Dr Matt Amesbury
Research Fellow


PLEASE NOTE: I am currently on a one year leave of absence from my post (July 2018 - September 2019) and am currently working within the Environmental Change Research Unit at the University of Helsinki in Finland. 

I moved to Exeter in May 2010 to work with Dan Charman on a NERC-funded project using Holocene age peat profiles to reconstruct past climate change along the eastern seaboard of North America. From 2012 onwards, I split my time between two further NERC-funded projects. I was Researcher Co-Investigator on a grant testing the suitability of isotopic records in restiad peatlands (rush-dominated) in New Zealand to act as a new palaeo-precipitation proxy. At the same time, I worked on a project funded by NERC's Antarctic Funding Initiative, alongside colleagues at the British Antarctic Survey and the University of Cambridge, to develop records of past climate change from moss banks on the Antarctic Peninsula. This led to the publication of a paper which ranked inside the global Altmetric Top 100 for media coverage in 2017 and was the 5th most covered climate change paper, according to Carbon Brief. Since 2016 I have been funded by the Leverhulme Trust, working on a project I developed to apply the isotopic proxies we previously developed in order to investigate past changes in the Southern Hemisphere Westerly Winds. From 2019 onwards, I will be working on a new NERC project, alongside Angela Gallego-Sala, that will investigate the future of the Arctic permafrost peatland carbon store, using a combined field data, remote sensing and modelling approach. For more information on my research in general, please see the research tab.

I am an expert in multiple peatland palaeoenvironmental and dating techniques including plant macrofossil, peat humification and testate amoeba analysis, radiocarbon, tephra and lead dating. 

Before my appointment in Exeter, I completed my PhD at the University of Southampton between 2004 and 2008, investigating the potential limits to the temporal resolution of the peat-based palaeoclimate record. In 2008/9, I worked for an environmental charity advising the public, schools, businesses and local authorities on sustainability issues related to climate change, including energy saving, sustainable transport and renewable energy. 

I am a member of the UK Quaternary Research Association and and a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. In 2013, I co-founded the public-facing popular science webiste Bogology, which aims to showcase the research that I and other colleagues undertake.


BSc (Hons) Geography (Plymouth), 2000
MSc Wetland Archaeology and Environments (Exeter), 2004
PhD (Southampton) – peat-based palaeoclimatology, 2008

Contact details

Internal tel5892
Tel+44 (0) 1392 725892
AddressAmory Building
University of Exeter
Rennes Drive

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