Staff Profile:Dr Nicholas Branch

Name:
Dr Nicholas Branch
Job Title:
Associate Professor
Responsibilities:
Areas of Interest:
  • Holocene vegetation succession and climate change in South America and Europe (UK, Ireland, France and Italy)
  • Human response and adaptation to environmental change during the Holocene
  • The impact of human activities on the natural environment during the Holocene

Undergraduate, Masters, PhD and Post-doctoral Supervision:

Nicholas is keen to discuss proposals for research on Holocene environmental change and human activities in northern Europe, the western Mediterranean and Peru.

Research and Enterprise Placements:

Nicholas is keen to discuss proposals for work experience in Quaternary science, archaeological science, environmental science and forensic science.

Current PhD Supervision:

  • Christine Bunting - Archaeological and palaeoenvironmental application of geophysics and hydrogeochemistry to lowland wetlands in the UK, Ireland and France
  • Stephen Myers - Archaeology, geoarchaeology and palaeohydrology of the River Walbrook, London
  • Michael Simmonds - Environmental history and archaeology of SE England during the Mesolithic
  • Philip Stastney - Archaeology, palaeohydrology and palaeoclimatology of lowland wetlands in central Ireland
  • Kathryn Turner - Tephrochronology of the western Mediterranean
  • Daniel Young - Archaeology, vegetation succession and palaeoclimatology of lowland wetlands in central Ireland
  • Jade Whitlam - Archaeobotany and early agriculture in the Middle East
Research groups / Centres:

Key Facts:

Dr Nicholas Branch is a Senior Lecturer in Palaeoecology.

He has a BSc (Hons) in Archaeology, and MSc in Bioarchaeology (Archaeobotany), from University College London (Institute of Archaeology). Nicholas has a PhD in Geography from Royal Holloway (University of London), Centre of Quaternary Research, where he studied the Late Würm Lateglacial and Holocene vegetation history and human activities of the Northern Apennines, Italy. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (London).

Nicholas was appointed Senior Lecturer in Palaeoecology at the University of Reading in 2008. He is Director of Quaternary Scientific (Quest), which provides expert scientific services to private archaeological companies and societies, environmental consultancies and government organisations. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (London) and an associate of the Walker Institute for Climate Systems Research and Soil Research Centre.

He currently has several major research interests:

  • Holocene climate and vegetation history of the northern Apennines, Italy
  • The impact of prehistoric farming on the environment of the Ligurian Apennines, Italy The Neolithisation of the western Mediterranean with a specific emphasis on the cave of Arene Candide, Liguria, Italy
  • The chronology and impact of Copper and Bronze Age mining and metallurgy on the environment of the Mediterranean
  • The environmental impact of proto-industrial prehistoric salt production in the Seille Valley, NE France
  • The environmental impact of prehistoric salt mining activities at Hallstatt, Austria
  • The environmental history of SE England with a specific emphasis on the Mesolithic cultural period, the histories of Ulmus, Taxus and Tilia woodland, and heathland formation
  • Middle and Late Holocene climate change and vegetation succession in central Ireland
  • The rise and fall of the Wari civilisation in the Peruvian Andes:  Inca ushnus: Landscape, Site and Symbol in the Andes
Publications:
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Further Publications

Bailey, R., Branch, N.P. and Stallard, J. 2007 North Park Farm Quarry, Bletchingley, Surrey. Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) Dating of a Mesolithic archaeological site, Stage 1. English Heritage, Scientific Dating Report, Research Department Report Series 98-2007, 1-14.

Branch, N.P. 2007 Bletchingley: North Park Farm, Surrey In: Bayliss, A. et al (eds.) Radiocarbon Dates from samples funded by English Heritage under the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund 2002-4, 42-43. English Heritage, Swindon.

Branch, N.P., Kemp, R.A., Silva, B., Meddens, F.M., Williams, A., Kendall, A. and Pomacanchari, C.V. 2007 Testing the sustainability and sensitivity to climatic change of terrace agricultural systems in the Peruvian Andes: a pilot study. Journal of Archaeological Science 34, 1-9.

Leary, J., Branch, N.P. and Bishop, B. 2006 10,000 years in the life of the river Wandle: excavations at the former Vinamul site, Butter Hill, Wallington. Surrey Archaeological Collections 92, 1-28.

Branch, N.P. 2006 In: Barber, A. et al., A Late Iron Age and Roman Farmstead at RAF St Athan, Vale of Glamorgan, Evaluation and Excavation 2002-03. Archaeologia Cambrensis 155, 49-115.

Kemp, R., Branch, N.P., Silva, B., Meddens, F., Williams, A., Kendall, A. and Pomacanchari, C.V. 2006 Pedosedimentary, cultural and environmental significance of palaeosols within Pre-Hispanic agricultural terraces in the southern Peruvian Andes. Quaternary International 158, 13-22.

Branch, N.P., Vaughan-Williams, A., Silva, B., Green, C. and Williams, A. 2006 Roman Environmental Analysis. In: Butler, J., Reclaiming the marsh: archaeological excavations at Moor House, City of London. Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd Monograph, 6, 31-34.

Branch, N.P., Vaughan-Williams, A., Silva, B., Green, C. and Williams, A. 2006 Medieval and Post Medieval Environmental Analysis. In: Butler, J., Reclaiming the marsh: archaeological excavations at Moor House, City of London. Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd Monograph, 6, 138-143.

Branch, N.P. and Vaughan-Williams, A. 2006 Geochemical and plant macrofossil analyses of a Medieval pit. In: Butler, J., Reclaiming the marsh: archaeological excavations at Moor House, City of London. Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd Monograph, 6, 143-145.

Branch, N.P., Green, C.P., Swindle, G.E., Vaughan-Williams, A., Williams, A. and Wyatt, C. 2006 A Bronze Age Field System: The Environmental Context. In: Carew, T., Bishop, B., Meddens, F. and Ridgeway, V., Unlocking The Landscape, Archaeological Excavations at Ashford Prison, Middlesex. Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd Monograph, 5, 36.

Branch, N.P., Green, C.P., Swindle, G.E., Vaughan-Williams, A., Williams, A. and Wyatt, C. 2006 The Iron Age Settlement: The Environmental Context. In: Carew, T., Bishop, B., Meddens, F. and Ridgeway, V., Unlocking The Landscape, Archaeological Excavations at Ashford Prison, Middlesex. Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd Monograph, 5, 74-75.

Branch, N.P., Green, C.P., Swindle, G.E., Vaughan-Williams, A., Williams, A. and Wyatt, C. 2006 A Neolithic Monumental Landscape: The Environmental Context. In: Carew, T., Bishop, B., Meddens, F. and Ridgeway, V., Unlocking The Landscape, Archaeological Excavations at Ashford Prison, Middlesex. Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd Monograph, 5, 25-26.

Turney, C.S.M., Kershaw, J.J. Lowe, van der Kaars, S., Johnston, R., Rule, S., Moss, P., Radke, L., Tibby, J., McGlone, M.S., Wilmshurst, J.M., Vandergoes, M.J., Fitzsimons, S.J.,, Bryant, C., James, S., Branch, N.P., Cowley, J., Kalin, R.M., Ogle, N., Jacobsen, G. and Fifield, L.K. 2006 Climate variability in the southwest Pacific during the Last Termination (20-10 kyr BP). Quaternary Science Reviews, 25, 886-903.

Turney, C.S.M., Kershaw, A.P., James, S., Branch, N.P., Cowley, J., Fifield, L.K., Jacobsen, G. and Moss, P. 2006 Geochemical changes recorded in Lynch's Crater, Northeastern Australia, over the past 50 ka. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 233, 187-203.

Green, C.P., Branch, N.P., Coope, G.R., Field, M.H., Keen, D.H., Wells, J.M., Schwenninger, J.L. Preece, R.C., Schreve, D.C., Canti, M.G. and Gleed-Owen, C.P. 2006 Marine Isotope Stage 9 environments of fluvial deposits at Hackney, north London, UK. Quaternary Science Reviews, 25, 89-113.

Butler, J. with Goodburn, D., Jarrett, C., Egan, G., Palmer, A. and Branch, N. 2005 A previously unknown watercourse west of the city, London Archaeologist, 11, 9-19.

Branch, N.P., Canti, M.G., Clark, P. and Turney, C.S.M. 2005 Environmental Archaeology: Theoretical and Practical Approaches, Edward Arnold, London.

Turney, C.S.M., Kershaw, A.P., Clemens, S.C., Branch, N., Moss, P.T. and Fifield, L.K. 2004 Millennial and orbital variations of El Nino/Southern Oscillation and high-latitude climate in the last glacial period. Nature, 428, 306-310.

Keeley, H., Allison, E., Branch, N.P., Cameron, N., Dobinson, S., Ellis, I., Ellison, P., Fairbairn, A., Green, C., Hunter, R., Lee, J., Locker, A., Lowe, J., Palmer, A., Robinson, E., Stewart, J. and Wilkinson, K. 2004 The environmental evidence. In: Clark, P. (ed.), The Dover Bronze Age Boat, 229-250, English Heritage, London.

Branch, N.P. 2004 Late Wurm lateglacial and Holocene environmental history of the Ligurian Apennines, Italy. In: Balzaretti, R., Pearce, M. and Watkins, C. (eds.), Ligurian Landscapes, Studies in Archaeology, Geography and History, 7-69, Accordia, London.

Branch, N.P. and Green, C.P. 2004 The environmental history of Surrey. In: Cotton, J., Crocker, G. and Graham, A. (eds.), Aspects of Archaeology and History in Surrey: towards a research framework for the county, Surrey Archaeological Society, Guildford.

Masefield, R., Branch, N.P., Couldrey, P., Goodburn, D. and Tyers, I. 2003 A later Bronze Age well complex at Swalecliffe, Kent. The Antiquaries Journal, 83, 47-121.

Oldfield, F., Asioli, A., Accorsi, C.A., Mercuri, A.M., Juggins, S., Langone, L., Rolph, T., Trincardi, F., Wolff, G., Gibbs, Z., Vigliotti, L., Frignani, M., van der Post, K. and Branch, N. 2003 A high resolution late Holocene palaeo environmental record from the central Adriatic Sea. Quaternary Science Reviews, 22, 319-342.

Branch, N.P. 2002 Palynology, In: Proctor, J. and Bishop B. (eds.), Prehistoric and environmental development on Horsleydown: excavations at 1-2 Three Oak Lane. Surrey Archaeological Collections, 89, 1-26.

Branch, N.P. 2002 L'analisi palinologica per lo studio della vegetazione e della sua gestione. In: Campana, N. and Maggi, R. (eds.), Archeologia in Valle Lagorara, 339-353, Istituto Italiano Di Preistoria e Protostoria, Firenze.

Branch, N.P. 2001 Palynology, In: Divers, D. (ed.), Excavations at 552 Kings Road, Chelsea. Transactions London and Middlesex Archaeological Society, 52, 1-9.

Davies, S.M., Branch, N.P., Lowe, J.J. and Turney, C.S.M. 2001 Towards a European tephrochronological framework for Termination 1 and the Early Holocene. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series A 360, 767-802.

Briant, R.M., Rose, J. and Branch, N.P. 2000 Trimingham (TG 277391-TG 274393), Pre-glacial coastal sands, gravels and organic muds. In: Lewis, S.G., Whiteman, C.A. and Preece, R.C. (eds.) The Quaternary of Norfolk and Suffolk: Field Guide, 85-90, Quaternary Research Association, London.

Davies, S.M., Rose, J., Branch, N.P. and Candy, I. 2000 West Runton (TG 188432 and TG 185432), Pre-glacial gravels, freshwater muds and coastal sand and gravels. In: Lewis, S.G., Whiteman, C.A. and Preece, R.C. (eds.) The Quaternary of Norfolk and Suffolk: Field Guide, 61-66, Quaternary Research Association, London.

Briant, R.M., Rose, J., Lee, J.A. and Branch, N.P. 1999 Pre-glacial Quaternary sediments from Trimingham, North Norfolk, England, Bulletin of the Geological Society of Norfolk, 49, 15-47.

Rose, J., Whiteman, C.A., Lee, J.A., Branch, N.P., Harkness, D.D. and Walden, J 1997 Mid- and Late-Holocene vegetation, surface weathering and glaciation, Fjallsjokull, southeast Iceland, The Holocene, 7, 457

Branch, N.P. 1997 Palynological study of the Early and Middle Neolithic deposits of Arene Candide: preliminary results, In Maggi R. (ed.) Arene Candide: a functional and environmental assessment of the Holocene sequence (excavation Bernabo Brea 1940-50), Il Calamo, 89-102.

Branch, N.P. 1997 Pollen analysis of a sediment sample from area 01, Middle Neolithic II, In Maggi R. (ed.) Arene Candide: a functional and environmental assessment of the Holocene sequence (excavation Bernabo Brea 1940-50), Il Calamo, 87-88.

Branch, N.P. 1996 Palynology, In: Thomas, C. and Rackham, J. (eds.), Bramcote Green, Bermondsey: a Bronze Age trackway and palaeoenvironmental sequence, Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 61, 221-253.

Watson, C., Branch, N.P. and Lowe, J.J. 1994 The vegetation history of the northern Apennines during the Holocene In: Biagi P. and Nandris J. (eds.), Highland Zone Exploitation in Southern Europe, Monografie di Natura Bresciana, 20, 153-168.

Lowe, J.J., Branch, N.P. and Watson, C. 1994 The chronology of human disturbance of the vegetation of the northern Apennines during the Holocene, In: Biagi P. and Nandris J. (eds.), Highland Zone Exploitation in Southern Europe, Monografie di Natura Bresciana, 20, 169-187.

Branch, N.P. and Scaife, R.G. 1995 The stratigraphy and pollen analysis of peat sequences associated with the Lindow III bog body, In: Turner R.C. and Scaife R.G. (eds.), Bog Bodies: New Discoveries and New Perspectives, 19-31, British Museum Press, London.

Branch, N.P. and Canti, M.G. 1994 Research proposal for testing pollen translocation rates in coarse mineral substrates, Journal of the Southeast England Soils Discussion Group: Soils and Archaeology, 10, 73-85.

Branch, N.P. 1991 The seeds from burial S506, In Hayman G.N., Further excavations at the former Goblin Works, Ashtead (TQ 182 567), Surrey Archaeological Collections, 81, 9.

Branch, N.P. and Scaife, R.G. 1991 Ower Peninsula: Iron Age - Romano-British soil accumulation, In Cox P.W. and Hearne C.M. (eds.), Redeemed from the heath: the archaeology of the Wytch Farm oilfield (1987-1990), Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society Monograph Series, 9, 187-189.

Branch, N.P. 1989 Pollen assessment, In Marsden P. (ed.) A late Saxon logboat from Clapton, London Borough of Hackney, International Journal of Nautical Archaeology and Underwater Exploration , 18, 106.

Branch, N.P. 1988 Pollen analysis, In Howard S. (ed.), Rescue excavations of a Roman enclosure and field system at West Moors, Dorset, 1988, Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society, 110, 105-107.

Branch, N.P. 1988 Pollen and preliminary plant macrofossil analysis of peat columns from Lindow Moss, Cheshire, Ancient Monuments Laboratory Report, 111/88.

 

Qualifications:
BSc MSc PhD (London)

 

Dr Nick Branch

Contact Details

Email:
n.p.branch@reading.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0) 118 378 7766

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