University of St Andrews
 

 

Photo of Richard Streeter

Biography

I am a geographer interested in tephrochronology (using layers of volcanic ash as dating controls) and particularly how it can be applied to understanding human-environment interactions over the Holocene. After completing a B.Sc. in Geography (Edinburgh, 2007) I went on to complete a Ph.D. (2011), also at Edinburgh. In this I used tephrochronology to investigate patterns and rates of soil erosion in south Iceland during a period of rapid climatic and demographic change in the 15th and 16th centuries as well as developed methods for the high-resolution measurement of tephra layers in open stratigraphic sections.

After my PhD and prior to moving to St Andrews in June 2013 I was a visiting fellow at Edinburgh where I worked on a project looking at early warning signals of impending vegetation change in tephra morphology from recent volcanic eruptions. I have also worked on projects looking at the long-term sustainability of human settlement in the North Atlantic within the research network of NABO

 

 

Research Interests

My research focuses on the uses and development of tephrochronology as a tool to understand environmental change in landscapes over decades-to-millennia timescales, particularly soil erosion in Iceland. I also have an interest in the resilience of social-natural systems to environmental change, particularly climate change and its impact on the Norse settlement of the North Atlantic. A current theme of my research is looking for early warning signals of critical transitions in complex systems, such as land surfaces, by using the morphology of recent tephra.

  • Tephrochronology
  • Holocene environmental change
  • Long-term dynamics and sustainability of coupled socio-ecological systems
  • Early warning signals
  • The Norse Settlement of the North Atlantic (Faroes, Iceland, Greenland)

 

Teaching Interests

  • Tephrochronology
  • Long-term dynamics and sustainability of coupled socio-ecological systems
  • Holocene environmental change
  • Geomorphology