and environment over a range of timescales. Most of my work to date has focused in tropical regions such as Mexico and Ethiopia, where I am involved in ongoing projects. Closer to home, I also work on sedimentary and historical records of climatic variability and extreme weather and their impacts in Wales and the UK.

Research interests

I am a Co-Investigator on an AHRC-funded research project investigating historical weather extremes in the UK (Spaces of experience and horizons of expectation: the implications of weather extremes, past, present and future). With Dr Cerys Jones and Dr Marie-Jeanne Royer, I am focusing on gathering archival research and oral histories of the impacts and responses to weather extremes in Wales over the past three centuries. Our project involves collaboration with Natural Resources Wales and is supported by the Climate Change Consortium of Wales. We teamed up with cooleague at Llen Natur to celebrate the launch of the online transcribed diaries of William Bulkeley, Llanfechell, Anglesey. These diaries, written between 1734 and 1760 represent a key source for our project.

I am participating in the Hominin Sites and Paleoenvironments Drilling Project (2014-2017), which focuses on continental records of climate variability in eastern Africa spanning key periods of human evolution and dispersal. This is an international collaboration between the USA, Germany, Ethiopia and UK scientists, funded by ICDP, NSF, NERC and CRC. As co-investigator on a NERC project led by Prof Henry Lamb, my role is to analyse the diatom record from a 500,000 year record from Chew Bahir in Southern Ethiopia, in collaboration with Prof Phil Barker (Lancaster University).

Current PhD Students

  • Gwydion Jones, Swansea University (external supervisor, with Prof. Siwan Davies and Dr. Neil Loader)
  • Melanie Kingsbury, University of Stirling (external supervisor, with Dr. Bob McCulloch)

Postdoctoral Supervision

  • Dr Marie-Jeanne Royer

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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  • Honorary Secretary

    Davies, Sarah (Recipient), Jan 2010

    Prize: Election to learned society