Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society

William Hiles

Research interests:

I am primarily interested in using palaeoecological techniques to better understand the impacts of human settlement. I am currently using palynology and geochemistry to reconstruct landscape responses to the Norse colonisation of Iceland, with a particular focus on the spatial variability of environmental change and the drivers of this variability.

Other interests include the responses of vegetation and landscapes to events such as tephra deposition and sea level changes and questions of ecosystem resilience.

Career history:

Current – Technician in Physical & Environmental Geography, University of St Andrews
PhD – "Reconstructing post-settlement environmental change in northeast Iceland: a spatially explicit comparative approach" – School of Geography and Sustainable Development, University of St Andrews. Supervisors: Ian Lawson, Richard Streeter, Katherine Roucoux.

Prior to my PhD, I completed the MSc Quaternary Science masters degree at Royal Holloway, University of London (2014-2015), and my dissertation focused on understanding the responses of vegetation to inundation during marine transgressions. I obtained a BSc Geography degree from the University of Birmingham in 2014.

Active research projects:

Technician in Physical & Environmental Geography, University of St Andrews

Recent publications:

Davies, A.L., Streeter, R., Lawson, I.T., Roucoux, K.H. & Hiles, W. (2018) The application of resilience concepts in palaeoecology, The Holocene, 28(9), 1523-1534

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