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Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing.
Penrhyn Road
Kingston upon Thames
Surrey KT1 2EE

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 9000

Prof. Martyn Waller

School/Department: Natural & Built Environments
Position: Professor


Martyn Waller is Professor of Biogeography at Kingston University and formerly the Director of the Centre for Earth and Environmental Sciences Research. He is a palynologist and ecologist with an extensive publication record (journal articles, books and book chapters) in the fields of vegetation history and archaeobotany. Ongoing research includes investigations into the origins of the cultural landscapes of the British Isles and the Holocene evolution of the coastal wetlands of the southern North Sea region.

Educational and Professional Qualifications

  • 1983 - 1987 PhD (CNAA)
  • 1976 - 1980 B.Tech. (Hons.) Environmental Science, University of Bradford

Research Interests

Quaternary vegetation history: British Isles. This research is focused on southern England, an area little studied because of the perceived absence of deposits suitable for pollen analysis. I have promoted the use of fen carr peats, investigating early and mid-Holocene vegetation composition and the development of habitats that are of importance for conservation (chalk grassland, lowland heathland and wood pasture). Holocene vegetation reconstructions increasingly use models based on modern pollen-vegetation relationships, a development I have actively pursued through research projects entitled 'Modern pollen/vegetation relationships in alder carr as an aid to the interpretation of Holocene pollen diagrams' (NERC funded as Principal Investigator) and 'The identification of coppice management through pollen analysis' (Leverhulme Trust funded as Principal Investigator).

Quaternary vegetation history: West Africa. Palaeoenvironmental reconstructions from the West Africa Sahel have been undertaken as part of the NERC funded TIGGER project with Prof. F.A. Street-Perrott (University of Wales Swansea) and Prof. J. Holmes (University College London). In addition to contributions to project publications dealing with climatic variability, articles relating specifically to vegetation history have been produced.

Quaternary coastal/sea-level change. Holocene land-ocean interactions, particularly the development of coastal wetlands, have been a research focus for many years. Collaborations include English Heritage funded work on the evolution of the Rye/Dungeness barrier system with workers from Durham (Prof. A.J. Long) and Liverpool (Prof. A. Plater) Universities and on the interpretation of pollen assemblages from the Thames estuary (with Dr M. Grant, Kingston University/Wessex Archaeology).

Teaching Area

Subjects taught: Biogeography/Ecology; Quaternary Science. Module Leader: Earth Environments (GG1020B), Ecology: Principles and Practice (GG2430A), Ecology and Conservation in Temperate Ecosystems (GG3720A), Managing Environmental Change (GG3780B). Other modules: Understanding the Environment (GG1010A) Investigating the Earth and Environment (GL1890B),

Other Professional Activity

Associate Editor: Environmental Archaeology

Trustee of the Romney Marsh Research Trust ( 2011-

Director of the Centre of Earth and Environmental Science (CEESR), Kingston University (2008-2011)

Unit of Assessment Coordinator for Geography Research (2006-11)

Chair of the Executive Committee of the Romney Marsh Research Trust (, 2005-2011. Member of the Executive Committee, Elected 1995-2011.


    +Professional Experience



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