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Dr Victoria Hudspith
Associate Research Fellow


Victoria is an Earth Scientist, specializing in the use of multidisciplinary coal and charcoal analysis techniques to interpret ancient and modern wildfires. She joined the department in November 2013 as an Associate Research Fellow, working with Dr. Claire Belcher on an ERC funded project, ‘ECOFLAM’ (The impact of Plant Evolution on Fire Behaviour in Ancient Ecosystems). This project aims to use multiproxy palaeontological observations and state-of-the-art flammability techniques to develop an understanding of how evolutionary innovations in plants have shaped fire regimes over geological time.

After graduating from Royal Holloway University of London in 2008, with an MSci in Geoscience, Victoria continued at RHUL and completed her doctoral thesis entitled “The Palaeoecological and Industrial Significance of Inertinite (Charcoal) in Late Permian Coals from the Kuznetsk Basin, Russia” in 2012. This research used detailed petrographic analysis of fossil charcoal in Late Permian Russian coal to interpret fire occurrence, type and frequency in this ancient peat forming environment. Victoria then completed a postdoctoral position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign utilizing the techniques acquired during her Ph. D to develop her understanding of more modern fire regimes and fire-vegetation feedbacks in boreal forest and tundra ecosystems in Alaska.

Broad research specialisms:

  • Fire in the Earth System
  • Multiproxy charcoal and coal techniques
  • Permian peat-forming environments
  • Coal petrography, particularly inertinite (fossil charcoal)
  • Coal geology
  • Fire regimes in modern and ancient ecosystems


PhD, Geology, Royal Holloway University of London, 2012
MSci. (Hons.), Geoscience, Royal Holloway University of London, 2008

Contact details

Tel+44 (0) 1392 5324
AddressLaver Building
University of Exeter
North Park Road

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