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David Kesner – University of Reading

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David Kesner

Understanding fire and vegetation feedbacks in response to environmental change during glacial and interglacial states.

3-year research project focused on improving the current understanding of how fire in the earth system responds to global environmental change. The project will investigate how fire regimes have evolved over glacial/interglacial transitions in the northern extratropics and how this relates to climate and vegetation regime shifts. This project is joint funded by the University of Reading and the Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society. The project will reconstruct paleo fire regimes using sedimentary charcoal records sourced from across the northern extratropical region, and will employ paleo ecological methods to understand the feedbacks between fire and vegetation during major climate reorganisations.


About Me:

I hold a BSc (with Distinction) in Applied Biology and Environmental and Geographical Science from the University of Cape Town (South Africa), a BSc Honours degree (with Distinction) in Biodiversity and Ecology from Stellenbosch University (South Africa) and an MSc (with Distinction) in Ecology and Conservation from the University of Aberdeen (Scotland). My Honours project studied the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of alien gastropods in South Africa and was published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal (Ecology and Evolution). My MSc dissertation studied the effect of the El Niño Southern Oscillation on interannual crop yield variability of the major staple crop producing nations of the world. I have an award in leadership and team skills from the Institute for Leadership and Management (Level 2) and am a ‘Level 1 Future Thinker’ of the Sottish Institute for Enterprise’s Scottish Innovative Student Award Programme. I have work experience as a laboratory assistant and laboratory practical demonstrator.

Research Interests:

  •  paleoenvironmental reconstruction.
  • Ecology and evolution.
  •  Biogeography.
  •  Time series analysis.

Research Groups:


Leverhulme Centre

Environmental Science Research Division 

  David Kesner


Linked in


Professor Sandy Harrison (University of Reading)

Professor Colin I. Prentice (Imperial College London)

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