David Thomas

Research Interests

My research investigates environmental dynamics and drivers, including human interactions, in the world’s drylands and deserts. Current research in my group includes investigations of aeolian system dynamics, including links with biological systems and climate drivers, Quaternary scale hydrological dynamics in drylands and their landscape responses, human agency in landscape disturbance, and human-environment interactions in dryland archaeological records, from the Stone Age to Bronze Age. I welcome students with interests in any of the above as well as interests that innovatively link or extend any of the above elements. This is because drylands are amongst the world’s most vulnerable environments under contemporary rates of climate change, yet we have limited knowledge still of past dynamics and modern processes, and of system sensitivities and tipping points. In my group we use methods ranging from intensive field investigations, sedimentological analyses and chronometric assay (especially using OSL), as well as AI. Much of our work is inter- and multi-disciplinary, cutting across the artificial silos of institutional and disciplinary structures.


Qualifications & experiences

DPhil, PGCE; have to date supervised almost 50 doctorates to successful completion

Personal Research Keywords

geomorphology; late Quaternary; drylands and deserts; aeolian systems; geoarchaeology; Africa