Professor James Scourse
Professor of Physical Geography

External responsibilities

Committee/panel activities

Royal Society University Research Fellowships Panel (extended Ai), 2016-

A3 Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy and Earth Sciences Scrutiny Committee of the Learned Society of Wales, 2014-.

Editorial responsibilities

On the editorial boards of the Journal of Quaternary Science and Boreas

Invited lectures

2016: Presented invited seminar entitled ‘Megatides and deglaciation in the glacial North Atlantic’ at the UMR CNRS 5805 EPOC Environnements et Paléoenvironnements Océaniques et Continentaux, Université de Bordeaux, France.

2015: Invited lecture entitled ‘Megatides and ice sheet collapse’ at A Celebration of Research in Honour of Colin Ballantyne, University of St Andrews.

2014: Invited seminar at the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bergen, Norway ‘Annually-resolved records of marine climate change from the longest-lived animals on Earth’.

2013: Keynote address entitled ‘The last five years: evidence for a climate transition’ at the 2013 Tyndall Centre PhD Conference on Climate Transitions, Cardiff University.

The 2013 Scott Simpson Lecture entitled “Ice and tides: the evolution of the Celtic shelf and Celtic Sea from the Last Glacial Maximum to the present” at the Ussher Society Conference, St Ives, Cornwall.

2011: Invited FramKlim Seminar entitled “The Medieval Climate Anomaly and the Little Ice Age – testing the NAO hypothesis” at the Norsk Polarinstitut, Fram Senteret, Tromsø, Norway.

2009: Invited Plenary Lecture entitled ‘The impact of sea-level change on the hydro- and sediment dynamics of the NW European shelf seas since the Last Glacial Maximum: modelling insights’ at the British Sedimentological Research Group Annual Meeting, Bangor.

2009: Invited keynote lecture entitled ‘Untangling the Medieval Climate Anomaly – Little Ice Age transition: the role of palaeoceanography’ at European Science Foundation Exploratory Workshop on Synoptic-scale climate dynamics over the last millennium at Kippel (Lötschental), Switzerland.

The 2008 South West Quaternary Lecture entitled ‘Celtic Sea linear tidal sand ridges, the Irish Sea Ice Stream and the Fleuve Manche’ at the University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus (Penryn).

2007:  Invited lecture entitled ‘The shelf seas: glacial-interglacial cycles, tidal dynamics and the carbon cycle’ at the IX International Conference on Paleoceanography, Shanghai, China.

The 2004 London Quaternary Lecture entitled ‘Heinrich events: ice-ocean-climate interaction in the NE Atlantic, or do “precursor events” exist’ at Royal Holloway, University of London.

The 1999 Scotland Quaternary Lecture entitled ‘Synchronous behaviour of the British and Laurentide ice sheets during H2 (LGM); the role of sea-level in triggering surge events and iceberg discharge’ at the University of Glasgow.

Media Coverage

To coincide with the publication of the first 1000-year annually-resolved record of marine climate in Nature Communications (Reynolds et al. 2016) contributed article to The Conversation (December 2016): This story was then covered in USA Today (front page) (, Science Recorder (, Reddit (, El Mundo, International Business Times (, ResearchGate (, EurekAlert (, iNews (, Phy Org (, Inside Science (, (, The Exception (, Science World Report (, The Independent (, BBC5 live (broadcast Sunday 11 December).

Contributed article on The Anthropocene to The Conversation (January 2016): 4513 reads and 10 comments during January 2016.

April 2014: Lead speaker in Climate Change Debate: A conversation on Climate Change - part of the National Conversation on The Wales We Want with David Davies MP organised by Cynnal Cymru, the Climate Change Commission of Wales and C3W at St Mary’s Priory, Abergavenny.

Launch of IPCC AR5 in 2013 led to extensive BBC TV and radio interviews that appeared on Radio 4 Today programme, BBC website (

C3W Climate Change Question Time Debate broadcast on Radio Wales Science Café (2011).

Coverage of The Royal Society 350th Anniversary Summer Science Festival (49,000 visitors) included interview on “Material World” (BBC Radio 4, with Quentin Cooper), coverage in The Times, BBC Wales website, Daily Post and the Bangor and Anglesey Mail.

Coverage of the discovery of a 405-year old Arctica islandica from Iceland in October 2007 reached TV (BBC Wales live, ITV Wales, S4C), Radio (BBC World Service, BBC Wales, National Public Radio [USA], Five Live [Australia], New Zealand Radio, CBC Canada, French Radio), Press (Sunday Times, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Daily Post, Science Daily [USA], Nature News, National Geographic News [USA], ABC News [Australia], Yahoo News [India], The Times of India, Spanish News) and many blogs. The story was covered in more than 100 articles and broadcasts around the world, has been officially recognised as a Guinness World Record for the oldest non-colonial animal known, and reached #7 in the CNN-Time Magazine Top Ten Scientific Discoveries of 2007. Follow-up coverage within New Scientist article (November 2010). Nature Communications paper (2012) on Arctica stimulated media coverage in Norway:

Renewed coverage in 2013 consequent on the re-ageing of this specimen went viral, with coverage in the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, BBC World Service, RTE Radio, Yahoo, National Geographic, Time Magazine, Los Angeles Times, BBC1 TV “Have I Got News For You”  and multiple other outlets worldwide, including the Chinese media and Lufthansa in flight magazine (01.xii.14).

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